its time to go
Hard to believe that summer is over and we are embarking upon another season.
For some of us, life will not change much at all. For others we'll begin homeschooling our children, sending them off to school, or starting another semester of school ourselves.
This schooling Momma will be heading into her last semester of school! Graduation is just around the corner and I can finally see the light at the end of the very long tunnel. Student teaching will take up the bulk of my time this semester and I am beginning to wonder how life will go one while I am away from home most of the time.
I've been contemplating--
How do I keep life simple during this busy season of school?
You may be wondering the same thing as you prepare to be teaching, learning, or just running children to and from school. Here are some of the things I am doing to keep life simplified a midst the busyness!
1. Plan for meals
Keeping up with cooking for my family (even though it is small) can be hectic without the added pressures of school. This semester I have taken a step to make this a bit easier. I am continuing my bi-monthly menu planning and grocery shopping, however I have added the convenience of several freezer meals.
A couple of weekends ago I got together with one of my girl friends who is expecting her first child. She was wanting to put some things away for when Baby comes and I was wanting to do the same for my hectic school semester. We made 5 different recipes and bagged them all up. Away they went into the freezer. It took about 4 hours (plus a couple hours the night before to shop) and I now have 11 meals in my freezer that are ready to be pulled out and thrown in the crockpot!
I am also working on getting some breakfast items in the freezer this week. I will have to leave my house before anyone else in the mornings, so I want to make sure the Hubs and Little E have something yummy for breakfast. Freezer biscuits are on the list as well as muffins. There will be days (I'm sure) that cereal will have to suffice.
2. Plan for cleaning
I've never been one to stick to a cleaning schedule, but that is mostly because I had plenty of time to arrange my days and still get everything accomplished. Now, however, I will be gone most of the day and I still want my home to be a place of peace and to be presentable for when we host other families in our home. So, I finally sat down and developed a plan of action.
Using a simple Word document table, I created a chart listing the chores that are to be done on certain days of the week. For example, Monday is the day that I vacuum upstairs and sweep the back and front porches. Each day only has two or three items listed that way it doesn't get overwhelming on any particular day. Along with the items listed, at least one load of laundry will be completed (meaning washing, folded, and put away) each day so that we can keep up with it. My home doesn't have to be spotless, but I also want to be a good steward of the place God has given us to live without making myself so stressed out on the weekends. Doing a few things each evening will help keep order and peace in our home.
3. Plan for downtime
Finally, with all that planning, don't forget to
pencil in permanent marker in some downtime for yourself and your family. The Hubs is absolutely wonderful in helping me do this. Every Tuesday evening is my evening to do whatever I need/want to do. I can take an hour and go read at a local coffee shop, have dinner with a friend, go for a jog, or go shopping. It doesn't really matter what I do, as long as it is something that I want to do. Sometimes it will be something I need to do -- if I need to catch up on some reading for school or Bible study.
We've also set aside two nights a month for date night, a bi-monthly family night, and one Saturday a month for me to have some extra time to myself. Spending intentional time with Hubs and Little E will be critical during this season. I have a one track mind most of the time and like to conquer the task in front of me (which is obviously, graduating from school). Without these intentional times to unwind and enjoy myself and my family, I will no doubt get bogged down and discouraged. Friends are also highly important, which is why we plan to have people into our home on a regular basis despite some of the busyness we face. Encouragement from godly friends can make a world of difference in busy seasons of life.
Most importantly, make sure you have some "down time" to spend with Father God. He will give you the grace you need to make it through a busy season. He will encourage your heart more than any human ever could. Take a few minutes to spend in His Word and prayer on a daily basis--not for the sake of doing it--but for love of your Father, for a desire to know him deeply.
So, in all that you are busy doing this fall, make sure you plan to keep yourself healthy (that includes your mind!) and if you need a little break, take one! Be in the Word, in fellowship with Father God, in fellowship with your family, and in fellowship with your friends. Be encouraged that this is a season--it will pass. Be intentional about your time, and don't let life happen...live life...love life!
Blessings on this season of you life!