We’re about a month into our school year now and it feels like we haven’t even settled into a routine yet. It seems like it’s just going, go, go, all the time between work, home, farm, school, and soccer.
But busy moms that want strive to be intentional parents can’t afford to let even these moments pass by!
Here are a few quick heart checks for busy moms–all busy women, really!–to make sure you’re not missing these moments…
1. What are you writing?
Do you journal? Do you blog? Do you write letters or emails to update family? Do you need to use that camera phone and calendar to jot a few life notes down more often? I find that if I’m not intentionally recording something about our days, then I’m usually not actually taking the time to process and enjoy them either. Losing my parents so suddenly taught me that there’s no price for those scrapes of handwriting, faded photos, and every moment of memory. The kids might whine about it now, but one day they will cherish every cheesy smile.
2. What are you reading?
I have completely given up gossip magazines because they waste my precious time. I’ve also gotten a lot pickier about my fiction because I don’t have much time and I want to be sure I’m filling my mind with “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…” (Philippians 4:8)
And, of course, are you spending time in the Word?
3. What are you watching?
Same as #2–What are you filling your mind with? Are you letting dishonest or disrespectful relationships filter through your heart and household from the sitcom circuit? Is hate or profanity slipping around your living room from that TV set?
In the same vein, what are you listening to that radio or computer? Are you listening to music that lifts your spirits, or leaves you angry, unsatisfied or depressed? Are you listening to contentious talk radio? Or educational podcasts, audiobooks, and literature.
4. What are you learning?
I learn by reading, so this goes hand-in-hand with #2 for me. Right now I’m working on Smart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms; The Heart of a Woman Who Prays; and Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World. I’m also learning the fine art of canning!
How about you? Are you picking up a new skill? Trying out a new hobby? Even the smallest things can keep us engaged and growing. Try something you pinned on Pinterest. Read a new blog or book. Stop in for a free craft class at the local Michael’s…make a few minutes for your personal development.
5. How are you feeling?
YOU are the “heart” of the home–whether you’re there full-time or not! You set the tone for everyone around you! Are you feeling warm and accomplished at the end of the day? Or drained, defeated and anxious? If you need to set some time aside to get things right again, well, time spent in prayer is never wasted!
6. What are they reading?
“They” being the rest of your household. What are they filling their minds with? What’s on your coffee tables? What are they bringing home from the library? Are you surrounding them with good choices?
7. What are they watching?
I flipped the TV off right after the weather report the other morning and the Ladybug sighed and said “We haven’t watched TV all week!” She was being a little over-dramatic, but I thought–Woo-hoo! Good for us! We’ve got better things to do!
No family can thrive on a constant diet of tween dating and middle-school potty humor. Make sure you’re monitoring what they are absorbing and that you’re providing balanced screen time for them.
8. What are they learning?
Think outside the school day! Kids need to learn more than just 2+2=4! Are they learning to cook? Are they learning to fix a car or build a dog house? How are they expanding their little world? Have they watched a documentary lately, or the nightly news? Helped a neighbor? Written to a missionary or a soldier overseas? Around here at Walking in High Cotton, you’ll find us packing family learning into every nook and cranny of our days–and it doesn’t even feel like work! Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy learning together!
9. How are they feeling?
Don’t forget–the Proverbs 31 woman “looketh well to the ways of her household…” (Proverbs 31:27) and knew what was going on with everyone and everything under her responsibility. Is there someone feeling down? Just not themselves? It’s our job to get to the bottom of it!
We’ve gone through seasons of difficult school work and seasons of difficult friendships over the years and they all need direct, personal attention. Be sure that you’re reaching out and making those heart-connections your kids need.
10. What are you doing together?
If you can’t think of anything significant–you need to fix this! Skip the rest of the list if you’re overwhelmed, but get serious about THIS ONE.
It doesn’t have to be big–but it should definitely be there! Dinner together? A family movie? Reading a chapter of a book out loud? Maybe you’re just not taking advantage of that car time like you could? Family time should be part of the fabric of your everyday life. Different ages, stages, and interests can work against you in this–don’t let more than a day or two go by without being about to pinpoint your last joint family time. This is the bedrock your kids will come back to over the years.
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What do you think? Got some areas to work on? I know I do. This list is a good reminder to refresh with throughout the year.