Friday, October 22, 2010

My Cause

For quite a while now, I have been really trying to find my cause. I know that we are all here for a lot of the same reasons, but I personally believe that since we are all individuals, we also have special individual things the Lord wants us to be doing. Using our talents and passions to help others, to make the world a better place.

I have always been a person that falls in love with just about anything I am doing whether it's gardening, cooking, crafting, sports, health, reading, music, art, relationships, service, whatever. You name it, I almost always love it. This makes for a very fun and joyful life for me, but at times a little confusing. What is my personal cause? What are my special talents? What does the Lord want me to do during my time here on earth?

Then I began working with the Power of Moms, and I received the conformation and may have been coming for awhile: my biggest passion in my life is the people I love. My family. Since becoming a wife and mother I have always delved into countless parenting and marriage books and information of all sorts, always trying so hard to be the very best wife and mother I can be. I want so desperately to give my husband and kids the best life experience possible. I want countless happy memories. I want to be a good example of a strong value system and testimony, a good marriage and parent, a good friend, good health, humility, service, etc. I feel so blessed to have the parents I did....I had such a happy, fulfilling childhood that truly gave me what I felt like was the best start possible. I want so much to give that and so much more to my own sweet little angels that Heavenly Father has entrusted me to raise and care for and love.

This world we live in is so completely beautiful. There are so many wonderful things at our fingertips. So much information and opportunity to learn and connect with others. So much opportunity for growth.

But this world is also very daunting. It seems that lurking just around every good corner, are so many evil, scary, confusing things that some seem to face and conquer without a hitch, and others seem to cower to and fall away into despair. There are so many bad choices a person can make that are so full of so many scary and negative consequences that cause so much heartache and grief.

How do you protect your children? How do you teach them to know for themselves what's right? More importantly, how do you teach them to want to do what's right? How do you give them the strength of character, conviction and courage to truly be all they can be?

Then I realized, this is my cause.

My family.

These people whom I care so deeply for, whom I so passionately desire to teach and raise and love the right way. The way my Heavenly Father wants me to.

Maybe that's why he made me an oldest child as well as a mother. I don't doubt all that experience as "big sister" has helped me immensely as a mom. Who knows?

Then I began to pray. I prayed more than I ever have in my life. I prayed for guidance, direction, and humility. I prayed that I would be led to do things that would help my family, and possibly someone else's family too. I prayed to know how I could use my cause to follow the Lord's will.

Shortly after this prayer I received an email from the Power of Moms website inviting moms everywhere to apply to join the board of moms contributing to the website.  I had never done anything like this before, but felt so strongly about the purpose and direction of the website.  I felt so compelled to apply that I did despite my inexperience.  I wanted so badly to contribute to the cause somehow and also rub shoulders with women around the world that shared my same passion for family.  My mom called a couple hours later telling me about the same opportunity and wouldn't you know? She applied too, for the same position!  We immediately emailed the board and asked to but put in together if either of us were picked. A few weeks later, we were asked to be the Family Values Co-Managers for Power of Moms.  Total dream come true (even though it wasn't a dream I realized I had at the time.). 

This year has been an exceptionally busy year for us, so I wish I could say I've taken the ball and run everywhere I wanted with it, but I haven't quite yet.  I feel like I'm getting there though.  It's very challenging and intimidating for me to do something and feel so completely clueless as to how to do it.  But I feel the ball starting to roll now and suddenly I am bursting with new ideas and even stronger conviction that this is where I am meant to be.

Just a week ago, I received an email from the Power of Moms ambassador.  She also happens to be in charge of a pilot program for the LDS church.  She has been loving what my mom and I have been doing and asked us if we could help her compile a book and a course study for the missionaries to begin teaching "Family Skills".  She has also gotten permission to reference/use anything from Power of Moms and Values Parenting(one of my other favorite websites). I guess the church feels like there is a real need for a program to aid families, especially in certain areas of the world were media is especially harmful.  This lady in charge of it sounds like such an amazing person.  She is running the church's pilot program in Japan and once it's ready it will be taken worldwide.  I am SO excited to see/help it all come together!  One amazing opportunity after another.  I don't know too much yet.  My mom and I tried Skype with Melanie last week but we had some connection problems and she had her sixth baby the next day.  In the meantime I am furiously trying to collect my thoughts and information from any source I can while still struggling to get this month's value updates.  So busy, but SO fulfilling!

This has made so many things I have been struggling to make sense of come together more in my mind.  I won't go into the details now, but I will say I know for a fact that the Lord has been preparing me to work on these things for a long time(both the website and the course, I mean).  I am hoping and working on slowing my life down a little more so I will have the time I need to work on both things more.  I think blogging will help me get some more/better writing juices going on in my brain, in addition to helping me plan for that time.  Any suggestions for fitting in computer time with small children would be helpful.  So far I only seem to steal a little time late at night while everyone is sleeping, which makes for a very tired mommy.  Tired but happy and excited.

