I recently came across a blog entry by Joanna Gaines (I am newly obsessed with her show on HGTV – Fixer Upper). It discussed striking a balance between work and home and making time for all the important things in life….and that it is never really that easy. I can vouch for that. As a full time working mom, those moments that I have with my kids during the day are never long enough, especially since adding Henriks to our family. I have struggled with finding the time to fit it all in and give them both the time and love and attention that I want to and not being so exhausted that, after books and bedtime, I can’t enjoy an evening with Andris. But there was one line from her post that struck me,
“I think it is good to remember it’s not about the quantity of time you spend with your kids that makes the biggest difference, it’s the intentional moments you have with your kids that fill their hearts.”
Intentional moments. I haven’t been able to get those two words out of my head since. On Hillside Lane, our schedule never stops and I often find myself wishing that I just had more time…more time for my kids, more time for my husband, more time for projects or running or cooking or even just to relax. It so often seems that we are running in this race that doesn’t end and it is a constant game of catch up. We lean on this idea that life will slow down when circumstances change – when both kids are sleeping through the night or when work isn’t quite as busy or once we have a few low key weekends at home. But the pace continues.
In watching Joanna’s show, I immediately noticed the very deliberate manner in how she approached her family, her work, her time. At first I attributed it to the pace of life on a farm. I assumed that lifestyle lent itself to a more intentional way of living. But after reading her post and continuing to think about it, I realized that it isn’t based on her circumstances. It’s based on the way she approaches and creates her circumstances….and that I could do the same. It isn’t about waiting for circumstances to change, because – let’s be honest – life isn’t slowing down. It’s about creating circumstances that allow for more intentional moments and more time to enjoy the everyday.
I don’t imagine that it is an easy shift, albeit a necessary one. How do I shift my approach or change the circumstances that are resulting in this race we are living? I am guessing the answer lies within a lot of simple changes. First up is trying to implement the cleaning schedule that has lived on my Google calendar for almost a year without ever really being implemented. Each night I get a reminder of one thing to do around the house. The goal is that by breaking down the upkeep and spreading it out over the week, that I am not spending hours on my Fridays or my weekends cleaning. Those moments no longer have to be “catch up moments”, but instead can be used to make dinner, go on a walk, do an extra project with Luci or just play with Henriks on the floor. These moments can be more intentional.
This idea of intentional moments has inspired me. I can’t wait to begin. I already count myself so lucky for all that we have on Hillside Lane. We are healthy and happy and enjoy the blessings of our home and family every single day. But as I think about how I can create more intentional moments, I realize that it will allow me to not only enjoy those moments more, but will create opportunities for me to do and be more….more fun and spontaneous, more thoughtful, more active, more creative. I trust that life will only get busier as our kids and schedules grow; but I hope that Hillside Lane can be the spot where life slows down enough to enjoy all those intentional moments that fill our days and our hearts.