Well, I’m officially exhausted and haven’t had much energy for our wholesome living quest. I miss white flour and white sugar. I miss the ease in which I “made” our family’s meals. The past two weeks have been a challenge. Our daughter is all but walking, requiring constant monitoring throughout the day. Then, she stopped her usual sleeping pattern of only getting up once per night. For the past two weeks, she’s been up at least three times a night. One night she was up every hour. She also decided napping is for big girls, like she thinks she is, and stopped napping for long periods of time. It’s been raining nonstop here for days and days now so Myla and I have been unable to go on our daily walks. Several people we know are having severe health problems. Ryan, my husband, has been traveling and/or working late hours and is scheduled to travel several more times this month.
All of this equals one exhausted mama who really doesn’t feel like spending any time at all making wholesome meals and snacks, let alone homemade cleaners as well. All I’ve been wanting to do is curl up in a silent room with a good book and a bunch of comfort food made with white sugar and white flour. To add insult to injury, a Harry and David catalogue came in the mail yesterday, featuring all sorts of luscious delights made with oodles of white sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) and white flour. Yes, I browsed through it. I drooled over their beautiful looking (most likely airbrushed) cookies, moose munch and truffles.
Needless to say, I’ve been in a rut, a very grouchy rut I may add. Yet in the midst of my foggy, sleep deprived mind, the Lords given fresh perspective and strength. The lesson I’ve been learning as of late is that of seasons. My “rut” is only for a season. After two weeks the rut is already started to change into another season. The rain has finally stopped so I was able to go for a walk today. Myla only woke up twice a night the past two nights. She’s back on her regular nap schedule. However, some things won’t change for some time. Ryan still has to travel a lot this month. I still want some cookies or truffles from Harry and David. I’m sure there will be days ahead when I just don’t feel like making the effort to make sure our family is eating wholesome food.
When we find ourselves in an uncomfortable or downright miserable season, we shouldn’t, and often can’t, continue on at the same pace as before. Sometimes we need to adapt, pause, and/or rest.
Ryan has been pitching in extra the past few weeks because he knows how exhausted I’ve been, which has been wonderful. I am so thankful that we are team and when one of us is in need, the other naturally and lovingly fills in. I didn’t rush out and buy “quick-fix” meals for us. However, I did stick with tried and true meals that I didn’t have to think about too much while I was making them. We did order pizza and salad one night. I let a few of my weekly chores go for a few extra days. Instead of making myself a bunch of snacks throughout the day, I stocked up on fruit, whole wheat crackers and raw cheese, and yogurt so I can munch on healthy things that don’t require a significant amount of prep work. I started napping with Myla again at least once a day. I’ve also been indulging in dark chocolate and a cup of hot tea each night and enjoying some quiet time by myself after Myla’s in bed for the evening.
With each season of my life, I rest in knowing that God is God through the season. Nothing escapes His plan or purpose. He is still there. He still loves me. He’s growing and shaping me through each season. Looking back on the past few weeks, I have to admit, I’m proud of myself for not throwing in the towel on our wholesome living quest when the going got tough. I didn’t binge on high fructose corn syrup (although I did buy some seltzer water). I learned to adapt a few things to make life a bit easier for the few weeks when I was so sleep deprived I could barely think straight. I found myself clinging to scripture at the moments when I was thinking, “God, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t last another hour.” Strength came when I realized I said those same words yesterday and God got me through yesterday’s difficult hour. It was as if God was saying, “Watch me. Watch me bring you through this.” How thankful I am that I have such a Saviour, such a wonderfully tender and loving God!
“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecc. 3:1
So, do you have any wholesome living shortcuts for when your exhausted? Here are a few things I’ve learned:
-If I can, I spend a few extra dollars and buy the more natural/less chemically dishwasher detergent during the week that I’m too tired to make it (Ecover and Seventh Generation are good brands I’ve used before).
-Give yourself a break. You’re not a superhero. If you need to nap, then nap if possible. If you need to give up an activity for a week to catch up on rest, then do so. Reevaluate your priorities. When you’re in difficult seasons, your priorities may need readjusting. (For me the past few weeks, my priorities were spending time with God, Ryan and Myla, sleeping, and eating. The end. Now that things are improving, I’m adding a few things back in the mix).
-I freeze meals when we have extras so when I’m too tired to cook, I can just pull an already made meal out of the freezer and pop it in the oven.
-I make chicken and beef stock once a month. Then, if I’m too tired to cook (and don’t have any freezer meals) I can add a few veggies and noodles or rice and have a delicious soup for dinner.
-Tell your spouse you’re struggling. Let them help you.
-Have lots of fresh fruit in the house so you don’t have to make (or buy processed) snacks.
-If you don’t feel like buying or mixing your own cleaning solutions, just use baking soda and vinegar.
-Pray and pray often.
-Don’t open any type of processed food catalogue. It will give you mad cravings for white sugar and white flour. Thank you Harry and David. I’m still fighting that craving!
*This post is shared on Monday Mania