Friday, February 28, 2014

Home Alone

 Earlier this week Ken had a dinner meeting down in the Twin Cities (a 4+ hour jaunt from our place) and so he would be going down in the afternoon, spending the night and coming back the next day. When he does something like that our family often likes to go along as we have family and friends down there and we enjoy seeing them as well as having the extra family time in the car as well.

This time we had talked about going as a family too but as I had something scheduled I wasn't sure if it would work and then I kind of forgot about it and scheduled something else as well. It just seemed that this time it wouldn't work out so well for all of us to go. When the kids heard about Ken's upcoming trip they wondered why they couldn't go even if I didn't go. They could spend time with their cousins while Ken was busy. So we decided to do that. I would stay home alone.

  Being at home alone is a very odd thing for me. It has hardly ever happened in my life. I grew up in a big (6 kids) and busy family and we did things together. When I went off to college I lived in a girls dorm with room-mates and life was pretty bustling there as well. While still in college Ken and I got married and while still in college Mara was born. My life has normally been one of having lots of people around me and I like that. I am an extrovert and having people around is what I like. Even when I am sick I tend to lay out in the living room so I don't miss out on anything.

  This week however I actually thought some alone time sounded kind of fun (and I actually had more if it then I thought I would as a couple of my commitments got cancelled due to others being sick). I had purchased Crystal Paine's book "Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode" a few weeks ago and had read through it quickly but was wanting to go back through it and really sit down and write down my thoughts, priorities and goals.

   Though I love my family dearly and love to have them around it was really kind of nice to just be able to concentrate on thinking about how to make our lives a little more organized and figure out ways to be more productive but less stressed. So on Tuesday evening I made myself a lovely supper of liver, sauerkraut and pasta (I decided I might as well have some of the things they didn't like so much while they were gone) and sat down with my meal, my book, a notebook and a cup of tea.

  With much prayer I have been carefully thinking about what I have going on in my life, working to see what is really important and what isn't. What is using the strengths that God has given me and what things aren't? How can I get rid of clutter in my home, thoughts and schedule? How can I be more focused?

  Though not normally a lover of extended time alone (I do REALLY like a little alone time each morning) this 24 hours that I was given was really a retreat for me that I thoroughly enjoyed.

  Even if you don't have alone time to read it in - I do recommend Crystal's book. If you are over busy or stressed or feel like you aren't accomplishing anything "Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode" might be just the tool that you need to help.

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