Purging-- Our Lives

Before I delve into this "hot topic" I wanted to first answer a question I received over the past few days. For those of you wondering why "for the glory of God" wasn't in Our Family Motto, here is your answer: our motto is not our statement of faith. While crafting it, David and I did discuss if we should add that phrase. Ultimately we concluded  1) that "to God's glory" is an understood expectation within our house and 2) that is why stewardship is so key to our motto. We are stewards of our resources, our possessions, our finances, our time. He has given them to us but we are accountable to Him for what we do with them. Friends, we daily strive to live lives of glory to Jesus Christ. Our motto was never intended for a larger audience than the three of us. As a family, we have a certain level of understanding both the written and unwritten within it. However, I encourage you to write your own family motto and include whatever you know will be most helpful in keeping your perspective in check.

Keeping perspective is exactly what has caused us to purge our lives (including schedule, free time, commitments, etc.). This was not not an overnight decision but a process we've been working on for about 9 months. This has many parts and layers, and I'll do my best to explain without writing a book, but if I miss something, feel free to ask.

        One of the things we value most is time together and being home. So we set-up a couple boundaries:
  • Have dinner as a family as close to five nights a week as possible.
  • No more than two evenings out Mon.-Fri.
  • No more than 2 activities per child per week.
        The consequences of such a commitment mean that we typically have family dinner 5 nights a week. While David has a Men's Accountability Group biweekly, and I enjoy knitting on Wednesdays, we try to have them occur on opposite weeks. For us, this keeps our weeks from feeling hectic and provides needed downtime and togetherness before the business of the next day.
         Another practical step is that I have a day set aside for appointments. I always try to schedule doctor's appointments, haircuts, and the like for Wednesdays. It's simply the day in our daily life that works best for handling such matters. Since we only have one child, it's been relatively easy to  limit the amount of things Tabitha and I participate in during the day. However, we have had to say no to some fun, good things but our life is much more peaceful for not always chasing after our calendar.

       You may be asking, isn't time actually part of scheduling? Yes and no. For David and I, time is an important commodity. To fully implement our family motto--especially the "lives of faithful stewardship"-- we have had to become more aware of how our time is spent. I for one have been much more aware of the time I spend on the computer. In part, that is why this blog has been quiet. I needed to be spending less time surfing and more time serving my family. While David and I love spending time together, we each need healthy doses of alone time; particularly David. We have had to work together to come up with morning and evening routines that allow us to rejuvenate ourselves emotionally so that we can better love one another.
         We also place great value on our hobbies. In part, it is our hobbies that help to refresh us daily. Just like devotions our daily hobby time is vital to our personal well-being. To ensure that this happens, David has been rising earlier to get Lego build time in before work. I use the hour after Tabitha is in bed to knit. It's a happy little arrangement that keeps our house moving smoothly.

Because of our choices and the way we've structured our days, we have time to embrace the unexpected. A few weeks back, we were able to help others when they were dealing with flooding.   My brother is getting married on Saturday (yeah!) and we've been able to help with moving, wedding details, and other last minute type things because we had room in our lives for others. See, all this scheduling and time management isn't about being controlling or living a perfect routine, it's about taking care of what is important had having the flexibility to change our schedule as necessary. Ultimately, it's about putting relationship with others first.

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