Mondays are my day for tackling my mailbox. This week, I’m sharing a message I got from a sweet and talented reader named Lynn a few weeks back:
I think you are REMARKABLE and love your blog!
Couple of questions:
- However do you fit all you do in a 24 hour day like the rest of us??
- How old are your children… Youngest to oldest?
- I’ve got something I think your younger kids will enjoy that I wanted to send to them. Do you have a mailing address I can send it to you??
And here is the message I sent in reply…
I’m so sorry to be so long in replying to you. We got the flu a couple of weeks ago 🙁 and I’m only now sorting through all the emails that piled up during our illness.
To answer your questions, in reverse order:
3. I’ve messaged our mailing address to you privately.
2. Our children are currently 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, and 30 (but we have some birthdays coming up in May and June that are going to throw those numbers off a little).
1. As for how I accomplish so much in a given day, I don’t have any super-amazing secret. But here are some habits that help:
- I start every morning with Bible study and prayer (to download a copy of the reading plan I use, follow this link). That gets me off on the right foot and helps set the tone for the rest of the day. (I learned a poem as a young girl which perfectly sums up my perspective on this topic: “I Met God in the Morning” )
- I get up early to do a lot of mental work (writing/ planning/ etc) while the rest of the family is still asleep. Those pre-dawn hours are my most productive.
- I do my best to multi-task in smart, efficient, and calming ways. (Here’s what I mean: In Defense of Multi-Tasking)
- I limit my use of social media and online entertainment. Although we do sometimes watch movies as a family, we haven’t owned a TV in years (back when we did, it was on constantly and sucked up so much of our time that, once that original set exploded — probably from overuse! — we never replaced it).
- I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When my husband is at work, the kids and I often just eat raw fruits and veggies with hummus, or something quick I prepare in the Instapot. You won’t find me making gourmet meals that take hours to prepare, so that frees up a lot of time for other pursuits. (Here’s a printable list of some of our go-to meals and snacks)
- I take a 10- to 15-minute power nap almost every day after lunch, and try to get to bed by 9 PM every night.
I was very much a night owl before I had kids, but now I am totally worthless in the evening. It takes me three times as long to do anything at the end of the day as it does first thing in the morning when I’m fresh, so I usually turn in as soon as soon as my productivity begins its nightly nosedive.
Hope that answers your questions, Lynn. Thanks for writing, for your encouraging comments, and for your thoughtfulness!
Well, those were just the first of several email messages back and forth between me and my new friend. Soon, my mail carrier delivered a surprise package from Lynn, as well:
It turns out that Lynn’s not only a loyal reader. She’s also a fellow writer. And she sent my kids a copy of all nine of her children’s titles… just because.
Side note and vocabulary lesson: Lynn taught me that in the South (and especially in the Carolinas), such unexpected “just because” gifts are known as “surcie.”
And is it ever fun finding surcie in your mailbox!
Between Lynn’s generous gift and all the great bonuses I’ve gotten with The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this year, it has felt like Christmas around our house lately! Here’s a sampling of some of the other treats I got in the mail last week:
Incidentally, if you’d like to get some special treats in your own mailbox, you can. Just snag a copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle before the sale ends at midnight tonight.