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Life is crazy!
I’ve definitely uttered those words on more than one occasion. With so much going on, it kind of feels like a three-ring circus around here sometimes.
Between homeschooling, growing a business, beginning deputation to share our ministry to Missionary Acres, farm chores, doctor/dentist appointments, and everything else, it’s a little hectic. But, I don’t want our kids to grow up remembering that life was crazy. Or that Mom was miserable.
I want to make sure that even amidst the chaos, we always prioritize the here and now. I want us to build memories and enjoy life – embracing the crazy times as we go.
How do we survive the crazy life without going crazy? Here are five simple things that are key for my sanity (especially when life is hectic!)
Prioritize Time with the Lord
I may not always have thirty minutes of dedicated time to spend reading my Bible or praying. That’s not the season of life I’m in right now.
What I can do, is ensure I’m making time with God a priority. Even if it’s just singing hymns while doing farm chores, or reading a verse before I start making dinner so I can meditate on it while I’m waiting on the meat to brown.
I can make sure I’m taking my stress and fears and worries to God instead of clinging to them. A whispered prayer for patience when I discover the one-year old with a sharpie on the table can work wonders.
Time with God doesn’t need to be scheduled. It doesn’t need to involve apps, books, or study tools.
You don’t have to be in a quiet room to ask the Lord for strength.
Keep your heart pointed to God all day long, no matter what the day brings. You need Him to make it through the crazy times without going crazy.
Just say no.
It’s a two letter word that is so freeing. Say it with me now. NO!
Skip the family get together. Stay home from the weekly play date.
Don’t feel pressured to join every homeschooling group that meets in your area.
These things can all be good. But, if they are the tipping point for your mental stability, and the health of your family, they are NOT worth it.
Don’t drag your family off every which way if you don’t have to. It’s better to skip somethings than to be totally stressed.
We’ve said no to what others would consider important.
We’ve told some of Owen’s specialists that we wouldn’t be coming back. We were supposed to see the geneticist annually.
We decided going to see her wasn’t going to change Owen’s diagnosis. It wasn’t going to provide more insight on Owen. She’s not an Angelman Syndrome expert.
And we decided the stress over yet another appointment was just too much. So we said no a few years back when they asked us to schedule. And we haven’t been back since.
There are years when I make it to our church’s monthly Ladies’ Bible Study. And there are years (like this one) when I can’t.
Yes, I miss the fellowship. But I know there will be seasons of life where I can go regularly. I’m thankful for that truth!
Embrace the things on your plate. But, remember to let go of what you can.
You need to make the decisions that are best for your family, not what you think others think is the best.
Gourmet meals? Nope!
Beautifully ironed pillowcases? Nope! Those are definitely no where to be found in this house.
Wonderfully planned out, intricate homeschool lessons? Nope. Those are missing too.
I make it a point to keep life as simple as possible. That means streamlining everything that I can.
Life is crazy enough on its own without me going and creating more crazy.
Simple meals, simple cleaning schedules, simple school.
It’s good enough. Even if Pinterest tries to convince me that it’s not.
Need some help in this area? Here are four of my top tips for streamlining:
I highly recommend annual meal planning. We are on our sixth annual meal plan, and it’s freed up so much time. And helped preserve my sanity.
We also have an annual chore chart. The kids and I keep the same chores for a year. I’m not constantly trying to teach them new things or remember who was supposed to do what. And they get to practice enough that they actually master the skill.
Stay off of social media if it discourages you. If scrolling through Pinterest or Facebook makes you feel inadequate, stop scrolling. Live the life you have, not the one everyone else appears to.
Make your mornings count. They really do set the tone for your day. But, they don’t have to take all of your energy to do so! Mornings don’t have to be complicated.
I love the work Crystal Paine does in this area. She’s such an encouragement! You can sign up for her 5 Days to a Better Morning Challenge here.
You can find her popular course, Make Over Your Mornings, here.
Intentionally Make Memories
Some days we just need to stop and purposefully enjoy each other. We do something different, like staying in our jammies all day. Sometimes we eat popcorn for lunch. Or skip “school” to play games.
We still do the “must dos” like farm chores and cleaning the bathroom on these days. But, we let some other things slide. They’ll still be waiting for us later.
My kids though? They are growing. Quickly.
My Jayme is already 17. She’s talking about college and prepping for the ACT.
My time with my kids is fleeting.
And getting so caught up in my crazy life that I completely miss spending time with my kids is not what I want.
Don’t let the crazy suck you in. Fight back. And make some memories. Do something different. And love on your kids whenever you can.
And don’t worry. You don’t have to do something different to make memories. Just focus on intentionally spending time together.
Have your kids help in the kitchen. Talk about their hopes and dreams while you fold laundry.
Clean together, and have a race to see who can sweep one area of the room the fastest.
These little moments add up to a lifetime of memories.
Don’t be in such a rush to get everything done that you miss the people you’re supposed to be doing life with.
Don’t live life on auto-pilot, mindlessly moving from one task to another on your never ending to-do list.
Instead, take time to do your list together. Scrap the list occasionally and just have fun.
Love your life and the people around you.
Add Some Humor
Take time to laugh. Laugh with your spouse. Laugh with your kids.
Enjoy the work that you are doing. Race each other. See who can blow the biggest bubble with the soap you’re washing dishes with.
Humor is also a great way to diffuse kids on the verge of a tantrum. Is the toddler having trouble getting his arm in his coat and getting frustrated? Pretend his hand is missing and you’re looking for it.
The laughs will soon come, and you can help get the arm where it belongs.
Don’t be so serious all the time. Pretend. Let your kids see your goofy side.
It might add a minute or two to your tasks, but it’ll make your spirit lighter. And sometimes a light spirit and a good laugh is all that stands between me and the loony bin.
Remember…sometimes you can’t take away the crazy!
Life happens. Kids get sick. Work gets busy.
So since you can’t take away the crazy, learn to embrace it.
I wouldn’t trade my crazy life for anything. I love it!
Who know? Maybe that means I really am crazy! 😀
This post was originally posted five years ago. It’s been updated and refreshed.