Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sometimes You Need A Little Pick-Me-Up

This week I have admittedly taken a little break from my normal routine.  Planning, preparing, and hosting the family gathering last weekend emptied my tank and I needed a full week to try to replenish my energy!  I feel like we've let one of our last few weeks of summer slip by, but I was just too wiped out to do much and so were the kids.  I took them on a field trip on Monday to see the John Deere Pavilion, but other than that we were homebodies watching the Olympics and playing some new sports we've seen on tv.  I'm glad my kids have great imaginations, because they've filled those hours to the fullest!

This week I took the time to read a few books.  Today I'd like to share a little review on a book that would be great for any mother to read.  It's called You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth.  I found the title on Amazon when it was brought up in the "You may also like this" section under a book title I had already read.  It sounded interesting and I'm glad I picked it up!

We all know that being a parent is an overwhelming, never-ending job.  I know I always feel like I could be doing a better job, giving my kids more, providing more experiences for them, etc.  Most days I feel like I am just not doing enough.  I analyze situations that I didn't handle the way I would like, brainstorm ways to "fix" some of the problems we have with our kids, and make endless lists of activities I would like to do with them.  The problem is, there is just not enough time in the day to everything I'd like to do.

Perhaps, I need to cut myself some slack.  At least that's what the author of this book is suggesting.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because it helps you take a step back and look at who you are.  Each chapter helps you to identify your strengths and encourages you to build upon them.  She helps you see in what ways you can put your strengths to work to make yourself feel happy, useful, and direct you to activities that you will succeed in.  Perhaps those areas in your life that you have viewed as weaknesses for so long really aren't.  It is just not how your mind is wired.  It's okay!  (Sigh of relief).

I know I always have a desire to do more, both for my family and myself.  I have endless to-do lists and set goals for myself that I work to achieve.  While I like to visually see my goals and cross them off the list, I don't always achieve what I had hoped and it can be a little disappointing.  Here is an idea from the book that I like, though:  the "Do What You Can Plan."  Here's a great example:  I'd like to exercise at least four times a week, but it just doesn't always work out.  Instead of beating myself up about it, the author suggests just doing what I can.  If I can only fit in a few push-ups and crunches a day, then so be it.  At least I've done something.  Of course this can be applied to many areas in my life.  I think it's a great idea!  

To me, though, the most important chapter was about taking care of yourself.  I know that I don't take nearly enough time for myself.  It's something that I've been trying to work on for awhile.  In fact, you can find it listed under a personal goal in My Happiness Project journal.  I've read this in various magazines and books and no matter how hard I try, I always sell "my time" short.  I have come to realize that I need to make this a priority.  Somehow I need to schedule in some kid-free time either alone, with friends, or my husband.  In the end it will make me a better mother, wife, and person in general.  Everybody needs some time to re-energize themselves.  We don't have to feel selfish or ashamed about it.  It is just a simple truth.

If you're looking for a book to help you understand a little bit more about yourself and your tendencies, then this is a good read.  This book is focused on leading a life that God has planned for you, so there are many biblical references.  The author helps the audience relate these verses to everyday life and offers some suggestions on how we can use our strengths to enrich our families and community.  

After reading this book, I feel like I'm on the right path in my life journey.  It was easy for me to find where my personal tendencies lie in each section and it came as no surprise in most cases.  I enjoy being a leader, working with many people, and am full of ideas that I enjoy putting to use to help others.  Now that we are settling into our community, I am working hard to find ways to put these skills to work.  Just this week, I acted on a few ideas.  If they come to fruition, I will share them with you.  

We have to remember:  life is a journey, not a destination.  There are always new adventures waiting around the corner and we just have to figure out our paths to achieve His plan.  Regardless of how we feel we are doing at the moment, it's okay:  we're still amazing in God's eyes! 


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