A couple of months ago I was struggling with the balance of everything. Living with my mom for the first 2 months of Max's life was wonderfully relaxing and made the transition to motherhood a bit more smooth. But then we moved to a new area and I had to face the reality that I was mostly on my own. I say mostly because for awhile I felt like I was totally on my own for the majority of the day. I had to keep up with keeping our home clean, making sure Max is changed/fed/napped, making meals, grocery shopping, budgeting in all of the other tiny things that add up eventually. It was exhausting.
Kyle would come home, I would hand over Max and focus on making dinner without disruption. It was good for awhile but every now and then I would have a bad day. A day where a was just a major grump and Kyle would come home and my mood would offset his and we would be a couple of grumps sitting on the couch wallowing in our individual grumpiness which usually left Max wondering why he got such crazy parents.
I would ponder a lot about what I needed to do and occasionally I remembered to pray about it a bit more earnestly (especially after a grump-day).
Then a few words were whispered into my heart.
Scripture Study and journaling.
A local leader of our church had just given us the challenge to study everyday, even if it is just one verse at the end of the day. Read from the scriptures. I took his challenge, falling flat every now and then. But oh my! What peace and comfort would come into my day when I actively made time for scripture study. Finding time for it is not easy. It means I have to sacrifice shower time, internet time, time where Max is sleeping and I am FREE! But when I would try to resist the spirit would whisper and encourage me to get off my lazy bum and read because it's going to affect my whole day. I am always reminded how much it does affect my day when I push away the impressions to take out a notebook and open my scriptures. I have found it helpful to read with a purpose as well, so I chose to read the Book of Mormon with the mindset of finding how merciful Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are. Wow, what a shocker for gratitude. Needless to say scripture study is now a highlight of my day and it is easier and easier to make time for it because I feel a palpable difference.
I started journaling shortly after I was baptized and it was so good to flush out my mind at the end of the day and get all the good and bad out of my system and onto paper instead. Unfortunately plannign a wedding made my daily journaling suffer and I have been so hit or miss since. But on the days when I do journal, I go to bed so incredibly content, happy, satisfied, grateful, at peace. It helps me gain perspective on the not so fun stuff that happens and helps me to see all the good that I have in my life. Most journal entries ramble but I love looking back at them and remember my emotions how that flowed out through my fingers, through a pen, and are solidified in ink. Sometimes I am shocked at how intelligent my entries are. Some entries harbor knowledge that I needed yesterday, today, or tomorrow. I am grateful for journals. Especially flowerly, pretty ones that inspire me to open them daily.
I can truly testify that daily scripture study and journal help to keep my sanity. They may not work for you but I bet there is something that does. Something that helps to keep the grumps at minimum (sometimes we need some grumpiness to contrast the happiness) and helps to gain perspective on daily life.
Oh how I love the way personal revelation works. It helps me know that Heavenly Father truly knows me and knows that I am deathly scared of the mental health issues in my family. I am grateful He has given me a way to keep them at bay. To keep myself truly in a state of ever increasing happiness.