It started with grabbing a pair of my husband’s underwear and putting them on before going to a homecoming parade and it ended with dozing off while mumbling toward the bathroom for my curly little blonde headed, blue-eyed, not quite two year old to stop playing with a plunger…and somewhere in between these moments my tiny, feisty six year old (at that time) unpacked my very, very nicely packed suitcase with everything needed for the weekend, repacked the contents into individual bags and failed to tell me what took place…leaving us diaper-less, clothes-less and defenseless to my bullying brother-in-law who never misses an opportunity to tell me how unorganized I am. In addition, he is also quick to look at me like I’m a liar when I tell him that I’m never going back to school. But…I’m not!
However, I notice that in the absence of using my brain to write scholarly papers, my brain can’t help but feel the need to write something. (P.S. Ethan, my brother-in-law, is not the villain of this blog. We like him despite his constant torment because he loves my sister and my nieces and nephews so well…which I can say because he’s probably not reading this. If you are reading this – did you get that limb cut down yet?)
The thing with this mom-blog is that the material is heavily dependent on my kids being hilarious. Sometimes they’re not hilarious. I foresee the little kid funny material to be quickly passing as they learn loser-ish societal norms…like not peeing on the cement on the back porch, not pulling one’s dress up around her belly button to carry corn cobbs she picked up from the corn maze, and not cutting one’s bangs to her scalp five days before school starts.
All that to say, when they give me nothing funny to write about, most of the time I don’t write. So to be intentional, I’m going to set myself up (for failure) by organizing a 21-day experiential exercise. If you know me, you know I’m a flaker and very undisciplined in most things. However, since I’m sharing this with other human beings, maybe I’ll stick to it for at least three days. We will see what happens.
For 21 days, this exercise will focus on increasing or decreasing time/resources spent on the following:
- Quiet Time
At the end of each day, I will reflect and write about the struggle…because we know it will be a struggle. At the end of the three weeks, I will quit trying to deliberately engage and will then reflect upon which habits stuck. Here’s what I’m doing.
Gratitude will consist of writing down at least three things I’m grateful for each day. Breath will consist of spending 7 minutes each day being still, focusing on my breath, and Jesus. Spending will consist of spending money only on food (which includes snow-cones), gas (also let it be known for historical purposes that gas is currently $4.46 in my town — last I checked), cleaning supplies, toiletries, bills, tithing, and emergencies. Rest will consist of spending the first 15 minutes my eyes are open on my front or back porch soaking up sunlight (I will explain why this helps with rest as we get into the experiment), dim my lights at 9:30, turn the AC down 2 degrees, read, place my phone on Kyle’s side table instead of mine (also an update to those of you 485 people who questioned my sanity when I told everyone Kyle and I didn’t have designated sides of the bed; 6 years after we got married, we finally claimed sides of the bed), and attempt to be asleep by 10:30 (remember when I said I was setting myself up for failure…well this is the big-daddy stumbling block right here). Media will consist of watching no more than 50 minutes of television a day and limiting social media. Because this struggle will be documented on my blog and posted on Facebook, I will continue to access that (this is not a Facebook fast), but I will declare this exercise to consist of a scrolling cessation. Therefore, you will continue to see posts of my daily struggle as well as my children’s faces and hilarious things they do/say. Nature will consist of spending at least one hour outside as well as diffusing Hinoki oil each day (don’t worry, you’ll soon learn why this is so cool – I can’t wait to tell you where this stemmed from). Quiet time will be flexible as the Holy Spirit leads, but it will consist of things from reading/meditating on scripture, praying, worship.
So…there’s the plan. Welcome to my first summer project.
P.S. Let it be noted, 3.5 years ago Kyle and I, after tons of talking and praying, decided to give up 60% of our income as I walked away from my very good job so that I could be more available to the kiddos. I have watched God provide day after day in so many impeccable ways! I remember that first week of that new life, I developed this extremely vivid image in my mind that I would sit on a back porch and write about life, motherhood, and God’s goodness. We ended up selling our gorgeous historic home and settled into our new place (exactly one year here as of this week). There are 1000 reasons why I love it, but I’ll talk about those later. Prior to us moving here, we’d take walks by this house from time to time thinking nothing of it and then one day the back porch caught my eye, “Heeeeyyyyyy Brooke!! Come sit back here.”
I remember when we looked at it for the first time, I was sold within like 2 minutes. We painted this little back porch, re-screened it, re-finished the old table left back here, and have made it my cozy little favorite place. I have finished my last assignments for school and for the past week I have been sitting on my back porch writing about life, motherhood, and God’s goodness. It literally just hit me today. The image I used to have and the reality of sitting here today.
Okay…bye friends! 🙂