Being alone has a power that very few people can handle. -Steven Aitchison
Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers. -Unknown
Whatever you do in an ongoing way will shape you and ultimately rule you. -Mark Albrecht (summarized John Owen quote)
Sometimes you just need to get off the grid and get your soul right. -Unknown
As a wife and a mom, it’s no surprise that it can be difficult to find time for myself. With having multiple responsibilities, it can put me into a tailspin if I don’t stop and get my soul right. Here are the three essentials that this mom needs…
MOPS (Mom’s of Pre-schoolers) has been essential for me this past year. MOPS provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere for moms of young ones, like myself, to connect. I have never once regretted going to a MOPS meet-up. The ladies at my table have wonderful, sacrificial hearts. Our bi-weekly meet-ups have provided opportunities to talk, listen, laugh, cry, play games, and encourage one another in the trenches of motherhood. MOPS has been a wonderful way for me to connect with ladies that know exactly what it feels like to be in this stage of life.
Along with MOPS, I have found it is important to stay connected with my friends (some single, some married, some with kids, and some without). It’s hard to find time to meet up with friends, but I know that when we put it in our schedules, it becomes a priority. We make the effort to meet-up, socialize, and share our hearts. Also, staying connected throughout social media is a blessing! It’s fun to share goofy memes, comment on photos, keep up-to-date, and just stay connected through the web when we can’t meet in person.
If you have been reading my blog, you probably know that my husband and I have committed to doing two date nights a month. We put them in our calendar back in February, and we’ve been sticking to them. Like everyone else’s marriage, ours continually needs a relationship-check-in or check-up. We’ve found communication to be extremely important. After having our son, and continuing work, along with other obligations, it can be difficult to find time together. I can’t remember how many dates we had in 2016, but I can tell you, it wasn’t that many.
After making the 2-dates a month commitment, it’s really helped our marriage grow and thrive. We laugh more often, we share our hearts, and we just have fun. It’s a time to be ourselves, away from family obligations, work, and other distractions. It hasn’t been easy to keep these dates throughout the month, and some of them haven’t been “all fun” as life isn’t always gum drops and roses. But, the dates have allowed us to spend time together and learn from one another. It’s a wonderful reminder that we are in this together- for better or for worse.
As a mom, it’s never easy to find time alone. Even when my son is napping, there’s always something gnawing at me- reminding me of all that I need to do. The dishes are calling my name, dinner isn’t ready, the floors are sticky and need to be swept, the laundry is piling up, or that next blog post isn’t coming along as quickly as I would have liked. Life screams at me to keep going, keep hauling, keep trucking along.
Occasionally, I won’t take the quiet time. I tell myself I’ll do it later (which never happens). Or I start thinking of all the things that need to get done for the day and feel overwhelmed at what lies ahead. I lose sight of the BIG picture. I lose sight of what I’m really living for and who I’m living for.
Alone time gives me the ability to think without all the distractions and noise. It reminds me that all of this is temporary. It begs me to look at this day and ask the right question: “What really matters?”
The quiet brings out true emotions, thoughts, and sometimes turmoil. It can be a battle in my mind between accepting the silence or trying to fill it.
The quiet is a reminder that the peace of God is ultimately given in Jesus, not a laundry list of completed tasks.
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7
Let our hearts admit, “I am poor and weak. Satan is too subtle, too cunning, too powerful; he watches constantly for advantages over my soul. The world presses in upon me with all sorts of pressures, pleas, and pretences. My own corruption is violent, tumultuous, enticing, and entangling. As it conceives sin, it wars within me and against me. Occasions and opportunities for temptation are innumerable. No wonder I do not know how deeply involved I have been with sin. Therefore, on God alone will I rely for my keeping. I will continually look to Him. –John Owen