3 ways to start monday off right

I always used to the think the command to remember the Sabbath Day meant to go to church once a week - maybe even Bible Study with coffee and donuts! The more I read and study Scripture, however, the more I'm starting to see that God has designed a day of rest for our benefit. For awhile I got defensive about this concept, wondering how God expected me to do nothing at all for 24 hours, when I was barely keeping up with my regular tasks the rest of the week. I think, though, the idea is not to count the number of steps we take on a Sunday, lest we break the Sabbath law, but rather the spirit of drawing closer to God, giving our bodies and minds a chance to rest and refocus so as to enter our week refreshed and ready to give work our all.

In that spirit, I try to avoid income producing activities on Sundays, spend quality time with family, and read a little extra Scripture. And, though it may not seem 'restful,' I also try to prepare myself and my family for the week by doing a few extra chores. I love blasting hymns, or Christmas Carols, now that the Holiday season is {almost} upon us, putting on some clothes with an elastic waistband, and taking a few small steps to make sure our week runs smoothly.

1. meal prep + chores

This does not have to mean making six freezer meals on a Sunday afternoon (although that would be awesome). For me this simply looks like planning out my meals for the week, and chopping my veggies ahead of time both for meals and snacks. It may or may not also include a deep clean of the fridge and a fresh loaf of pumpkin bread.

For us, the extra chores are washing towels and bedding, vacuuming everything, actually folding the baskets of laundry that were forsaken in the midst of a busy week, and possibly reorganizing a drawer, shelf, or closet.

2. quality family time

My love language is quality time, so if I don't get that extra dose of family time on the weekend, I'm already feeling depleted going into a busy work week. It's not always possible to sequester your whole family at home on the weekends, so it can be as simple as a nice long family walk, a board game, or snuggling in bed reading together. I always find that I'm much happier to jump into a busy schedule when I have taken the time on the weekend to refresh my body, mind, and relationships.

3. plan everything for the week

And I mean everything. Especially for people who have unpredictable schedules (ahem, children), it is super important to write down the most important things that must happen in your week. I write down when I will work out, and what that workout will be, what my morning devotions will be, what meals we will eat, budget meetings, blog posts, business hours and phone calls, and of course lesson plans for school. Thanks to a tip from my sister Molly, I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go, so I can keep a running list of things that need to get done, things I need from Target, blog post ideas, things I need to talk to Justin about, Christmas gift ideas, etc. I also keep a small, cheap planner from TJ Maxx to keep track of dates, like doctor appointment, scheduled meetings and phone calls for my business, and important deadlines. If you don't plan to fill your time with your priorities, it will quickly get filled up with scrolling through social media, scrambling to get things together last minute, and walking into a room but not remembering why. Know where your week is going!

via Ziglar.com
And there you have it! That's how I utilize my Sunday to prepare for the week. What are your best practices for making sure your week runs smoothly?

the busy week

I hate busy. I hate feeling rushed. I hate not having time during the day to recharge my batteries by sitting quietly with a cup of coffee and a book.

well that's negative.

Let me rephrase all of that.

I love leisurely days. I love the feeling of endless possibility when the day is wide open. I love having a half hour to myself in the mornings to sip my coffee and read a book.

So I try to arrange my life in such a way that I feel leisurely. To me, nothing is more luxurious than time. I try to make sure relationships are a priority over schedule.

But not every day or week can be that way. We make decisions and take opportunities that can complicate life for a short time, but are good for us in the long run.

I am in the midst of such a week. My husband and I are driving a fajillion miles and handing off the baby like a hot potato as we rush to our next commitment. It's crazy and a tiny bit stressful.

But also, super fun. In my old age I am getting better at saying no to things that I truly don't want to do and/or will not benefit my family in any way. So everything I am committed to doing this week is enjoyable, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be doing it.

A few things help me keep a large if somewhat dazed smile on my face during busy weeks:

1. Meal Prep. If my body is not properly fueled, then what am I even doing?

2. Time Blocked iCal. When I can see my day blocked out in pretty colors, it helps to find the moments of down time.

3. Podcasts. Makes my drive entertaining and educational.

4. Exercise. Even a short sweat session helps to keep me calm and balanced in the midst of a crazy week.

5. Early to Rise. The only way to carve some reading and coffee time into my day.

6. Optimism. When I find myself mentally complaining, I make myself stop and think of how profoundly grateful I truly am for my life and the opportunities I have -------> #blessed.

7. Whimsy. Moments of seeing the world from my 1 year old's point of view and taking time to be silly is good for the soul. You can't be stressed if you're bopping balloons on each other's heads or your baby is shimmying.

7. iPhone Pics of Babies. 

Pippa's ready for swimsuit season.