Monday, February 24, 2014

Living the Crazy Life Without Going Crazy

Life is crazy!  I've definitely uttered those words on more than one occasion.  With so much on our plate, it kind of feels like a three-ring circus around here at times.  But, between homeschooling, church, farm chores and responsibilities, doctor appointments, and shopping, life must happen.  And I want to make sure that life is a good one.  With memories for my kids.  And them not having regrets about their crazy mom who made life miserable!

So how do we survive the crazy life without going crazy?  Here are five simple things that have been key for me.  If you have others, I'd love to hear them, so please share!

1.  Spend time with the Lord

Even if it's just singing hymns and praying while milking the cow in the wee hours of the morning.  Or a few Bible verses printed out and hung above the sink you can focus on while washing dishes.  Or a whispered prayer for patience as you discover that the two year old found a marker.  And practiced making lovely circles and lines on the floor of her bedroom. 

My point here is that time with the Lord does not need to be scheduled. It doesn't need to involve all kinds of apps and books and study tools.  You can go to the Lord throughout the day.   Your heart needs to be pointing towards Him all day long.  And that can happen even when life is crazy.  And probably should happen more during those seasons. 

2.  Don't overbook

Just say no.  It's a two letter word that brings much freedom.  No.  Say it with me now.  NO! 

Skip the family function.  Stay home from the monthly Bible study.  Don't  feel pressured to join in on every homeschooling group that meets in your area. 

Those three things can all be good things.  But if they are the tipping point for your mental stability, and the health of your family, they are not worth it.  Period.  Don't drag your family off in every direction if you don't have to.  It's better to skip something than to be totally stressed over it. 

We've said no to what others would consider important.  No--Owen no longer goes to therapy.  Driving all over the countryside to see an OT, a PT and a speech therapist just wasn't worth it.  We did it for many years.  I wish I would have learned to say no sooner!

We also ditched a couple of specialists. The geneticist for example.  We're supposed to be seeing her annually still.  But you know what?  She didn't really do anything for us or Owen once she made the diagnosis.  So we said no a few years back. 

Embrace the items on your plate.  Let go of what you can.  And learn to say no.  There will likely be a season in life when you can say yes again.  But until then...use those two letters. 

3.  Keep life simple where you can

Gourmet meals?  Nope--they don't happen.   Beautifully ironed pillowcase?  Nope--won't find those here!  Wonderfully planned out intricate homeschool lessons that take hours and hours to complete?  Again, nope. 

I make it a point to simplify life where possible.  Life is crazy enough on its own without me going and creating more crazy.  Simple meals.  Simple cleaning.  Simple schooling.  It's good enough. 

4.  Embrace the moments more

Some days we just stop.  And purpose to enjoy each other.  We stay in jammies all day.  We eat popcorn for lunch and veg with a movie for quiet time.  We do the essential chores and let everything else go.  It'll all be waiting for me tomorrow--I promise you that much! 

But my kids?  They are growing.  They won't always be here longing for me to play tractors.  They won't always want to sit and snuggle up together with a movie.

Jayme is already 12.  The years with kids in the house are fleeting.  Enjoy every moment that you can. 

Spend time together whenever possible.  Have helpers in the kitchen.  Clean together.   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 are supposed to be doing it with. Don't live life on auto-pilot, mindlessly moving from one task to another on your never ending to do list.   

5. Add some humor

Take time to laugh.  Laugh with your spouse.  Laugh with your kids.  Enjoy the work that you are doing.  Race to feed the chickens.  See who can blow the biggest bubble with the soap you're washing dishes with. It might add a step 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. 

Just remember...sometimes you can't take away the crazy. So learn to embrace it.  I sure wouldn't trade my crazy life.  I love it! 

Who knows...maybe that just proves that I am crazy!

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