Humble Roots was an enjoyable read. I loved the beautiful glimpse she gave into their sweet country life, this of course coming from a girl that has always romanticized about country living… maybe someday. :) Her stories about country life alone would have been enjoyable for me, but her content was beautiful as well. I love how she wove nature into each chapter; the lovely sketches, the chapter names, and the stories that were told, it all felt very grounding.
There were a couple spots where I felt like she went off topic and I didn't see the connection to humble roots, but even so, the conversation was still engaging and thought-provoking.
The theme that has lingered with me since I finished the book is how beautiful humility really is. True humility causes us to gratefully open up our hands (our control) knowing that it is all from Him anyway. This speaks directly to my heart because although I have labeled myself as easy going, I have a strong desire to control the little circle of my life much more than I care to admit.
A few of the things I underlined:
"pride manifests itself in anxiety and restlessness; and how humility frees us from the cycle of stress, performance, and competition."
"Learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart…" "Something rich and restful. Something true and beautiful. Something that will lead us to flourishing and peace."
"When we believe that with enough effort, enough organization, or enough commitment, we can fix things that are broken, we set ourselves in God's place. And when we do, we reap stress, restlessness, and anxiety."
I would definitely recommend this book if you are in a place where you desire to release control and are curious about what this kind of humility might look like. This releasing of control… because really, I was never in control anyway. I won't claim that this book allowed me to reach that spot, but it got me thinking and pondering. I now have a frequent reminder of what humility looks like, a true understanding of my place in His kingdom - living out the strengths He has given me in this beautiful life.
As always, you are enough and can create a beautiful life unique to your family,
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Hey there, grab a cup of coffee, enjoy some quiet time, and welcome into our day.
Now that it is winter and the days are darker I wake up around 6:30, a bit later than my ideal, but good for this season. While my mocha heats up I often light a candle, get a blanket, and then settle into my quiet time spot on the couch to have my Bible/Prayer time. Next, I write for 5 minutes. I love this ritual because it allows me to process anything from the day before or what lies ahead, allowing me to clear my mind. If I have time before the kids wake up I go through email and sometimes read a book. The kids are also sleeping later this winter, so I stay in my quiet space until they are up and moving sometime between 7:00 & 8:00.
The kiddos get up at varying times, but they need to be ready for the day and done with chores by 9:00.
At 9:00 we gather at the dining room table for our group morning time, each child brings something to do while I read out loud. (legos, coloring, dolls hair to braid, etc.) We start with prayer, work on a memory verse (we just finished Psalm 1), say our blessing and then I read aloud. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we read a historical fiction or history book. On Thursdays we have Poetry tea time and Friday is our nature day. We are members of Wild Explorers Club and although we haven't been going through the lessons as quickly as I would have hoped, we are enjoying so many wonderful hikes with good friends on Fridays. And in my book, that totally counts as nature day.
My older two girls are mostly independent with their school. One chooses to get most of her school done before 9:00 and then saves her reading for rest time, and our oldest usually does all of her school after group time. The little two switch back and forth, some mornings they spend the time before 9:00 playing and other times they want to get school done. We go with the flow on this.
We are usually done with our core school by 11:00, we then do a quick pick up of the house, and the older girls finish school, read, or practice the piano. This is their free time. Two days a week my older two make lunch and we typically eat around 12:00 and complete any clean up so we are ready for rest time at 1:00.
Rest time is a key to my sanity. I am an introvert and somewhat of a lower energy person (not type A) so this down time in the middle of the day is a key piece of soul care for me. We have rest time on most days from 1:00-3:00. The kids read, listen to audible, practice instruments, play with Legos, dolls, etc. This is their downtime as well as mine. This is essential in our house and a huge blessing for me. Rest time has needed to be a lot more flexible this year as we have added some extra activities, but we still benefit from the downtime.
Depending on the day, you will find us at music lessons, art class, STEAM class, and horse riding. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the flexibility we have to pursue and strengthen their passions.
After rest time we have free time, sometimes they play outside, or play games inside, or just hang out with each other.
We eat around 5:30, then we do our night chores and kitchen clean up to get the house in order and then my favorite time of the day - read aloud time. Right now we are reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner's Dilemma, the 3rd book in the Mysterious Benedict's Society.
Everyone is in their rooms between 8:00-8:30, although sometimes this is closer to 7:30 if the younger ones seem extra tired. Each child has a special cuddle night of the week that they get special one-on-one time with me.
I usually practice piano and/or guitar from 8:00-8:45 and then start gearing for bed. If my hubby is home, we hang out and chat or read a book together. If he is gone I usually have an early night of reading in our room.
And then the cycle continues. There are always slight variations to our day, but I thrive on routine so our days typically have a similar flow.
Thanks so much for joining me on our day.
As always, you are enough and can create a beautiful life unique to your family,
Customized Health Plan
There is a loving and gentle way to take care of your body.
It is ok if you aren't eating "perfectly" now.
It is ok if you aren't exercising intensely now.
