In the busyness of life, we tend to skim over how we’re really feeling.
We stuff down a little disappointment here, a bit of frustration there, or a general sense of discontent hanging over us all the time. We might not intend to avoid those feelings, but the pace of life and the needs of our homes force us to keep moving. But as a mentor once told me, when we bury our feelings, we bury them alive. They always find a way out.
Those feelings (known or not) shape our expectations and our realities. Our goal is to root them out now and name them.
Unnamed expectations can paralyze us and actually hinder us from moving forward because, in effect, we’re trying to hit the bullseye on a target we can’t even find! Naming the expectation is like locating the target so we can take aim and fly in the right direction.
Use the first few pages in your Faithful Moms Summer Planner to name your expectations for the summer and get clear on your target.
If you need a little more prompting, prayerfully consider these questions, too ::
1. When you really stop and reflect, how are you really feeling about this summer?
Seek to discern what emotion is predominate — or carries the most weight — in your heart and mind. For me, it was worry. I kept thinking how worried I felt about this summer. Even though I was excited about the summer, all mixed up with the other emotions lurked worry.
2. What do I feel so [ insert the emotion here i.e. worried, excited, overwhelmed ] about?
This question might take some time, and you may need to revisit this question a few times. Consider specific things motivating that emotion.
After hearing me comment for the millionth time how worried I was about the summer, a friend reminded me to get specific.
I put off the exercise, reasoning that it could wait and all my urgent tasks were more important, but once I did this, a huge weight was lifted.
I sat down and wrote out every little thing I felt worried about in regard to this summer. Some of the things were legitimate; others weren’t. Some were big concerns; others were small. The key was, once I got all of that worry out of my head and heart and onto my paper, I could see the fears more objectively and I could pray more specifically.
Getting clear on this question made a world of difference.
3. What do you really want for this summer?
This question aims for the root. When you think about this summer, what is it you’re really hoping for?
We can easily list things we want.
For our summer want list, a lot of us might include doing fun things with our kids, date nights with our significant others, laid-back, relaxing weekends, and all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings.
But the reason WHY we desire those experiences can differ among us.
Some of us long for deeper connections with the people we love. Someone else desires those experiences because she’s felt so uptight and controlling lately, and she really wants to live stress free with her family. For others, the frantic pace of life has kept everyone on edge, and she yearns for a slower pace with her family.
As you answer this question, list out all the wants that come to mind. Get them all down on paper. Then look over them and see if there’s a pattern. What motivates those desires? What is at the root? What do you really want this summer? Or put another way — at the end of the summer, when you look back to evaluate the time you had, what needs to happen for you to say, “Yea, that was a great summer”?
Naming your expectations and getting clear on what you want is the first step in moving forward.
Tomorrow we’ll be talking about alignment and focusing on how everyone in the family can be “pulling in the same direction.” Watch your inbox!
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