Battling Laziness

When my husband and I first got married, we had a pretty good routine going. We were eating healthy, meal planning, going to the gym, and we had a cleaning schedule for our apartment. A few months later, though, a series of unfortunate events happened that threw us off track and we never really recovered. What started out as actual reasons to neglect housework and whatnot, eventually just turned to laziness. After awhile, we decided something needed to change; this laziness wasn’t good for us in more than one way. Physically, we did not feel very well because we were not eating well and we were no longer exercising. Our apartment was also taking a toll as was our spiritual lives. I was no longer carving out time to spend with God, I was giving Him whatever time I had left over – if any.

Scripture is dense when it comes to the topic of laziness (seriously, if you don’t believe me, Google it); it’s even one of the 7 Deadly Sins! As I said, we decided that we needed to battle the laziness that was taking over our lives, and we decided to do it as a team. We knew that individually we didn’t stand a chance, but sometimes being a team is hard. It can be hard to encourage one another about something like this without it coming across as nagging. It’s hard to motivate someone else when you don’t want to motivate yourself to do the same thing.

Despite these things, we decided to give it a shot. Making lifestyle changes doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process that requires steps – and you have to remember that even baby steps are steps. So that is what we started doing – and are still doing – implementing baby steps to get our lives back on track to where we’d like them to be. We’re trying to avoid eating out when we can and to start meal planning again. We’ve started tag-teaming the housework.

A huge part of combatting laziness is effective time management. I’ve started using the planning app Cozi (it is AMAZING, check it out!) again. I have also created a quiet time basket full of everything I could possibly need during quiet time (Bible, highliter, pens,  Bible commentary, journals, lotion in case my hand get dry, etc). We are trying to work on getting up earlier so we can eat a good breakfast and have quiet time, but this has been our most difficult obstacle so far. I also use my 45 minute commute to sometimes listen to podcasts (my current favorites are the Read Scripture Podcast Series by Francis Chan and the Uniquely Woman podcast) – I can make the choice to wake up late and not have time for things, but I can’t make the choice to not drive all the way to work. Other times I listen to worship music, and, of course, other times I just have jam sessions.

Our current goal is to start going to the gym again. As I said, life change is made through baby steps and each baby step, no matter how small, is a victory that should be celebrated. Whether it’s laziness or some other obstacle that you are pushing to overcome, just remember that each day is a new day and a new chance – heck, each hour is a new chance – and to celebrate the victories along the way.

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You Don’t Have to Be Superwoman

Before getting married, I already had a finance spreadsheet set up, a housework spreadsheet set up, and specific goals in mind (such as meal prepping). I got married and started implementing my schedule right away. Our apartment was pretty much pristine, breakfast and snacks were prepped the night before, and I was caught up on school work. Then, I think it was the second week, things started taking a downward turn. Schoolwork was piling up, housework was piling up, I didn’t have time to relax let alone meal prep. I also work two days a week. I was getting more and more stressed by the fact that I had a specific goal, a specific image, of what my house – and life – should look like and the fact that my reality did not look like that. One day, I hit breaking point. I was unpacking things I had left at my mom’s and I couldn’t figure out where to put the blender. I just sat on the floor against the cabinet, holding the blender, for I’m not sure how long until my husband found me. He sat down next to me, kissed my head, and didn’t say a word. Finally, after a few moments, I pathetically said, “I don’t know where to put the blender.” He gently took the blender from my hands and set it on the floor. He asked me all that I still had to do and when I told him he said he had no idea I had that much on my plate. He suggested that I go take a bath and read (my go-to relaxation method) and stresslessly do what I was able to do before bed.

I had this idea that I had to be Superwoman: spotless apartment, perfectly cooked meals (trust me, that wasn’t always the case), ahead – or at least caught up – on school work, and still time to relax alone and with my husband. Instead what I had was a clean apartment, a whole lot of homework, and even more stress. By trying to do everything all the time, I was wearing myself out to the point that I didn’t want to do anything (and I am a person that honestly loves doing housework; I am my mother’s daughter), and when I did, I just wanted to cry the whole time because even though I was checking one thing off of my to-do list, I knew that what felt like a hundred more were waiting for me.

After the day that I remember as “The Day I Sat On The Floor Holding a Blender,” I realized that while it is great to have goals and be organized, sometimes, something has to give. I had to let go of my ideals about what my apartment should look like, what my days should look like, and replace it with what I am able to do that given day. Because let’s face it, some days the dishes have to wait. Some days cleaning the kitchen has to wait. Some days I’m too tired to meal prep. And that’s okay. Some days I need extra time with my husband or he with me. Some days, I need extra time to myself. Some days I need to focus on school more. And that’s okay.

We were not meant to zoom from one task to the other 24/7. No wonder we don’t handle it well when we try! We were meant to have rest as a routine part of our lives. God setting aside the seventh day of creation as the Sabbath has a message deeper than not working one day a week. It sends a message that we are to rest.

So, I still have my exact same housework schedule, but it isn’t law. I still try to meal prep, but if I don’t it’s okay. I still like my apartment to look nice, but if it doesn’t always look it’s best, that’s fine (especially now that our family has expanded to include two doggies who leave evidence of themselves everywhere). You don’t have to be Superwoman – or Superman. Sure, certain things in life need attending to, but there is a balance (check out a post from awhile back that I wrote on the topic). I also have an amazing husband who does his fair share of the work and calls me out when I’m overworking myself.

Take a rest from your superhero duties. It’s okay to have dishes in the sink. It’s okay to take an hour or two to yourself. Well, lovelies, it’s time to get back to making dinner. Until next time!

Growing Time

128 days. It’s not that long. But when it’s 128 days until you get to marry your best friend, it feels like forever. Often times I find myself thinking, “March? Why did we plan the wedding so far away? We totally could have planned a wedding in, like, 3 months.”

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Sometimes it really does feel like forever. But lately I’ve become thankful for these 128 days. Because each day gives me the chance to work on preparing to be a better wife to my husband. It’s 128 days to work on our communication, to work on me handling my temper,  to work on learning to cook. The list goes on and on. Part of me wishes that my wedding was tomorrow – well, maybe not tomorrow, I have an exam I can’t miss. At the same time, I am super thankful for these months to prepare for my marriage. When the day comes, I know that neither of us will be “ready;” there’s always room to grow, but we will be more prepared than we are today. So I will cherish each and every day and seize the opportunities to learn from my mistakes, to better myself, to seek God’s wisdom, to grow. And when the day arrives and our journey together truly begins, we will continue to grow together. And hopefully we’ll be growing while eating more than the 5ish meals I can currently make.

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 Photo Credit: Daniel Hjalmarsson

January 2016

Hello lovely people of cyberspace! Last month I randomly decided to do a recap of the month and I decided that I really liked the idea.  So here is a recap of my first month of 2016!

  • I started the second semester of my sophomore year of college (I’m almost halfway done with my Bachelor’s degree!).
  • My best friend tried on wedding dresses for the first time and I only teared up a lot.
  • I started recycling.
  • I started eating healthier and working out.
  • I started a prayer journal in this super cool journal my boyfriend got me for Christmas.
  • I finished my first Bible journal – today actually (Here’s a throwback post: Bible Journaling).
  • I started a jar on January 1 where every time I finish a book I put the name of the book on a slip of paper (with my typewriter, of course) and put it in the jar. Then, at the end of the year I can look and see all the books I’ve read this year – I am so excited for this!
  • I learned that my mini golf skills have only improved on a small scale since I last played when I was 14 (at least I didn’t hit a lady with a golf ball this time).
  • I finished Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke which is a seriously amazing book.
  • I learned not to despise small beginnings; you have to start somewhere.

 

January felt like it flew by, but looking back I can see a lot has happened in my life this month, I’ve seen God move in multiple areas of my life and it is such a blessing to reflect like this.  A lot of these things may seem like they were New Year’s resolutions, but actually none of them were.  They were things that happened because God placed them in my heart.  Other things are just really random things that happened that give you a glimpse of what my life is like.

So what to expect for February: I’m going to start weekly posts on Wednesdays (hint: this week’s post has me really wanting to watch Peter Pan) and I’m expecting God to do big things in my life.  Until next time, lovelies!

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

My Adventure Making Dinner

I got home tonight and I was in a productive mood.  I let the dog out then I went and cleaned my car – though I have no idea why, it’s really cold out there. Then I had the urge to cook.  There are plenty of leftovers, but I decided to cook. Now, I don’t cook, I never have, but I decided to give it a shot.  So after searching through the cabinets and refrigerator, I decided to make stir fry!

I looked up a recipe and decided to get started.

I found the cutting board, sliced the onions, all was well.

Then the issues came.

All we had was canned vegetables, so I decided to drain them and make do. The problem is can openers and I don’t get along. At all. I got the electric can opener out and after fighting with it for about five minutes I went in search of a manual can opener.  After about five minutes – and a lot of juice on the counter – I got the darn can open with the manual one, though I’m really sure I did it wrong.  I struggled with the next can and then took a deep breath and went back to face my enemy – Electric Can Opener. Somehow, I got it to work and opened the can with much ease and less mess.

Then it was time to cook said stir fry.

I got the vegetables going – no big deal.  Then I realized that I needed to put the soy sauce and seasoning in.  I also realized it was going to be hard to measure and stir said stir fry and that I really should have measured them out before I started actually cooking. So, I did a strange little Open a Container Stir the Food Measure the Substance Stir the Food sequence a few times and put the frantically measured items in.

Ah, the food was done – or so I thought.  I tasted it and it needed more soy sauce and more garlic powder.  So I grabbed the soy sauce and shook some directly into the skillet. And all over the stove. My first instinct was to get frustrated, but instead I laughed and said, “The adventures of learning to cook.”By the time I was done, there were vegetables and sauce everywhere. I cleaned up and then ate.  It actually turned out pretty well!

After I ate, I went to transfer the left over stir fry into a tub.  I then knocked the plastic tub – with food in it – off of the counter and saved it by slamming it into the cabinet door with my body, saving all the food from the perilous land of Floor! I continued scraping the stir fry into the tub, unfortunately sending a bunch of it to Floor. I shooed the dog away and then swept up the poor little vegetables.  Seeing as there was a very high chance that I would throw more food, I propped the broom up on the counter behind me.  I continued transferring the vegetables when I heard the broom falling! Not allowing such a thing to happen in my Kitchen, I quickly shot my leg out behind me and pinned the broom to the cabinet while continuing to scrape the food into the tub standing on one foot.

Needless to say, dinner was an adventure.  A messy adventure.  But it was fun and I chose to laugh about the huge mess I was making (the process was pretty much a continuous mess) and realized that it’s part of the learning.

Like learning to cook, learning how to be an adult is messy, but it’s an adventure.

Photo Credit: Izzy Boscawen