Fall Plan-A-Thon and pulling out my best china
They say that your handbag reflects your personality, and that the state of its inside reflects your current state of mind. I hope that’s not true because the inside of my bag has been a mess. I opened it last week to find the remnants of the last three months of ups and downs, including three funerals, a wedding, a major surgery, homeschool planning, vacation receipts, college shopping receipts, and more.
I cleaned it, and determined not to let it go again for so long.
For the last week and a half, I’ve been “fall planning”, and that’s the topic of today’s post.
After such a crazy season, I’m looking forward to starting school and settling into a calmer routine. HAHAHA, you say. School, calm? You see how I’m setting myself up for disappointment, can’t you? And every mother of a toddler EVER said, AMEN. Humor me. Ahem. So,
I’ve been working on my fall priorities , including what we are using for K4 and Hope’s sophomore year.
If you’ve ever used my priority worksheet (here) you know I pencil in:
- all my non-negotiables (the things that only I can do–like caring for our home, teaching/training the kids, befriending my husband, and keeping up with our extended family, birthdays, special days, celebrations, traditions),
- anything God is nudging me to do. Things which reflect my gifting or desires. These include Bible/word studies I want to learn more about, mentoring women God puts in my path or on my heart to influence, my blogging calendar/ministry, hospitality, or other kindness related work.
- The nice things that I’d like to do if time allows: projects around the house, dinner plans with friends, coffee chats, classes I’d like to take, speaking opportunities, conferences, or places I’d like to visit.
Maybe this habit of writing it all down would help you to see your ideals at a glance before you over-commit yourself and find it hard to do the things that really matter? Remember, if you don’t plan your life, someone else will.
Or if you are easily overwhelmed, maybe writing down what you plan to accomplish in a day makes the mountain seem a bit more manageable when it’s before you in bullet points.
This week, my plan was to enjoy my last week with my kids before they leave for college, and take control of some of the clutter that accumulated during the wedding season. I also re-organized my kitchen a little bit for the fall.
I restocked the grains in my primitive cabinet, and brought up the rest of my flow blue china, which had been tucked away in the cellar for far too long. I brought up a several pieces about six months ago to see if we could use it without breaking it in the porcelain sink. So far so good, so after a trial, up it all comes to be made useful again, serving family and friends. After all, people are more precious than the china, and you can’t take it with you. You may recall that I did a watercolor of this cabinet a few years back entitled “Teach us to number our days.” This cabinet holds so much of a woman’s life: food, books, sewing kit, buttons, cards, etc…and after my niece, Addy’s surgery, I was inspired to paint this old, familiar friend. Printable here.
I added a new thought to my coffee bar: “The highest reward for a persons toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.” John Ruskin.
I’ve been in a soup making mood and I’m open to all delicious soup recipe suggestions. 🙂 You can leave a link in the comments or on FB.
My friend, Niki, pointed me to this delicious Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili which is full of good things: coconut milk, turmeric, kale, red lentils, butternut, cinnamon and other veggies. One change the to recipe is that I use frozen butternut squash to make it easier and it comes out perfect. It’s a delicious, nutritious meal!
A few other things I’ve done to simplify/refresh my fall:
- I’ve removed the FB app from my phone.
- I’ve scheduled read aloud times with audiobooks during the afternoon so we can all rest, listen, and do something creative with our hands. I’m currently listening to Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, the story of two “Christian” college friends who reconnect after 20 years. “One is living life apart from God, in comfortable corporate America; the other is living for Christ under intense persecution in China. This challenging book will convince readers to live in the light of eternity.” (<—Amazon’s description. This book would be great to listen to with teens! My friend, Sarah, recommended it to me and we’re loving it. So convicting!) and Cranford read by Claire Willes with her wonderful English accent.
- I’m turning off phone notifications during school time. Remember the old days of homeschooling when they told you to let your answering machine pick up during school hours so you could focus on the job at hand? I totally think the notification thing applies as well, AMIRIGHT?
- I’m being intentional about getting together for walks or tea or visiting with friends. This just refreshes me and I thrive in that environment in a world that is shut up behind screens.
