Growing Every Day

Posts tagged ‘stay-at-home’

Follow Through

From 1st grade through graduating high school, I was a bowler.  I bowled on a league the entire time.  One of the phrases my couch would say continuously, “Follow through”.

Follow through.

Who knew this was a key to success in so many areas of life.  When I was out in the working world, there were deadlines imposed on me.  If I was late with a project or simply didn’t get something done, there were immediate consequences.

Making the shift to staying at home made something very clear to me…I am not so good at follow through.  If a blog post or chapter of my book doesn’t get written, then they don’t get written.  There is no immediate consequence.  However, after being home for several years now I am realizing the consequence is there; it is just far more subtle.

The consequence is not moving forward in life.

If I do not discipline myself to follow through and complete certain projects, then I remain in the same place in life.  No book published, no blog making money, no digital art to sell.

Another lesson from bowling, every time I remembered to follow through, I would hit my mark and almost always get a strike or high scoring roll.  Without the follow through, I would miss my mark and it would not go so well.  That is so parallel to life.  When I push myself to follow through and write for those planned two hours a day, then I move forward.  Things get completed.

What I realize now is that the act of “follow through” is not natural, at least not for me.  This is something that I must discipline, train myself to do.  When I sit down for my two hour writing block, I will inevitably find my mind wandering (and sometimes my body) and have to bring myself back to the project at hand.  I now say out loud, “follow through”.  Even this simple intentional act of speaking out loud to myself has made an impact in how much I am moving forward.

A second thing that has helped me in the discipline of “follow through” are these amazing monthly, weekly, daily calendar printables from Productive Flourishing.  I have tried so many calendars without much success, or with little success.  I am not very good at sticking to an incremental timed calendar.  The calendars found at Productive Flourishing are said to be geared toward the creative mind flow.

Creatives tend to think less on a timeline and more in chunks or projects.

These calendars help you “chunk” your time and order it for the day as well as helping plan the scope of your project(s) for the week/month.

The third element for me in this “follow through” epiphany is realizing that my kids have the same non-follow through nature as I do.  There are numerous Lego projects, art projects, building projects, craft projects, etc. all over the house.  I have no problem with having more than one project going; however, I now have the desire to help discipline (train, not punish) my kids so that they can actually complete these projects.

In the realm of learning and practicing this discipline called “follow through”, I have asked Builder and Princess to pick a project that they want to work on.  We now have “project time” for 30 minutes each day.  They are welcome to work on it more as they wish, but they must work on it for that designated 30 minutes.

Builder has chosen to break down all of his currently built Lego sets and organize them into tubs according to categories.  For example, all police sets will go in one tub, all city or fire sets will go in each of their own tubs, etc.  This is a huge project, and he is continually making forward progress.

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Builder’s Project

Princess has chosen to build all of her Lego sets.  For her to actually complete any one Lego set is quite an accomplishment.  This week already, she has finished two and started working on a third just because she was having fun!

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Princess’s Project (1 of 2 sets built)

The kids’ project times have also helped me to realize that I need to pick a project to work on that is for me personally and not related to business/work.  I know this will be an on-going learning process for us all, and I am determined to follow through!

And You? ~ How are you on following through?

 

 

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Game Changer

woman-1172718_1920For me, this time of year is a time of reflection.  Reflecting on what changes need to be made in the areas of curriculum, school organization, schedule, etc.  However, once the reflection bug bites, it seems to lead me into reflecting in many areas of my life.

 

This week I am reminded of the many changes that have taken place in my life.  Changes that were never on my radar.  The beginning and end of this week are my kiddos birthdays.  This year it commemorates my 9th year of staying home with my children.

Wow.

If we set the “way back” machine to reminisce my early 20s to mid 30s, I really had no thoughts or intentions of staying home with, let alone homeschooling my children.  I was thirty-two years of age when I had my first child, and knew immediately that staying home was the only decision for our new little family.  For me, this was stepping into a completely unknown territory.  I was far from confident in my mothering capabilities, let alone entertaining the idea of spending every waking day, hour, and minute with my kids!

(insert panic)

Things settled into a routine and though it was (and still is) the most challenging role I have ever been in, things were ok.  Then almost two years later, my daughter was born.  I felt a tad more confident, but it was also a totally different ballgame.  Again, things settled into a rhythm.

