Do you wonder at the tiny green grasses budding up in sleepy flower beds? Do you notice the tiny pinkish green buds on winter weary branches? The cry of soon-to-be mama birds in the dawn hours working to get those worms and seeds? The joys of spring are my favorite soul-quieting times each year.
You see, we get so bogged down. The dying, the quiet, the cold of winter while majestic in it’s stark beauty makes us yearn for warmth and light. Like having a house full of clutter, too many blankets, a room filled with too many toys, and even too many books can make us feel overwhelmed and longing for the soft whispers of new life emerging in the buds of the first Dogwoods of spring.
How can we, as weary and busy and over-wintered mothers, capture and hold on to that newness every day?
Capturing Life Every Day
These are simple ways I’ve found to keep our home full of joy and emptied of the burdens of that weigh on me. The things that make me feel light may be different from the things that make you feel like dancing, but the idea is the same. Lighten your load and watch the joy come in.
- Clear the clutter regularly. Our home feels like a catch-all drawer sometimes. I have been using the Konmarie method (I highly recommend it!) for several months now. It seems like it’s a never-ending task between my boys, my husband’s hobbies, and my own love of art supplies and crafting. However, keeping our wardrobes minimal, out-grown clothes gone through, and giving away or donating toys and books we no longer use has helped keep down the mess that I struggled with for so long. When things begin to pile up, I feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed. It spills over into everything, including my attitude. Keeping out home clutter free helps keep me in a good frame of mind. As a mom, that is very important! How we approach each day determines the dynamics of our entire household.
- Make time to breath. I choose to take a few minutes every morning to read a devotional before my feet ever hit the floor. I choose to make time to work out several days a week. I choose to make time to connect and snuggle with my boys outside of school work, often during tea. I choose to end my days with readings from Psalms and sometimes Bible Journaling. I make the time to keep my own cup filled because I have learned the hard way that living from a place of overwhelm is both painful and damaging to my self and to those I love.
- Kick guilt out. While you’re at it, give perfection the boot, too. Grace is a learned virtue. None of us are born with the innate ability for give others grace. None of us are spoon fed the ability to give ourselves grace, either. Stop feeling guilty for not measuring up to the ideal you in your head. We all have areas we want to work on, areas that do need attention and improvement. We need to hang up the cape and the idea that any one of us was ever meant to be Super Mom, capable of being everything to everyone while maintaining a perfect home and manicure.
- Accept your own limits and hold firm to your yes and no. We all have limits. There is no glory in burning out. My two favorite books on this (also available on Audible!) are Breaking Busy and The Best Yes. Between the two, I have finally given myself permission to outsource a few things I needed off my plate. An example is a blog redesign that is coming soon and a sitter a few times a month so I can feed my introvert side some quiet time. I’ve got a list of current commitments that I have already decided to say no to renewing. They are good things, but they aren’t the best things for myself and my family. Not every good thing that comes your way is meant to be yours. That’s OK.
How do you keep burnout at bay? Share with us!
Join in the Everyday Graces book club starting March 31st, 2016 with The Lifegiving Home! Discussion on Everyday Graces post and the Facebook Group (click to join the closed group) on Thursdays with Scopes to recap and dive deeper on Tuesdays. Chapters 1&2 will be covered Thursday, March 31st. I can’t wait to see you there. #EGreads across all social media channels to keep up with our discussion there.