With both my girls now in preschool, I feel I have moved into a new stage of life. Our calendar, which used to stay pretty empty, is now color coded. I feel as if I spend hours of my life each week buckling kids in and pulling kids out of car seats. I have alarms on my phone to remind me to drop kids off and pick kids up.
I have reached the stage of life that isn't going to slow down on its own. From here until the kids are significantly older, we're going to have opportunities for many things. School, church, and medical activities. Sports and social events. Requests to volunteer, to teach, to bake, to participate.
I've heard through the years, the importance of being able to say no. Of how our schedules can get so full that we don't enjoy our families because we're so busy rushing from place to place.
I'm not sure why I thought I'd be immune to that.
But now... I look at my calendar, full of good things. I look at my house, half-finished projects, produce drawers full of good intentions. I look at my children... and they aren't babies anymore. I don't have a baby now. They are taking steps away from me, towards independence, which is exactly what they should be doing. The child I thought was my baby has realized he can tell me "no" and express his own opinions. The child I was beginning to despair of ever dressing herself is now able to follow a picture schedule for her morning routine with not much more than redirection back to her schedule.
Drifting... putting out fires... surviving. However you want to describe it, this is a point in life that I can just see how many good things I can cram into my day. And then realize, maybe at the end of the day, or maybe at the end of my life, that I forgot about the most important things.
I wasn't feeling great today so when the kids had rest time, I sat down and thought about the vision I had for my life as a late teen. I jotted down the four things I remember having in my vision statement I'd written. Those four things are still what I believe God asks me to do with my life.
Then I graded myself.
The best grade on my self-evaluation was a C. The number one thing I'd written down? I had to give myself an F.
Then I jotted down what I thought were the reasons behind my "grades." They ranged from self-centeredness and negativity to distractions and a reluctance to be vulnerable.
There's a lot of talk about being intentional. Intentional parenting, intentional discipleship, intentional blah blah blah. And I've sometimes wondered, is that a Biblical concept? I'm beginning to think it is. Because, if you aren't intentional, you are... unintentional. Unplanned. Frankly, taken to the logical extreme, not intentional means chaotic. Random. And that isn't God's nature. He planned the most incredible plan ever. He orders all of creation. He holds all things together. So does He intend for me to live my life in a chaotic, haphazard sort of way? I don't think so. Because He also commands me to do all things for His glory.
And while life happens, I don't think I can really claim allowing 5 dozen eggs to spoil in the fridge because I forgot to make the egg muffins I promised my husband I'd make can in any way be done for His glory. (I've not let that happen... yet. But at the rate I'm going, it's very possible!)
So, rather than focusing on the details, which change so quickly, I'm going to try filtering things through my priorities. I want to look at my end goals, and make choices and changes that will push me towards those goals.