Are you in the middle of a fall plan-a-thon? What are you using this fall? What are you reading? Feel free to share in the comments or on our FB page.
Note: Because of Facebook’s algorithms and the fact that FB is a business and as such they have every right to charge for views on the platform, and because this is a ministry, and I don’t plan to pay for ad space on FB, I’m going to ask my community here to help me out. If you enjoy these posts, would you consider sharing them with your friends via FB or email? I trust you to share these posts with people who will enjoy them more than I trust FB to recommend them, and since you’re likely to share with likeminded women, that would help me out so much more than FB ever could. Thanks so much in advance, you guys!
Note 2: It’s been a while since I’ve said thank you to my readers. Following a blogger with so many kids is on again off again endeavor, to be sure. When this blog goes cold, just know that I’m not able to catch a break, or that I need to use that time to read or study myself. An empty vessel cannot pour into anyone else, so I really want to be aware of not just pumping out content for the sake of content. You guys are such a blessing to me and I honestly love this community. Thanks for all your encouraging comments and inboxes. You feel like family!
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12 thoughts on “Fall Plan-A-Thon and pulling out my best china”
Sarah, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and heart. I so appreciate it. It never ceases to amaze me how many times the Lord has us on the same page or doing very similar things. I love what you said here: “Remember, if you don’t plan your life, someone else will.” How very true this is! It is so important that we plan and seek the Lord to lead our steps as we go. Being intentional about the priorities. Not allowing others to manipulate our feeling or coerce us into doing what we shouldn’t do. I love that you have a section of non-negotiables. It makes it so much easier to keep the priorities in focus. One area that is a struggle is having both homeschooled children and elderly parents to care for. Both are important but neither can upstage the other. It seems like it has to be a fluid and flexible season while caring for both. Blessings my friend on your new fall schedule! The Lord will supply the grace and the peace that we need as we do everything as unto him. <3
Karen, YES, we are so often growing through the same things or have similar interests! Peter and I are just entering the stage where our parents care is on the forefront of our mind. I know we are entering that season shortly. I’ll be interested to hear how you juggled it all. I just read a passage in the Homemaker’s Handbook by Pat Ennis on Caring for Your Elderly Parents. It was quite good. Happy planning, my friend. I know God will give you grace and strength!
So, my all-time favorite soup recipe book is “300 Sensational Soups” (found here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OLIlKp). The Lasagna Soup remains one of my favorites. 🙂
I have NEVER heard of Lasagna soup! Intriguing! Will check it out! Thanks!!
Sarah, I would be very happy to share your posts! They are always encouraging and inspiring. I’m reading the Disciple – Making Parent by Chap Bettis. Of course my child is grown, but I have a heart for sharing things I have learned and am still learning.
Aw, this is so nice! Thank you! I’ve never heard of the Disciple-Making Parent but I’m jotting it down for future reference. <3
Sarah, love your blog and your heart! We are in the middle of moving back to the farm that I grew up on (next one over, actually), and I am so ready for a new school year, fall decorating and cooking …. You always are inspiring me with ideas and just the “feeling” of home. Thanks for blogging despite your very full life!
Aw, there’s just something about cozying into fall, isn’t there? It may be the weather or the harvest, but I just love that life slows somehow. Thanks for reading here and encouraging me over the years, Sara! And in the middle of moving back home–how exciting! Will you be farming as well? It sounds wonderful. XO
Steve is planning to work off the farm so we have health insurance, and we will just help with the farming for now. The kids are SUPER excited. 🙂 I’m excited too, because I get to homeschool without also having a full-time job. I will teach piano lessons and do some writing and editing. I am so looking forward to this!
YAY. Sounds like lots of fun changes ahead! So happy for you all!
I too am very much a planner, but I never though to “plan out” my fall. Or any season for that matter. I love that idea!! So helpful! I am going to be doing this soon. Thank you for the idea and encouragement!
So glad it was helpful. I think because we live in New England and have four distinct seasons, I tend to categorize/plan for them in that way. Fall also extends into CHRISTMAS planning which is in a category all itself!! HAHA. Have a great day, Dawn!