- There were things I loved about being a child in a family of just four. I loved our holidays as a tight little unit going off on adventures together. I loved how close we were (all of these things still apply but for now, I want to remember what it was like to be a child in a family of four). I loved our identity as a four. I loved the opportunities we had. I loved the quiet. I loved the strength and confidence we found in each other.
- When I see a family of four, it reminds me of my childhood; a joyful, rich, blessed, loving upbringing that made me everything I am today and brought me this life I love. Our resources weren’t stretched and being a small family opened worlds of opportunity to us that may not otherwise have been there. It gave us the flexible lifestyle we all wanted and which, especially at the time, was against the norm and made my life as unique as it is.
- I’m not sure why then, despite all that, I’ve always loved the idea of having three children. I love the possibility of big, joyful Christmases. I love the fantasy of ‘soccer mom’ living a full, productive life, looking after a home and clan of kids. I love the dream of hearing lots of children laugh and play in the garden. I’m realising that none of these things would cease to apply if we just have two children and I think God is changing my heart so that if that is how we end up, I’m OK with that.
On who I want to be:
- Joyful – even when I’m tired, or sad, or worried, or frustrated
- Thankful – remembering that the things that wear me down and annoy me can also be the source of my joy
- Aware of the corporate impact of my sin – particularly my selfishness
- Hungry for Scripture – knowing that the Word of God can teach, encourage, correct and guide me to be all that I can be, not just for myself but for my family and all those around me
- Sleep can be subjective. Even if it has been broken, I may well still have got all I need. Even if last night was hard, it doesn’t mean that tonight will be. Even if I’ve had multiple bad nights, it doesn’t mean that all joy has been whisked away. There are always people to help, for which I’m truly thankful and, when really needed, those people help me get the sleep I need to rest my body and mind and come back to life in full strength.
- I need to remember to pull back the curtains, truly see the new day, take a deep breath, enjoy the early morning air and start my day with hope.
On social media and using time wisely:
- Scrolling can be soul destroying. It sucks away life, eats away time and encourages many of the thoughts and attitudes that seek to bring my heart down. In itself it’s not bad. I love sharing photos, keeping in touch with friends and finding creative inspiration and encouragement. Rather it is my use of it that forms an unhealthy habit.
- Instead, I could read, or write, or study the Bible, or any of the other things that bring my soul to life. These things also model positive habits to my son, who is increasingly making me conscious of what I don’t want to encourage in him – unconsciously (he’s only 5 months old) ‘shaming’ me if you will, into a life that is fuller, brighter and wiser than my human weakness tempts me to live.
- A little self-discipline is going to be required to find my balance again…