It’s all been a whirlwind. I’m sure you’ve been there, when life creeps in and steals…well, the life right out of you. Then suddenly I realize in the midst of the grind, the day to day, the chaos, that I don’t have to allow it all to get the best of me. I can choose to stop even when the madness doesn’t. I get the privilege of deciding what warrants immediate attention and what can wait. I get to decide that I’m important too.
I think mothers are so easily susceptible to what I’ll call the squishing. The systematic pressing down of oneself in favor of those you love and/or those who scream the loudest. Then suddenly, the music stops, the writing ceases in lieu of more pressing priorities. All that was placed in you by the creator is shelved for another time…a seemingly mythic day when there’s quiet, though you know the heart will cry when quiet comes because they have grown and you may have missed something.
I think at the end of the day, we can have it all. We can treasure the moments of motherhood, maintain some measure of order and cleanliness, actually shower, and still be us. I know, I know, sounds too good to be true. I still believe that God placed treasure in earthen vessels and that He never gives us a load too difficult for us to bear. We may need to exercise our faith muscles. We may need to work diligently to find balance. We may need to learn to say no or ask for help but it may be worth it.
Today, I’m making a resolution that I will make myself make time. I will read. I will write. I will sing. I will play. Yes, I’ll still clean and nurse and nurture and teach but I will make the time to be me. The world will be a better place and I will be a better version of myself. Today, I’m determined.
Though I’ve been missing in action for a while, I’m coming back to life, one decision at a time and I shouldn’t have to miss me much longer.
She walks as if beauty lives in her eyes
In one hand she grasps the wind
One foot pressed firmly into the sandy substance of time
Purposeful peace released in her gaze
Prayer for the needy ones escapes on her breath
She strolls alone through the hazy twilight
She waits for me – (JD Oct. 2013)
2014 is just around the corner. It’s doing what most new years tend to do and coming up with lightning speed aiming to throw a wrench in my otherwise good intentions until I’m sitting still in December next year mulling over the year in review and wondering what I accomplished.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to accomplish things. How to obtain balance in my overstuffed life is a theme that repeatedly comes to call. It knocks on the door of my heart each morning as I plan my day. It beckons me from the window of my soul each evening as I lie in bed. There are demands that vie for my attention each day and often I succumb to their weight until I’m crushed and defeated.
Then all at once, it hits me; I look around at the baby in my arms and the child squishing into the chair cozy next to my husband. I see that look in his eyes that reminds me how much he really loves me. It’s that moment reminding me that this is my life and it’s such a blessing. Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed, not by all of the crushing demands and responsibilities I take it upon myself to master, but by the wonder of how wonderful life is.
I’m reminded that the biggest reward of balance is peace. Perspective brings enormous meaning to the seemingly trivial. So I’ll begin my day and this new year remembering that of all the things I accomplish, the things that bring the most meaning are found in the simplest of places, the light in another’s eyes.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week. School’s back in session. The big kids started last Monday while the littlest guy comes to work everyday with me. I’ve been back at work for several weeks now since having the baby. Honestly, I didn’t really take a maternity leave at all. I stayed away from the office for about a week and a half, all the while answering calls and questions from home, then packed baby man up and headed in. I’m so thankful that having the baby with me at work is an option. I realize that I am blessed abundantly!
Still, I’d cut back on my hours of actual office time. I’ve been working from home a little more and also reminding myself that the world will not end if I don’t accomplish everything in one day. For some reason when school started on Monday, it felt like my (imagined) maternity leave was over. My hectic schedule is back in full swing. I’m busy with backpacks and lunch boxes and drop off and pick up. Now I’ve got diaper bags and feeding schedules and an infant screaming in car-rider line added to the mix. I know many of you can relate to this.
Let’s face it, life can get a bit chaotic from time to time. Yet, somehow in the midst of this, we are expected to dig deep and pull out the gifts within us and do something great with them. For years, I shelved most of my writing. I didn’t bother sharing many of my original songs because I knew I wouldn’t have time to invest in finishing them and performing them. I allowed the chaos to overtake me.
Thankfully I’ve learned that the only way I can truly live is to dig deep. All those things I shelved for later are the very things that bring me peace today. A life of order and balance includes our passions. If we don’t allow our passions the fuel and air they need, we will suffocate beneath the weight of the mundane.
This week, in the midst of the hectic, I took a few seconds to breathe, to write, to pray, to snap a picture or two in the yard. I am alive and free. Don’t let the jungle swallow your soul. Let your soul be the soil for beauty to flourish.