I've been making an attempt to better my life in several ways. I hope and pray that the richness of these changes will continue to bless my life through perseverance.
1. I've been waking up at 5:45 rather than 6:30/7:00, which is when the kids wake up. This leaves more time for prayer, bible reading, journaling and spending time with my husband (and drinking my hot coffee in peace). Though difficult to waken, I've had more energy throughout the day (surprisingly) and more time with God. The benefits of this routine has been beyond refreshing and rejuvenating, even though my sleep is less.
2. Walking in the mornings has been something I have been doing, too. Patrick watches the kids for about 30 minutes while I enjoy some peace in the morning. This has been good for my physical well being and my mental health before I start the day with 3 young kids.
3. I've been reading more quality books. I absolutely love fiction. I love fiction that is easy to read with some kind of love story mixed in. It's a crutch for me because I can get so engrossed that my other tasks are neglected. Since vacation, I haven't picked up a "brain-candy" novel. My good friend (one-time local friend, now cyber friend), Kelly, recommended "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss and this book just totally changed my life. I devoured it over the course of my vacation in August, succumbing to tears a few times and felt challenged to change many of these habits I'm listing now. I'm actually reading the book again in my devotion time, highlighting passages that have brought me to my knees. I'll have to blog about this more later, but in the meantime, I've read other books way out of my comfort zone that have been enjoyable for many reasons. Since vacation, I have read "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen and "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both classics I used to turn my nose to. I'm hoping to add more classics to my list, though now I'm going to read "The Attitudes of a Transformed Heart" by Martha Peace, a book I started a while ago but didn't have the attention to finish. I will most likely read "Restorations" by my good friend Susan Ball. This is her first work of fiction and in her support, I will purchase it and read it (no need to twist my arm here!). Congrats to Susan for this accomplishment!
4. I've been eliminating the amount of TV I watch. I still watch some of Dancing with the Stars, though not much since Mondays are busy, and I watch The Biggest Loser while folding laundry on Tuesday evenings (I spent 2 hours folding 6 loads of laundry last night!!!). I watch The Office, too on Thursdays. You know, I've been hardly watching football this year. I just can't sit down for that long to watch a game. With the children and other commitments and a hubs who doesn't really care about football, it's just something that has been phasing out. I'll watch my Gators when I can, though. I do watch a movie almost every weekend with my husband. We've had a lot of fun together in our newly "enhanced" basement and have enjoyed classics and new movies that have been fun to experience together.
These are the main habits that have been changed. I still have a lot to do, though. I need to find more time to spend with the kids rather than clean, straighten, check Facebook, email, etc. I need to start considering homeschooling options.
Also, my husband is starting a new job on Monday that is going to "encourage" us to change our spending habits, though the benefits of this will be great, leading us to be better stewards of what God has so richly blessed us with and increasing our faith in Christ.
God is good. I'm glad I've been prompted to eliminate that which is frivolous and replace with that which is richer. It's a discipline. And I pray that God will lead me to encouraging others to do the same. You wonder how you will survive with the things that give you pleasure but have nothing to do with building relationships, serving, or honoring God. I've wondered it but continue to choose to go on with my changes. And do you know what? There is a lot of frivolity that has been removed and I don't miss it.
Glory be to God.