Once I decided that we were in a terrible state of survival mode that we didn’t have to be in, the planning began shortly after. Like I said in the introduction, some sort of survival mode is simply unavoidable for us while Dave is still in nursing school, but the degree of survival mode doesn’t have to be as intense as when George was first born. So I knew we could pull ourselves up for more air, but I didn’t know how to do it.
I didn’t know where to begin, there was so much in our life that needed attention! I wasn’t sure if I would end up driving my family crazier with this overhaul. I didn’t know how God wanted our life to look at this particular stage of life. I just didn’t know how to start.
Here’s what I did know …
- the change would not happen overnight; so I gave us about a three-month time frame to work with (although we are still implementing some things I’ll discuss in this series).
- we needed more order to our days
- we would somehow all be happier by the end of it
- we had to start somewhere
Having all this, plus thousands of other little things I wanted to alter, in mind, I turned to some awesome resources for both inspiration and practical know-how. These resources focus on different areas of life (some big, some small), but all aided my efforts!
My Resources for Inspiration and Formulating a Game Plan
- A Mother’s Rule of Life – I’ve talked about this book several times before, and for good reason. The author is a busy mom who made a rule for her family life, much like religious orders have their own particular rule. She marries the spiritual “why” with the practical, real life “how”. She breaks her priorities down into 5 P’s, and discusses them in order of importance: Prayer, Person, Partner, Parent, Provider. I’ve adopted her priority list and many of her ideas. This book is seriously a must have for any woman (not just for moms!) trying to live a Christian life while not letting laundry and stress take over the house.
- 8 Weeks to a Decluttered Home – Stephanie from Keeper of the Home lays out an ideal decluttering schedule that focuses on one room per night for 8 weeks until the entire house is purged. I’d been wanting to clean out our tiny apartment for so long because we’ve just accumulated so much stuff we don’t use or need. It’s suffocating and to much clutter can distract and overwhelm. I’ve felt a big pull to live more simply with less, lately, and I knew purging was a must. This served as an excellent guide. (P.S. we are still in the purging process – so I’ll update with the results later!)
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity – I’m still in the midst of this book, but I can tell you that the practical tips and strategies provided have already boosted my productivity immensely. I’d say I’m able to get nearly twice as much done in the same time period as before I read this book. Winning.
- 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Y’all, this book. How the author made me consistently cry and crack up within a single page, I’ll never know. The book is about one family’s mission to simplify their life in the 7 main areas over a period of 7 months. It was profound, convicting, and freaking hilarious. Even if you have no plans to alter your routine or lifestyle, this book is an excellent and entertaining read. And will make you want to love Jesus more and more.
- Evernote Essentials – Part of our goal with this whole shebang was having our schedules be a bit more consistent. We wanted things to be a little more clear and predictable so that we could have more family time. A necessary aspect of that was increased communication. Have you ever heard of Evernote? It is a LIFE CHANGER. It’s a free app (although you can pay for an upgraded version) that allows you to schedule, make notes, take pictures and add them to your notes, and exchange all that information. Dave and I have both used Evernote for a long time (I use it for everything from blog planning and ideas to grocery lists to recording George’s “firsts”), but we knew we wanted to use it to its capabilities to the full. That way, we could easily share schedules, things we needed to talk about, date night ideas, etc. We also wanted to eliminate some of the paper in our house. I love a concrete planner, so I could never go totally paperless, but Evernote has really helped us get rid of unnecessary paper lying around (back to the clutter …), and we couldn’t have done it without Evernote Essentials. So we checked out this ebook for some really in depth tutorials. Because Evernote can be really overwhelming if you don’t know how it works, it’s super important to understand all its functions. Reading this ebook is when Evernote really started being beneficial to us!
- The Wellness Mama Cookbook – I was fortunate to get a preview of Katie’s cookbook a couple months ago, and it has been a huge health, time, and money saver for us. As we’ll chat about soon, our health was a big area I wanted to focus on during the overhaul. A major part of this was eating more real food. Being on a tight budget, however, the price tags of real food can be intimidating. This awesome book makes it realistic. The first half of the book covers why real food matters, how to afford it on a budget, and how to encourage kids to eat real food. The latter half is full of recipes that are inexpensive, absolutely delicious, and can be made in half an hour. All with real food! Also included are dressing recipes, spice blends, and yummy beverages. It’s made eating real food not ruin my life. It’s awesome, ladies (and gents!).
Of course, you don’t have to consult all these resources to begin! But I just wanted to share with you what helped guide us. Of course, there are other awesome additional resources that I’ll mention throughout the series, but those are even more specific, so I’ll save them 😉
But where to begin?
I decided to use the 5 P’s to guide the course of our overhaul. So we began with the most important part of our lives: prayer. Honestly, I didn’t think much past the area we were working on, otherwise I would have been super overwhelmed.
talked your ear wrote your eye off long enough! Up next, then, we will talk about spirituality and how this most important aspect of my life needed the most work.
Thanks for following along, friends!