It's the new word that guides much of what I do. The Lord has been showing me that there were certain areas of my life that I needed to be intentional about making happen. Too often I was just hoping that they would happen and they never did. I recently wrote in my journal about the areas I wanted to improve in. They were:
*playing with Graham and Reed
*weekly date nights with Anthony
*getting up early to have my time with God
Here's how I'm hoping to become more intentional in these areas:
*Playing with Graham and Reed: It might seem surprising that this would be on my list. I'm a stay at home mom. Aren't I playing with them all the time? It just seems like the "things to do" always get in the way and so many nights I go to bed feeling guilty that I didn't sit and play with them. Then there are the times when I do play with them and I feel guilty that I'm not doing one of the 1000 things on my mental to-do list.
To get beyond this, I'm trying really hard to get past the guilt. It's certainly not accomplishing anything. I'm trying to make it more of a priority to stop what I'm working on when they wake up from naps and play a little before I work on dinner. I'd love to play again after dinner, but I don't want to set the standard too high! I know it won't be achieved everyday. But the days it does, I know I'll feel good :)
*Weekly date nights: This is being accomplished with Project 52: Date Nights. I know we're enjoying it!
*Teaching Graham: He goes to preschool twice a week, but I've been trying to do more specific learning activities with him as well. I'll do a more detailed post about this in the days to come, but many of the ideas I'm using have come from ABC Jesus Loves Me and The Letter of the Week Curriculum. Both are free resources that I've taken the parts that I really like. We're still working on finding the right combination of activities to keep his attention. Some days he has does 5 minutes and others have been much longer. I've been enjoying this time with him.
*Memorizing Scripture: I can't find it now, but I was working on some Awana stuff and read a quote that said I can't expect these kids to learn if I'm not doing it myself. (**updated: I found the link!) What a slap in the face. I've known that I needed to work harder at this. I am learning the verses that Graham has to learn as well as the ones the kids in my group learn, but most of this was just from teaching it to them. I wasn't being intentional about learning verses for myself.
I recently read a series of blog posts on memorization that led me to this video:
and a link to this scripture memory system. I think this system will really work for me. I made my dividers and found an index card binder rather than box to store them in. My plan is to write the verse on the front and the first letters of each word in the verse on the back. I hope I'm able to stick with it and most important hide His Words in my heart!
*Getting up early to have my time with God: I didn't want to do this. I decided a couple of weeks ago to give it a try. For the first time since Reed had been born, I set my alarm. Since I've started, the boys have been sleeping a little later (although now that the clocks have changed that might not be the case) so I've been able to have a time of prayer and reading the Word that is mostly uninterrupted. By the time I'm done they are both awake. Some mornings Graham has curled up on the couch with me and we pray together. It's becoming a sweet time of day that I am looking forward to. Now we are working on filling in all of the other things that need to happen in the morning to cultivate an efficient and effective morning routine.
I found this post with a recommendation for this e-book to help maximize the morning. I have not read it yet, but hope to go through it soon.