What’s On Your Plate?

Every December I begin to get pensive and reflective on the previous year. I blame sitting in my dark den basking in the glow of our Christmas tree. I think about what has transpired; the fun, the celebratory, and those difficult moments I’m glad we all survived.

In looking back I also begin to look ahead. I wonder what our coming year will look like. I think on those things that are coming, both known and unknown. Just this morning, I prayed that God would give me the right perspective in 2017 as we will literally have THREE DIFFERENT MAILING ADDRESSES in one calendar year. (Serenity now!)

December is also the time when our homeschool semester break falls. I like to think about our school year so far; what has been working, what hasn’t, what needs tweaking, and what we’d like to improve going into the second semester. In 2016, this mid-year break is also a shift as I’ll be back to a full-time CEO of the Wood family home.

In true-to-form fashion, these “shifts” and “breaks” can send me into a bit of a tizzy. I have a lifetime habit of feeling like I need to have every moment of every day planned and full of meaningful busyness. I tend to take on too much; mostly good things, but things that can easily get my priorities and values out of whack. I leave out much needed rest and downtime in favor of trying to do it all. A new semester and a new year is a wonderful opportunity to reset of the heart, mind, and calendar.

To that end, I had a wonderful reminder recently that there’s only so much that can be done in a day. One of my Homeschool Heroes does a video Q&A and while the question from a mom of young kids didn’t particularly apply to my exact circumstances, Sonya’s reply got to me.

To this harried and tired homeschool mother, Sonya suggested that she evaluate the state of her life and priorities by “taking everything off of her plate,” laying it all out and asking herself what was most important. She suggested praying over those things, discussing them with her husband, and then before carefully putting things back on that plate to decide which of those things was most important, the “things that you get only one shot at,” the things that once gone are gone forever.

Then Sonya suggested leaving some margin on that plate; room to think, breathe, laugh, pause, and enjoy. It got me thinking about my own life and priorities. What are those things in my life right now that I only get one shot at, the things I can’t get back?

As a homeschooling mom, that “one shot,” is the educational experience we are giving our kids; their Christian formation; character and habit training; and most importantly, the time we are able to spend together as a family.

I begin to ask myself, in 10 years what won’t I get back? And conversely, in 10 years what I can easily “pick back up?” I had some good moments of reflection and better yet, a great talk with Thomas, Mae, and Kate about some adjustments we plan to make in our school rhythm. It solidifies where and how we all hope to invest that valuable commodity of our time.

What is the stateof your plate?.png

As this year winds down and another is just around the corner, how’s your plate? Maybe you don’t homeschool, won’t live in three houses in one year, or don’t even have kids at home. But you do have a plate? What will you put on it in 2017?

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” {Psalm 90:12}



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