Chris and I spent Tuesday night – Saturday afternoon with out children. Chris’ parents took the girls. Nancy and Will took the boys. I flew with the boys and dropped them off, then flew back home. When I first dropped them off, I felt so weird. I kept thinking I shouldn’t have done this. 8 million what-ifs ran through my head. I felt exposed and lacking purpose. It was very weird. But, then I was blessed with a row to myself on the way back home. I had wonderful books and my Bible and had a little over an hour of completely uninterrupted time. I prayed what I should do with my week, and was able to plan some goals for my time.
- uninterrupted time with Jesus- having a luxurious morning of reading and Bible study was kind of chucked out the window after I had the boys. I glean what I can when I can. More on this in a little bit.
- cook only one time and eat leftovers so I’m not stuck in the kitchen,
- work on home school stuff for the semester (once again, with out interruption),
- watch Gilmore Girls to welcome in fall,
- keep up Whole 30,
- take a week off exercising and just chill,
- fill my cup with precious friends & wise words.
I wanted to be refreshed and welcome my kids back to a relaxed mama and a clean house.
So, here are some lessons I learned…
1. I’m not a messy person. This one made me laugh several times. My house stayed clean. Laundry took what I felt like was a millisecond. If something was out of place, I put it back in about a minute. And it stayed in it’s spot!! I realized when I start feeling like I’m a horrible house keeper, I just need to shut that voice up because I am a fantastic house keeper! ha! I have 5 kids!! Who are learning, but s-l-o-w-l-y learning how to clean up. So, I will accept the messy house and not live under that lie anymore!
2. God is the same God in my long drawn out morning studying and soaking in the word as He is in my quick on my knees read a morsel of scripture morning. I have had struggles in the baby and toddler years about my time with Jesus. I get up many mornings around 5 or 5:30 just to be able to spend some time with Him before the first child rises (which is usually around 6am. I will rejoice when they start sleeping in a little bit!) (side note: I did not get up this early when I was waking up with babies during the night. I would grab any and every ounce of sleep as possible. I would seek Jesus during nap time, which many time would lead to me taking a nap.)
Anyway, there were years I would read a verse or two from the Bible. I longed for so much more, though. I longed for the quiet mornings I used to have. I longed to sit and read. The chaos just didn’t allow for that even though I did my very best to carve out a little time to make Jesus first. Guess what…I’m realizing now that He honored that itty bit of time I gave!! He knew it was all I could give and most mornings any and every bit of scripture I read was like water to my weary soul. He multiplied what I gave to Him. It was great to have exorbitant amounts of time this week to spend with Him and read and not rush. But, I didn’t encounter a different God. I encountered the same God. I learned this week to give to Him what I have and He will make much of it. Put Him first even when I don’t think I can, and He will honor it.
3. Ease back into parenthood. We didn’t receive all of the kids back at one time. I am almost certain receiving them all back at once would have been like jumping into an ice cold lake!! SHOCK! We got the girl’s back first, then the boys the next day. Once everyone was home, Chris and I were still somewhat in shock over how loud it was and how trashed our house was in mere hours. LOL!
But, our hearts are full and our time ‘away’ was so refreshing. I would highly recommend doing this for a vacation! It was so wonderful!!
Some other things we did for my records: had our house cleaned!! Glory!! Went to dinner at Outback, Burger Up, Ghengis Grill, and Cracker Barrel. Did some early Christmas shopping for the kids. Went to Shakespeare in the Park with some sweet friends. I met up with a precious friend/mentor/teacher who spoke crazy wisdom and encouragement to me! I went shopping and got a mani/pedi with my mom. And I did all the other wonderful things listed above… pjs, Gilmore Girls, coffee, time with Jesus, cooking, etc.