It is ok if you don't look like you used to look.
It is ok if you take a nap rather than workout.
It's amazing what can happen when we tune into our bodies. What are you craving? What sounds good? Something warm. Something cool? Something comforting? Something lean? A healing workout? A walk in nature? A dance party with your kids? An intense workout?
Your beautiful body birthed a child/children and carries you gracefully and beautifully through each day so let's show her respect by asking her what she needs. And by letting whatever she needs be okay.
Does your body need healing? If so, this season will look very different then when you are in optimal health. It isn't wise to ignore what your body needs and just push through. Instead, it is time to start listening, and know when you do this, you will be on the path to flourishing.
If the thought of taking a little space to allow for healing makes you nervous, take me for example. Physical fitness and nutrition have always been an integral part of my life because that is how I am wired. I have always loved reading about exercise and nutrition and have always been in pretty good shape as a result. But, after baby number 4, I pushed myself too hard with exercise and was trying to do too much too soon. I wasn't in tune with my body, I was impatient, and had the tendency to just plow through. I pushed myself during this time because I was "disciplined", but in hindsight, it would have been better if I had been committed to listening to my body and giving her the extra time she needed to heal. Life in that stage threw me many curve balls: a new city, starting to homeschool, a 2 year old boy :), and a husband that was travelling all-the-time for work! Discipline got completely replaced by exhaustion and I had to learn a whole new way of taking care of my health. At the time, it was emotionally and physically challenging. Now, I am so grateful that I had to learn a new kind of self-care. Six years later I am healthy and continue to grow stronger. My body has done an amazing job of healing itself and is on the path towards vitality. It just needed some time, space, and love.
What would it look like to take 5 seconds before you eat and ask yourself what you want, what does your body need? Do you want comfort food? Food that will give you energy? Something light? And then instead of eating at the counter, or in the car, make the space to sit, light a candle, give thanks, and savor. It is totally ok if it is on a paper plate or if it is takeout, but be present and really taste the food.
You can do the same thing with exercise. How are you feeling today? Did you sleep well? Do you have any aches and pains? Are you well rested and full of energy? It is totally ok and even beneficial to shift your exercise based on your body and the season. Some days it might be more healing to take a walk. Others a good workout with a DVD or online is what your body needs. Maybe some free weights one day. The key is to start listening and paying attention to the needs of your body.
It wasn't until I let go of the shoulds and guilt that I was able to do what was best for any given season. When my kids were little and my energy was low, I just didn't have it in me to cook + do dishes, and I now know that is totally ok. But I constantly compared myself to others, either in real life or in blogland, and more importantly the "ideal mom in my head" left no space for grace. My body, my abilities, my family, my health, and my needs are not the same as anyone else and I needed to learn to embrace this truth. When you are able to let go and set aside those ideals for a later season, because yes, that later season will come, you will gain the freedom to live your life and health will naturally follow.
The more I learn to listen to what my body needs, the more my life flourishes.
Whether with food or exercise try to make the experience lovely and meaningful. For exercise, listen to your favorite play list. If you love being outside, take 5-10minutes and get outside. I recently bought a disco light and we have a hula hoop party after the evening chores are done. Not only is this a great time to bond with my kids, its great exercise to boot, especially with a weighted hoop. Exercise should be a joy to add into your life, get curious about what that looks like for you.
With eating, I love to light candles and turn on instrumental music. Figure out what makes the experience beautiful to you, sippy cups on the floor and all!
Create a beautiful space for yourself and your sweet family.
Everyone has different energy levels, different life experiences, so I really just want to encourage you to pay attention to your life, your personality and what works for you! I highly value eating together as a family, so it doesn't matter as much if it is homecooked (although that is my ideal) or on paper plates, for me it is all about gathering together.
With exercise, some days it is more important for me to nap then exercise. I tend to want to push more in the Spring and Summer when I naturally have more energy, and so I am learning to follow this natural rhythm.
And now that I am out of that season - where we ate more takeout and used more paper plates than the ideal mom in my head- I can see that we still created so many beautiful memories and I wish I wouldn't have been so hard on myself. We instilled good table manners and set the stage for the bonding that can happen around family meals. And now we eat several homecooked meals around the tables and it is one my favorite times of the day.
I encourage you to set aside 10 minutes this week and ask yourself what you want from food/meals? What is the experience you long for? What habits do you want for your kiddos? What are you exercise/fitness goals? What season are you in now? Do you need to get your hormones looked at before you exercise hard? I will be posting soon about diastasis recti and prolapse, these physical injuries need to be addressed and healed before you push yourself. After you make this list take the rest of the time to see what is realistic for this season, keeping in mind the great importance of maintaining your health and then choose one thing to implement in this season.
As always, you are enough and can create a beautiful life unique to your family
Hey, I'm Julie. I love books, coffee shops, traveling, and exploring. Homeschooling Mama to 4, wife of 15 years. Enjoying the journey and learning to add a bit more of summer into my everyday life.