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where I was…and another way to keep up

If you are read this post, you were asked if you wanted to guess where I was. Some of you did and some of you just said you didn’t care where it was—-you wished you were there too!  I wish you could all have gone. It was truly spectacular and balm for my soul. 

The answer to where I was can be found here.  It’s also where I’m going to post my travel diary from now on.  As many of you know, I am married to a Road Warrior CEO.  This year I’ve decided to put my  marriage ahead of everything else I pursue.  I’ve decided to be a help meet to my husband in the way that he needs me to, which includes traveling with him and attending important corporate functions. I’ve had a good  8 year run of avoiding playing “corporate wife” but now it’s time to buck up and show up.  

If you love traveling, or just enjoy reading travel diaries I hope you’ll follow along, being the wife of a Road Warrior CEO does have its perks at times!

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A place to hide and refresh

I tried to get away for almost 7 days before I finally found this place.
Seriously, it was my Plan K and I’m not even kidding.  
Now that I’m here I can say that it was worth it.  
Worth the effort to finally find this place.  It was exactly what I needed.

Care to guess where I am?
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Escaping to Solitude

For me when I need to refuel and recharge my batteries I need to be alone. I need the solitude. I crave it. 

In the bible whenever Jesus needed to really pray about something He went off by himself.  So, that is what I’ve done.  I’ve gone to this place.  Where I know no one. Where I can be alone to think and reflect.  To recharge.  To re-evaluate.

Come near to God and He will come near to you.
James 4:8

I’ve always felt guilty about taking time for myself and that false belief has taken a toll of me. I believe it takes a toll on many women.  Some of the happiest mothers I know are those who take care of themselves so that they have the energy, peace and well-being to care for their families.

It is a blessing to be able to do this.  To go to a place that is frankly exotic and foreign.  I realize that.  But, I also know that to whom much is given, much is also expected.  It weighs heavy on me.
When I return I’ll give the travel update on where I’ve been.  Traveling makes me happy.
Traveling with my family makes me happier. Thankfully this year we have some wonderful family trips planned. I cannot wait! I just need to take care of myself so that I can give my family the 100% of me that they deserve.

Bible Study: Drawing Closer to God

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Things happen in Los Angeles

Something happens to me when I return to Los Angeles.  Of course I’m excited.  I’m excited to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen  in a year ( or sometimes more)I’m excited to have no real responsibilities outside of feeding myself and showing up where I promised I would. 

I can sleep inI can read.  I can nap.  

 I can even watch TV shows above a G-rating…Or indulge in reality show marathons on my iPad!

But something else happens too.

In the land of the Beautiful People I desire to feel beautiful.  Suddenly I care about my wardrobe.  I want to take care of my skin.  I want to actually wear make-up.  I want to do something with this hair of mine, beyond my usual pony-tail.

It’s not that I become totally shallow and without spiritual depth.  I think it’s that I want to playI want to just be me—complex and multi-layered me. Not JUST a MOM.  Not JUST a home educator.  Not JUST a Christian woman.  Not JUST a homemaker.  I am proudly all of those things, but I am also so much more than that.

 There is no ONE side of our personality.  We should each be unique and not easily defined.

What does it actually mean to be a homeschool mom?  Do I have to wear a blue jumper, Keds and make all of my children’s clothes?  What does it mean to be a mother of 5? Does it mean that I should no longer care about my appearance or want to feel attractive?  If I say I’m a Christian does that mean I should always be solemn and never laugh?  If I am married does that mean I can never spend the evening chatting with girlfriends or a week in another state sleeping in and spending time with girlfriends?

I am so blessed to have a husband that encourages me to reclaim joy, explore my interests, reconnect with friends and refuel my batteries.  He knows that it makes me a better (and happier) person, wife and mother.   He knows because like most men he has always operated this way.  Men know when they need to rest, and they do.  They know what they need to do to refuel, and they do.

Why did it take me so long to catch on?

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31 Days of Intentional Parenting: {Day 17} 4 Ways to let your children know you value them

Don’t compare siblings to one another.  Each of your children has been uniquely created for their individual purposes by their Creator.  They have unique talents and struggles.  So, don’t compare them to one another and say things like, “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”  Siblings who grow up in this manner often don’t have good relationships with one another (or their parents) because of the resentment that grows from trying to compete for a parent’s attention or praise.

Take time out to listen to them.  Like everyone, children need and want to be heard.  Sometimes they say things that don’t make sense to us.  But instead of getting frustrated view it as what it is: a desire to be with you and have your attention.  The time will come when we will compete with their friends and the outside world for their attentions.  So, enjoy them now and foster a relationship that will last a lifetime.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times that my children cannot have my attention because I’m on an important call, speaking with another adult, engaged with another child etc.  During these times I gently say, “Mommy’s busy right now.  But I want to talk to you as soon as I’m finished” or “Can you tell me at bedtime?”

Set time aside regularly to just be with your children.  Whether you are a working mother, a mother of a new baby, or a mother of many, scheduling time to just be with each of your children is essential.  This can be as elaborate as a date night (scheduled weekly or monthly) or as casual as a 15-30 minutes Time alone with Mom (or Dad) each day.  The point is to get something on your calendar and into your routine so that when life happens, you don’t sacrifice your time with your children.  As a stay-at-home homeschooling mother this concept didn’t come naturally to me. I thought, “How much more time can I possibly spend with them?”  But when I sat down and was honest with myself I realized that the majority of my time with my children was spent: teaching, instructing, directing, disciplining, feeding, bathing, driving to/fro etc.  I wasn’t spending that much time just being with them.  On the flip-side, their Road Warrior father who was out of town a lot made sure that when he was in town he spent time just being with them.  As a result their time with their father stood out more in their mind.  Ouch!

Celebrate their accomplishments and interests Is your child interested in art?  Do you have their artwork displayed in the house? Have you enrolled them in art classes? Do you keep them regularly stocked with materials for creating art?  Are they interested in sports? Do you attend games and practices?  Do you watch professional sports with them? Subscribe to a sports magazine?  Do they love animals? Do you allow them to have pets? Take them to the zoo? I’m sure you see where I’m going.  When you notice that your child has an interest or talent you should acknowledge that in some way while still leaving room for them to change interests and talents.  The only rule in our household is that once you begin an activity you must finish it.  We don’t allow signing up for ballet and quitting before the recital or attending 3 sport practices and then wanting to drop out and try another sport.  We use the summer months as an opportunity to “test drive” some of our children’s interests through week-long summer camps in their area of interest before fully committing ourselves.  This generally helps, but there have been times we’ve had to remind them they must follow through on their commitments and finish the year before we allow them to discontinue and try something else.


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