These past few weeks I have reached a level of exhaustion that I have yet to experience. The reality of raising three beautiful boys caught up to me when they all contracted pink eye a few weeks ago and I still feel like I am recovering from it physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It gave me a ton of time for self-reflection (which really was too much time). Self-reflection can be a tricky business because you tend to mainly address your weaknesses and when you spend too much time doing that without remembering your infinite worth, well you can get pretty sad. It seems so counter-intuitive that you can be sad while surrounded by so much to be grateful for, but it happens. You get wrapped up in your own thoughts that it is like a dismal cloud cover over beautiful rays of light.
However, I remembered a favorite talk of mine from a few years ago, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose, and it was just the reminder that I needed to pursue the bright moments of life. I love that reminders of Heavenly Father’s love are plentiful and his confidence in us as we walk in faith is endless. It fortifies me.
There are a few other links from around the web and an idea that I have been wanting to share but haven’t figured out how to yet….so I figured I would just number them off here for you to enjoy.
- Simplify Magazine is out and it is wonderful. The first issue is on the topic of happiness (how fitting!) and essay #4, in particular, was incredible. Definitely check it out since the first issue is free. They are also running a deal until the end of June that you can get a lifetime subscription for $20 (after that it is $20/year).
- The Sweethome has solved so many of my issues with making decisions about big and little purchases. The best way to describe it is a free consumer report website run by the New York Times. They select their choice of what to buy for all items that have to do with home life (and beyond, really). They explain how they test the products, professionals they talk to, and why they make their final choice (all while giving options for different pricepoints!). We have purchased everything from pens to a vacuum at their recommendation and have yet to be disappointed (but seriously, I am obsessed with those pens).
- Last August, I attended BYU education week and took a ton away from it. The biggest thing, however, has been advice given in a class on parenting with screens in our modern day. The professor made a remark that we need to be forming positive relationships of self-regulation between our kids and screens. Simply put, we need to prevent them from building an addiction or a dependency by teaching them to recognize those feelings we get after too much screen time (lethargic, cranky, whiney, brain-tired) and making choices accordingly. Then she offered up the stoplight rule she uses in her home to aid in that effort: when a child is given screen time and they get off on their own, they receive a green light. A green light is a reward of some sort (for Max it is staying up five minutes later than usual). If you need to remind them to get off and they do, that is a yellow light. A yellow light is no reward, but no consequence. A child receives a red light if they need to be asked multiple times to get off their device or turn off the television, and a consequence is given (Max gets an extra chore to be done immediately). This has been adopted into our own home to great success and with summer coming, I can’t help but think others might benefit from it too.
- If you haven’t seen the show, Random Acts, go watch it ASAP! It’s slogan is “The heart of hidden camera,” and they have transformed the hidden camera reality show into the most feel-good television you will watch. If you need a pick me up from what seems like a really sad and scary world or if you want to teach your children what it means to be kind and serve in big and little ways, watch it. I cry every episode and I am NOT a crier.
- Came across this post on instagram from my favorite yogi and had to share it. It reflects a lot of the thoughts I have been struggling with lately and addressed them so beautifully. Also, her yoga videos on YouTube are the best.
This past week has been so much brighter as I have prayerfully sought to notice more of the joys in life. My baby’s preference to snuggling as much as possible, the way my toddler scrunches his whole face to smile at me (and then when he sees me trying to rest on the couch, strokes my face saying “close your eyes, mommy”), the kindness that I see evolving in my nearly 6-year-old son as he is recognizing his role as the oldest brother (it’s a tough spot to be in, and he is doing remarkably).
It’s going to be a good week guys, I can feel it.