And of course, as we approached Builder’s time to go to school, I knew in my spirit that we would be homeschooling.  And, though I really did want to homeschool with all my heart, fear reared its ugly head…again.  We pushed through and are now entering our 5th year of homeschooling.

My desire in writing this blog post is that wherever you are, whatever crossroads you find yourself at, know that there is everything in you that can do it.  You may struggle, you may have to learn something new, you may have to be vulnerable and find someone to walk the walk with you, but it is not out of your reach.

The hardest part is starting.

Do you want to write?  Start writing.  Do you want to homeschool?  Find someone in the game to talk with.  Do you want to (fill in the blank)?  Then find the first step toward that.     If it is not the right path, the Lord promises us that He will let us know.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  ~ Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

You don’t always have to have everything in place to start.  Find that one thing that you can do to start walking down that path.  Then, trust that you will hear His voice behind you letting you know if you are off His path for you.

All of this to say, we have a journey that is each unique and individual to ourselves.  I encourage you this summer to reflect on where you have come from, where you are presently, and your desires for the future.  Let’s all move forward as we reflect on the past and navigate our future.

Signing off with many blessings and prosperity to you and yours.

And You? ~ What has been a game changer in your life?

 

The Last Day of School!

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Yep, we made it!

Today is the last day of school.  Needless to say, I wanted to make it fun and memorable, special.  What did we do?  Took Daddy to work, and spent all morning at an eye appointment to get new glasses since my old ones were broken.

Hmmm.

I was tempted to get upset, to throw my hands up in the air and wonder to the heavens why my plans never work.  (Yes, a.k.a an adult tantrum).  However, we chose to just go with it and spend some time with a nice treat at Panera, and plan to just play the day away.  Maybe a special extra screen time here, a batch of peanut butter cookies there.  This creature called homeschool has a mind of its own sometimes.  Sometimes we need to tame it, and sometimes we need to just let it be.  Today, I am going with let it be.

When you get down to it, what is the “last day of school” for us?

It means next week we do absolutely nothing.  This is probably more for me than Princess and Builder.  No planning, no time management of lessons, nothing.  After that, we start working on finishing up those books and units that need to be wrapped up.  Two pages of handwriting this day, one math lesson that day, 20 minutes of keyboarding the next day, etc.  A slow easy pace, that continues progress, but takes nothing out of any of us.

The Last Day of School…thank you Lord.  This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and BE GLAD IN IT!!!!!

Your Turn to Play ~  Are there any special activities you do for the last day of school?

Finish Strong

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Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Finish strong.

I hear and see these words a lot during this time of year.  We are almost there.  We have almost made it.  Summer break (if you take one) is in our sights.  I have to be honest though.  My thought is not as much finish strong as finish consistent.  Keep on going, keep on doing, keep on being what we have been throughout the year.

I need to be strong to finish consistent.

This is the time of year reflection begins.  There were goals at the beginning and mid school year…where are we compared to those goals?  Are they realistic to strive for with 5 weeks left to go?  This is the time I make one last readjustment and set our sights on what seems realistic for the next 5 weeks.

To add to all of this reflection, my brain also begins thinking to the future, to future curriculum.  Where will we start next year, what will we focus on?  It doesn’t help that the wonderful world wide web starts sending me messages of 20% off this curriculum and freebies on that curriculum.  Ugh.  These are wonderful, but my head can really start swimming in this sea of possibilities.

So in the midst of this time of pushing through, I remind myself of the task-at-hand.  This is the time to keep focus on that which needs to be done in the present.  With the finish line ever before us, we need to let ourselves focus on the task-at-hand.  My desire and prayer is that I do not miss this present moment for worry or concern of the future moment.  I know it is good to plan.  It is good to set goals.  However, I can so easily get caught up in the future and what I want/need it to be.  If I am always future minded, my present will become a checklist and procedure.  If I trust in the vision given to me by Jesus for the future, and I trust it to be there, then I can have peace in the to-dos of today.  I can be present here, because I know my Jesus is there.  He is there holding in His hand that vision, and He is present here leading me there!  He is the path, and I will walk with Him.  This equals peace, joy, and strength.

Give Him your there, so you can be present here.

Be strong, finish consistent.

Your Turn to Play ~ What is something that helps you push through this time of the year?

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