I feel so blessed to finally reach a little moment of clarity.  And extremely excited to see this program come together and Power of Moms grow.  Wish me luck on my new endeavor.  And feel free to support me by paying a few visits Power of Moms over the next few months (and I'm sure after that you'll be hooked in this website like I am) and give me LOTS of feedback and suggestions of your own.  Two heads is better than one, and more is even better right?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Schedule - Finding Balance

I have been learning the hard way that I forgot how busy a baby keeps you, especially when there are other kids in the house. I have been trying my best to keep up on my own, but to no avail. I finally sat down one day a month or so ago and made this little beauty:

My Daily Schedule
5:30 am: get up, get dressed, exercise, shower, pump
6:55 am: breakfast prep, Flylady, feed/train Tucker (Wes walks him in the morning), feed kittens and chickens
7:30 am: boys up, breakfast, family prayers and scriptures*
8:00 am: boys get dressed and do morning chores
8:30 am: leave or free time
12:00 pm: home, lunch, dinner prep
1:00 pm: boys' naps, Flylady, brush Tucker, free time
3:00 pm: snack, free time for boys, massage Jonah, baths for boys, fix dinner
5:30 pm: dinner
6:00 pm: evening jobs, playtime, walk Tucker
7:30 pm: feed Tucker and kitties, bedtime - stories, prayer, Happies and Sads, etc.
8:00 pm: lights out for bog boys, Jonah's bath and bedtime
8:30 pm: laundry and cleanup, pack lunches for following day
9:00 pm: clean M.O.M. inbox, free time
9:30 pm: get ready for bed
*night shifts for Wes, do scriptures at breakfast, day shifts for Wes, do scriptures at dinner

And also this beauty:

My Weekly Schedule
Monday: Joyschool for boys (I teach every other week), me errands or housework, Wes drives boys every other Monday

Tuesday: Carmen cleans - run errands or take the boys somewhere fun, FHE, MonaVie meetings or conference call, volleyball night for Wes (the last three things are after kids are in bed)

Wednesday: Joyschool - cuddle time at the library with Jonah, office work day

Thursday: MOPS every other week, on off week Wes takes the boys out for the morning, volleyball night for me

Friday: swap with mom (the person who teaches Joyschool that week gets three hours of free babysitting each Friday morning to run errands without kids), Family Fun Day (the boys and I do something fun on Fridays, and we have a movie/pizza picnic night on the Fridays Wes works late. We always try to do something fun together as a family also.)

Saturday: chores, Sunday prep, bathe/clean all pets, date night :)

Sunday: church, Sunday Sessions, family conference, goals, spiritual sharing, interviews, monthly testimony meeting, Sunday Saw Sharpening (we plan the week ahead - each taking time to ourselves to prepare for the upcoming week.)

This makes me laugh because it seems so impossible to me. Maybe because I am currently getting up four to five times a night nursing a baby. Maybe because Wes works eight straight days and then has four days off the following week. When Wes is off, I have a hard time having the discipline to follow the schedule. I want to snuggle him in bed, I want to finish undone projects, he has business meetings, we want to make sure we have extra family time, etc. It's amazing to me that when I put it down on paper, I am amazed at how much I really do get done during the day and that I ever fit in any extra fun things.

But I also see how possible this is. I see that if I can have the discipline (and flexibility when need be), I can take care of my health and our health, spiritually, physically, and mentally, have both scheduled and non-scheduled quality time together, and I can really prioritize my time. I have always resisted organization my whole life, but as I get older I have seen how freeing it really can be. I have been learning, thanks to Mind Organization for Moms, when I can let things go and when I need to stay focused (or course you can never completely have control because that life, especially life with kids), and when and what I can commit myself to. I see my weaknesses and strengths easier. Following a loosely rigid schedule I can actually relax and not try to be so hyper-productive. I am better able to enjoy the good things in life.

I noticed something a little while back when the Relief Society went to the Bishops' Storehouse to volunteer: the church is extremely, extremely, organized. It is a well-oiled machine that is able to give so much. So much time, energy, money, focus, and most importantly, LOVE. God organized this earth and everything in it. I'm starting to see that organizing beyond the basic "to do" list is not just essential, it's a godlike quality. It enables you to do and have so much more.

I do not believe in being overly rigid. But I do believe in trying to have a consistent routine in life with kids...well, family life in general. In my experience, it makes for much more peace and love and joy in the home. It helps with the inevitable in life: change, which happens all day every day. Trying to stay as consistent as possible helps bring the family security and reduce stress so that when change happens, it doesn't turn your world so upside down. I only wish I had learned this sooner. (And I wish right now I could drag my tush out of bed early enough to really have time to pump. But I'm valuing my "sleeping in" a little too much right now. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it.)

