is this what it feels like?

I'm good at looking ahead, but when a new season is on the horizon it can cause me to freeze a little.  I think there's a better term for this.  Something like fear or stagnancy or feeling stuck.  I know a change is ahead and a part of me wants to just stop everything in hopes it won't come.  Another part of me keeps looking ahead and like my son, counting down the days until the event, way too early.  I've already told my oldest we need to count down to Daddy's birthday before his, and if I hear about Halloween one more time I might combust.

I've had a planner since middle school and can remember walking into the Franklin Covey store and thinking how amazing it was. It's our anniversary tomorrow.  Maybe my spontaneous husband should have known these things about me!  Sorry, Benjamin.  I'm sure this was in my e harmony profile somewhere.

In this summer month of no camps or school or activities we're signed up for, I'm wondering if this is a bit of the freedom homeschooling families experience.  My husband was homeschooled and it's a method of education we've talked about, yet haven't chosen, for our kids.  I still remember pacing my bedroom in Santa Barbara on the first phone call Benjamin and I had nearly a decade ago when he told me he was homeschooled.  I quickly asked, "Is that something you expect of your wife and for your own family."  He responded that he knew it wasn't the best fit for every family and that he had no expectations that it would be how his kids would be raised.  Phew, I thought.  No way would I want to do that type thing.  Send those imaginary kids to school I thought.

Here we are though, and there are several things I'm loving about the time we're in. 

This morning I had Anderson do a few worksheets that were sent home from his kindergarten class as suggested work to do over the summer.  He promptly complied and finished the papers with ease.  Nope.  He was distracted by his brothers playing and it took some time and maybe a timer to get through a few pages.  As I try to plan well, I'm trying to help him along too so in a month we aren't amazed by the idea of homework.

I'm loving the slower morning of flipping pancakes, letting them watch a show, and getting my routine down.  I always throw a load of laundry in, unload the dishwasher, load everything else up, and try to get in time with the Lord.

I love days when we can head to the country, or pack up for the pool.  Evan still needs a nap so I know we can get out earlier but need to be back by a certain time so he can rest.  I shop online a lot now and only go to the grocery store once a week so those errands don't consume our time. 

Before all the homeschooling moms tell me this is absolutely not what their days look like, I get it.  You have rigorous curriculum's and it's no walk in the park.  I think the introvert in me is really liking the home time and the smallness of our life right now.  My brain isn't consumed with too many activities or people or events to keep up with.  I can do our family and feel like I have the time and space to do it well.  I can think more clearly about things I do want to pursue and see why they would be a benefit.

It's a good season to think on all I'll say no to this year too.  I've committed to a few new things, and so the 'no's' will likely be more frequent.

I need to say yes to our kids activities, to Friday's at home, to date nights, to Sunday's at church and with family.  I have to say no to things that aren't worth my time or that don't bring me joy or benefit my family.  I need to say no to comparison, and yes to freedom. 

Galations 5:1 states- "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Homeschooling or not, I'm choosing freedom.  Freedom to write and pursue things that benefit me, my marriage, how I parent, how I serve.  That's what God wants for me, and I know that's what he wants for you too. 

Perhaps it's not this idea of how we educate then, but freedom.  Is this what it feels like? I think so.

no surprise

Last month I signed up for an unlimited pass to a boutique workout gym near us.  After traveling a lot in June I knew July would be my month to try something like this.  The price made me feel like there was skin in the game, and my body told me after just a few sessions that it was worth going.

In that month I went to the classes about 12 times. I got stronger, felt better, and thought clearer.  I also realized something about habits and it's made me want to tackle this month, creating some new ones.

In a month school will have started, we'll be out the door as I write this post, and on with our day.  We'll be on the soccer fields, doing homework, starting at a new school, and we won't have all this empty space on our calendar.

There's a thing about new seasons that can slap us in our face.  We freak out and wonder where this schedule came from and why can't we survive.  I say we because I know I'm not the only one here who can feel that way.  I'm at a place in life where I really try to avoid those feelings.  I think we have the tools to say no to unnecessary crazy, and I think right now there are things on my heart I want to cultivate so that when September hits, I'm not curled up in the fetal position.

I've been using my Power Sheets from Lara Casey again this month because June taught me that when committed, habits can form and progress happens.  What can I say, it feels a bit like January in my mind right now as I have some things I want to make sure I'm doing each month, week, and day.

When I work out I feel better, eat better, think better.  I'm more motivated and confident.  I compare less and feel more alive in who I'm called to be.

Each day this month I'm committed to praying and reading the Bible, and for me, I'm going to try and do Pilates 4-6 days a week.  I've used and loved Robin's Pilates online for awhile now and continue to love it.  There's a great new meal planning feature which I'm tapping into as food is another thing we clearly love, but it fuels this family well, or negatively given too many sweets, or let's be honest, cheese.
Another thing I want to get back in the practice of is writing, in this space, when I can.  I'm going to try and do it 3-4 times a week.  Some days it will be hard, other days I'll feel inspired.  What I know is sometimes you have to push through the hard to craft your technique and to grow stronger.    

I'm going to miss this summer.  Today we have nothing on the calendar until 6:30 tonight.  That's almost 12 hours or empty space.  That surely won't be the case in a month, so I'll soak up the slow morning and lunch at the pool while I can.  When the 7 am drive to school happens though, I won't be surprised.