Wisdom writings in the Bible said: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away.” (Ecclesiastes 3) I’ve been reflecting on what brings joy in life and what doesn’t. It’s easy to get stuck in patterns that aren’t helpful or healthy. Us moms often have a finger on the pulse of our homes: are people tired, frustrated, bored? Are we in a slump of watching TV every night or retreating to our own rooms? Maybe we are already anticipating what Thanksgiving will be like with family this year. Now is the time to evaluate how we are doing and make mid-course adjustments. We can introduce change in thoughtful and fun ways. Does our family need nurturing or change right now? Here are five easy and inexpensive hacks to shift our home atmosphere this week:
- Get outside. Even if it’s just going for a walk in your neighborhood or playing games in the front yard, it feels good to get outside and move around. If you have more time available, hike the nearby mountains, enjoy the sunset, or play at a park or beach. We all need a change of scenery. Simply discover the space that speaks to you. Ahh, fresh air!
- Serve somebody. Our lives are meant for higher purpose and nothing feels better than to serve others. Bake cookies for a neighbor, volunteer at a family shelter, babysit for a single mom. We all are seeking connection in this difficult time. Volunteer opportunities abound and, as much as you can make service decisions a group effort, you will witness your family’s heart light up with meaning.
- Set boundaries on your time. Now that we are working from home and living at work, we need structure. Note your work schedule, technology use, time sitting vs. active and so on. Design a weekly schedule that creates the life you long for. Does your time allow for relationships, creativity, exercise, great food, music, and gratitude? Setting mindful boundaries gives us space to savor the good things in life!
- Create a Spiritual Climate. How can we withstand the negativity in our culture right now if our families have no shared spiritual experiences? Let your kids hear you pray, worship, read scripture. Discuss what God is doing in your lives. Read a few scriptures together after dinner each night. It is never too late or too early to establish a godly culture within your home.
- Learn together. If this entire year is just one big time-out, we might as well learn something! Kids love learning alongside their parents. Watch YouTube videos to master juggling, or how to paint a landscape like Bob Ross, cook Thai cuisine, design 2020 T-shirts for your family, and so on. We all have something we wish we could improve if we only had the time.
To everything there is a season. What’s working for you? Go to www.MargaretAllen.org for declarations to speak over your life and to get the book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion.