This is my husband's 3rd time going through school.
This time is so much different then the last few times.
It used to be so lonely and felt like this HUGE commitment that would never end.
It felt like we never saw Alex and I felt like I was parenting alone.
I was stressed, exhausted, frustrated, frazzled, and ... unfortunately... pretty contentious.
Now, I'm surprised at how quickly it's flying by!
I think it's because the Lord's taught us some very valuable lessons.
It takes creativity, flexibility, and also, some times of not compromising.
There are four main "times" that we schedule for our family.
We have a House Night which includes everyone in our home that lives with us (currently 12 people). On House night we have a meal together and then spend at least 4 hours doing something together. Sometimes we pray and read the Bible together. Sometimes we have issues we need to talk out. Sometimes we all go somewhere for dinner or someone's home to hang out. The main thing is that we are all doing it as a household once a week. This keeps us united. Since schedules are so different it's important we see each other and connect once a week. Our house night is Friday from around 5pm-9pm
|Family Night eating out and then going to a local conference.|
|Ahavah and I had to get food from an Organic Resutraunt and bring it to the place the rest of the house was eating. She was pretty sick this night from her Chelation Therapy. She hardly ate and was really swollen in the face and exhausted.|
|Here's our house night table! :)|
|Papa reading library books to all the kids one house night.|
We also have a Sabbath. The point of a Sabbath is to do less physically then you do the rest of the week. You need to catch up on sleep, rest your body and your mind, and spend extra time in the Word studying and being refreshed. Alex will spend some time in Bible Study or reviewing the kid's lessons from Thursday and Sundays with them. Our Sabbath collides with our House Night and starts 4pm Friday until 4pm Saturday. This often means sometimes missing out on some events if they seem to be more of a stressful thing then a relaxing thing (like today we opted out of a homeschool field trip because my husband is pretty fried), but it could also mean rescheduling our sabbath to make ministry/other events that are really important to us (God's Not Broke ect).
Lastly, we have a day when we invite people over, or have time to work on projects around the house or ministry. This day, for us, is Sunday. Alex will usually change lightbulbs, work on the bathroom, work on the yard ect. I'll usually bake what I need for the week, go to the Farmer's Market and make stocks and sauces to freeze, make the weekly school lesson plans, or do some deep cleaning. We may throw something in the crockpot before church and invite people over for food after church. I love having this day right before the week starts because I feel recharged from my Sabbath and then I feel prepared come Monday.
Obviously each schedule is different for each season of life, but this is ours right now. Having these days to look forward to makes things so much more tolerable.
A few other tips that the Lord's taught us have to do with things my husband has implemented.
- He never brings homework home. He will stay a few hours after school and get it done.
- If He has "found time", he spends it with us.
- When he's here, he's here! He's not thinking of all the things he needs to get done.
- On our Sabbath, he rests. He doesn't schedule appointments or make phone calls. (And ladies, don't tell your husband all the things that need to get fixed around the house on his Sabbath! Implement another time for him to work on those things.)
- He calls and face time's regularly. He checks up on how things are going on my end. He'l help correct issues over the phone, or praise the kids for their school work. It feels like he's still involved.
I just LOVE these times in this season of life! Our house nights range from super chaotic, to such a sweet time of intimacy and fellowship, to a night of laughs and fun! Sometimes we blast music and watch the kids dance, stay up late playing "Mafia", or fall asleep snuggled up together in front of a movie or TV show. :)
** On a side note, it took several years for us to have this implemented so beautifully like we do now. It took years of prayer, trial and error, and learning how to keep these things and how important they were. If your husband's not there yet, PRAY!! The amazing changes of prayer!! Man! I am a beaming, happy, blessed, wife due to who the Lord has molded my husband into. He's a strong, responsible, amazing man of God!