Over the years I have taken time to study the some of the most productive, efficient people in the world. I especially take note of women in their thirties with younger children (a little older than mine) who seem to be thriving and walking in some measure of success, be it in blogging, career, ministry, marriage, parenting etc.
From my observations and seeking wisdom from the Lord, here are the five things I do every day to help me live the most purposeful life I can, during a somewhat unpredictable season of child rearing!
- Rise Early – This has been a battle for most of my mothering life. My kids have always woken up really early! No matter what time I put them to bed, or how I try to move their schedules, it’s generally very early! That said, my daily prayer is that they will sleep until 6 a.m. I set my alarm for 5 a.m. every morning.
I heard a lovely little analogy from Seth Dahl. He said something to the effect that “mornings are like sunrises – they happen every day but never look the same.”
That is very true about my morning routine. While others find strength in sticking to theirs, I have to give myself grace to be flexible with mine.
On an ideal day, I will wake up, drink my coffee while I read my bible, journal, pray and hopefully write a few points down in my 1,000 gifts journal. If the house is still quiet, I will write a quick plan for the day (which looks different depending if it’s a work day, stay at home mom day, school day, etc) and empty the dishwasher.
Generally by this time someone is awake and I try to cuddle each of my kids for a few minutes when they first wake up.
- Get ready every single day. I can probably count on one (well maybe two) hands how many times I haven’t done my make up since having babies. For me, it is an outward expression that the day will not conquer me and that I have beauty and grace to face it. Plus, I feel better, so for me, it’s a must!
- Drink water. I endeavor to drink one litre by noon and one litre by evening. If I start to feel abnormally anxious, chances are I’ve had too much coffee and not enough water.
- Live for others. I read a book once called “the 7 habits of highly effective people” and the main point he came down to was that highly effective people live with integrity and character and seek to do what is right. For me, this is based out of a love relationship with Jesus Christ. I try to do something for someone else every day. It might be small, it might be big. It might be in my family, it might not be. I find that even if I’m overwhelmed, it takes my eyes off my own problems and onto my purpose for being on earth!
- Guard my evenings. I have only realized this is important in the last few months.
Because of the time my kids wake up and the intensity of our days, I cannot stay up late and I cannot be over committed! Every evening as we finish getting the kids to bed we make sure that the house is “back to straight”, the kitchen is clean and dishwasher going. I prep my coffee for the next morning so I literally just have to press a button when I come down at 5 a.m the next morning. And to stay on track with laundry, we make sure that the wash has been switched and the dryer is rolling!
There are many more things I value, like exercise and dating my husband, but these are things I do every day. I hope they are helpful to you and not overwhelming! When I first started looking into how other women did life, I was frankly overwhelmed. But I had added in each of these pieces one at a time over the years, and now it’s all very natural.
Depending on your season you could ask yourself: What’s one thing I can pick to focus on to help me move from surviving to thriving?