Knowing we've had big changes ahead for our family, I've taken time to prioritize and slow down the pace. I want to enjoy this season in our lives. I want to take time for what's important and leave off what is not. I want to relax and have fun together while we build and move. There is much work to do, but I didn't want it to be rush, rush, rush!
First, I began by asking myself what my priorities are and what really matters to me. God is, of course, the most important. He is our very existence. Going against or leaving Him out of our plans is not an option. That only calls for hard times and no peace. So many times, it is easy for us to get busy and tied up with our own lives that we forget the one who blesses us with life. He will lead and guide us into the best ways if we let Him!
Secondly, family fits in. My relationship with Nathan and our children is tops! If Nathan and I don't make time for us, everything else will surely suffer. All of us having fun together is also a must. These were two very important priorities that I was determined to keep up! This would require us visiting and helping with the building progress constantly. Family meals have now turned into easier dishes. We are all still sitting down together though, and that's what makes it special. Dates have turned into Home Depot runs with all of the kiddos in tow! lol You should see the looks we get pushing/pulling 4 carts with a kid on each one and still another walking with us! I am truly blessed with a lot of smiles at how well they are behaving with us taking several hours picking out and deciding what to buy. The extra riding has given us opportunity to talk or else sing at the top of our lungs! It has all been fun!
Next, our life revolves around our church activities. We are planning a Homecoming & revival this month. Plus, this week will be the completion of our first building project. Everyone has really pulled their weight to work and make that possible. I appreciate the labor that has been put forth by various members and especially the ladies who volunteered to decorate! I never even had to think about it and what was picked out is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to see it all come together in next few days!!!
The last thing I had to learn has been the hardest lesson~to let go of everything else! There are so many "extras" and opportunities that come by grabbing at you that really don't even further your goals in life. I have always been a very social person, so this has been the ultimate hurdle. I have learned that we do not have to attend every single invited event. Now that I have started weeding things out, I am having to make myself go to anything at all! lol It's crazy! It's just like I've let that go. Our family of 7 (and those that are so close that they are family) gets our attention. That's it. I'm over it. We make time for those who we have a special relationship with. Other invitations literally go straight into the trash. Some things no longer seem as vital as they use to be. Before long, we'll probably be invited to less and less! Hehehe! What a blessing that would be! Please don't take that wrong. I don't mean this as selfish at all. In fact, we encourage giving time for others. It just is more meaningful things than useless, empty activity. In the past few weeks, we've fed more strangers (those hired to work various jobs on the new construction) at our table than ever before! The kids rush around all excited before hand. They much more willfully help pick up the house and set out the dishes. They help plan and mix up special desserts. They giggle silly and anticipate someone new coming in. Seeing their reaction and eagerness to serve people they don't even know has been long overdue just because before we were "too busy." I've learned through this that if we put things off by being so caught up in the swift pace of this world, the opportunity to instill these values in their young hearts will soon be gone as our time vanishes away. The enemy of our soul will be slyly stealing our gift of time. I've pondered a statement that a church elder often shared, "People usually do exactly what they want to do." This is so profound!!! If we don't prioritize and do those things that we know to do that is so simple yet right and wholesome, will we ever get around to it? It's so easy to put things off~especially special times for our spouse and children because we easily take for granted that we will have much time to share with them later...Sadly, most often those works we put off usually go undone. So here lately, it has been a joy to just stop everything and actually do something as simple as going outside gazing up at the stars together before bedtime. If we don't, will our children ever slow down enough to stand in awe at such miraculous creation?
Thus far, this has been a wonderful journey! God has truly strengthened us! Like today, I can hardly believe what all has been accomplished~reading & praying, a few loads of laundry, lots of ironing caught up, picked up the new central unit that we ordered & hung 1/2 of the new playroom walls for the shop, home cooked meal, returned a large load of unused materials to Lowes, picked up some other materials at the hardware store, drove an hour to the hospital to visit our newest church member (a beautiful, precious baby girl) & an elderly man that is there sick, a visit to my parent's on our way by, & still we were at home at a descent time with all the littles in bed asleep! I am relaxing in the quiet now and very thankful! I am happy to be slowing down our pace, embracing our dreams, and fully living in the joy of each moment. I haven't missed even one "hurry, hurry, hurry!"