I have been skipping naptime quite a bit lately, as well as pushing back bedtime more and more. I can't even begin to describe the amount of stress and fatigue and the lack of productivity this has caused everyone in our family. I am exhausted enough without dealing with exhausted kids also. I am recommitting myself to do my best to stick to this schedule for a good two weeks, allowing for the flexibility when need be, but not spontaneously throwing it aside for something more fun. I am definitely a "yellow/blue" personality, and my "yellow" comes out a lot when an opportunity for something fun presents itself. Spontaneity is NOT my problem, so I think I will be just fine trying to be a little more rigid than normal. I'm hopeing it willhelp me gear up better for the holidays...have less stress and more time for meaningful things.

Wish me luck on my endeavor. I will be tweaking my schedule once a week. Maybe after a few weeks I will be able to see if there's anything I need to eliminate or delegate. I am excited to get control back, be working on things more meaningful to me, and have a good rhythm going in our family life throughout the holidays. What a gift that would be for everyone!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Power of Moms

For a year or so now, I have been a huge fan of a website. There are so many good websites out there, but this one is truly unique. This website is called "The Power of Moms" and you can find it here: http://here/ 

I love SO many things about it that I don't know where to start! Maybe the first thing that sparked my interest is that it's run by one of the Eyres. If you know me at all, you know what a HUGE Eyre fan I am. (It takes an amazing group of people to do all they've done, and you can bet that I'm going to try to soak in from everywhere I can all the good ideas and systems that they've implemented with their families. Someone's doing something right over there and that's for sure!)

This website is designed for one sole purpose: to unite, uplift, and improve mothers across the globe. What a noble purpose! And what amazing job they've done. I can't even begin to describe the changes in my life brought to pass from this website. They offer many fabulous things from great articles to read that are added daily, "Motherhood Retreats" (you've got to make room in your budget for this one! SO worth it! I will tell you more about it later.), M.O.M. which stand for Mind Organization for Moms (this system has completely changed my life and freed me of so much stress and worry and guilt, along with helping me to be more "in the moment" and at the same time be more productive and fulfilled. I cannot think of one person that wouldn't benefit from this system - mom, dad, child, teacher, business owner, next-door neighbor....seriously. Check it out and you will be thanking me for telling you about it. Another thing they offer is an online interactive game for self-improvement, called the "Bloom Game". I have tried to stay on track with this one, because I am a goal-lover and setter by nature, but it's been on that back burner lately behind something else very exciting, challenging, fun, and meaningful to me. And that is that I have the privilege, along with my own amazing mother, to be on the Power of Moms website board as the Family Values Co-Manager. I write articles, booklists, network, etc. in this area of the website. I am SO not perfect, or even good at this yet, and I've been working on this since this spring. But I love, love, LOVE it! I work with some of the most amazing and inspiring women doing something that is so important to me in my own life. I struggle with the writing part of it, and with three little ones following me everywhere all day long it's hard to implement the many ideas I have. But things are starting to come together a little. Key word: starting. There are so many things I want to do with this but haven't been able to yet. I will post on my blog every time I have updated my area of the website so you will be able to check it out and give me feedback. I need it! Also, if you have an article to submit, they are always looking for new authors and if you like to blog, then you are already a writer. I haven't written any everyday articles yet, but I plan to in the near future.

Boy oh boy does this sound like an infomercial or what? Can you sense my enthusiasm?

Is it Already October?!

I can't believe it! I used to be such a good blogger, but I haven't seemed to get my groove back on since I got preggo(maybe even before, I don't crazy is that?). People aren't lying when they say life with three kids is a hard transition. It's definitely been the hardest for me, but at the same time the most FUN!

I think Wes and I have an addiction....


It feels like we are always being thrown a slew of new information of all kinds on all subject. I feel like I'm always learning at an alarmingly fast fast that my head may explode with all these new ideas and information I am constantly thinking of and trying to write down and inplement somewhere before I forget. All amazing, beneficial, life-improving things. I feel like once we get almost caught up with it all once again a zillion things fly at as from all different directions. My heart is so full of gratitude for all the incredible blessings that have come our way.

Life for us has always seemed to be hard. Not bad, just hard. Hard work mostly. I have worked harder since I got married than I ever dreamed I was capable of. But I have learned and improved more because of that, and I am so grateful for that. There have been many challenges mixed in with many tender mercies to get us through. Now I feel like we are on the opposite end of the spectrum where the challenge is actually all the blessings. So many good things, so little time. How do people manage it all? I am not complaining....I am so happy and grateful that our plates are overflowing with so many wonderful things.

I'm going to try to catch up on all my pictures and life events of the past while. So many things have happened! It's probably going to take awhile. So for now, I'm going to say stay tuned, watch all the changes and updates taking place both on the blog and in our lives. The winds of change are blowing with full force.

And I'm really, really excited about it.

Life is such an amazing journey!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...