There are a number of things that immediately come to mind when I am presented with the idea of a “break”:
- read – I usually have no less than 3 or 4 books to choose from, a magazine or two, and a whole list of blog posts sitting open on my computer waiting to be read.
- music – I love music on. Music I can understand the words to: Praise|Instrumental|Country|Disney music, all kinds depending on what else is going on in the day determines if I can handle the extra words or not.
- quiet – I relish quietness anytime. for hours on end.
- view – I love the idea of sitting inside with huge windows and a marvelous view; a book, hot drink, fireplace & cozy place to sit, with a blanket. alone or with one or two friends. I love the outdoors – from inside :-D.
- sew – I haven’t done this as much in the last couple years because my set up tends to make my neck hurt and requires too much moving piles before/after I sew. Need to fix this. I have so much material, but not a ton of ideas right now.
- paint something (wall, dresser, some kind of project that has been waiting) – I was giddy about getting to help my brothers paint the inside walls of the one brother’s hangar between Christmas & New Years – to the point I had a hard time sleeping the night before.
- clean my house – do not be mistaken, my house is not overly clean. More like I enjoy having a clean(er) house and the deep clean/organization of a project finished. Due to size, it really only takes about 20-40 min to do “normal” surface/bathroom cleaning. I am a pile person, so those are ALWAYS there. However, when I have 6+ hours and nothing else pressing (hahaha – I crack myself up!) I need to clean the above mentioned sewing/bedroom/office areas….when I do, I know I will relish the organized clean for as long as it lasts. :-D
- I want to learn how to doodle/paint canvases/art journaling. I’m working on just starting. I have a hard time “doing nothing” to practice and just be. This is part of my learning to receive this year.
But what really fills my soul? The short answer: ‘just’ being a mom. (please read all the way through – I don’t want you to misunderstand any of what I say)
Being a mom is what feeds my soul. I ache everyday to be “just” a mom to my children. I want to be with them. See them learn, help them, guide them – but not smother them. I struggle to not resent having to earn an income. I absolutely love to do all things design – (but I don’t like it at all when I have to determine the value to be paid. <– this paralyzes me mentally, yet it’s a necessity.)
I have never had a desire to have a career, never had the desire to make money. As a young child, as a high school student, in my one year of college, in the three years of singleness – all I ever wanted was to be a stay-at-home mom with lots of children and homeschool. (I grew up with the assumption that being a mom=being a wife)
My desire to be a mom the way I dreamed has always been “out there”, just out of reach. The last 14 years of being mom (a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom) were not how I expected life to be. But, with God’s ultimate provision, I’ve mostly stayed home. I’ve only spent 2 months working outside of the home, both times were incredibly hard. My Heavenly Father has blessed my earthly father so he could make it a reality for me to stay home because he believed in the importance of a stay-at-home mom and of homeschooling, and I am so thankful!
So, it would be fair to say I dreamed often of the day I might get to answer the “what do you do?” question with “I’m just a mom”. As in being a mom only. not that being mom was in the “just” category of importance, but as in singular activity. While I have had to give up that dream (I’ve been a single parent for 14 years. I am not dating, no prospects of dating, and I’m over 40. I think it’s pretty safe to say it is time to give up that dream.) But…Isaiah 43:18 & 19 says:
Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert. Be present.
I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
I’ve chosen to “give up a dream”, but He chose to give me a secondary taste of my dream in that I get to have a “job” right now, of “playing mom” to my two nieces. Don’t get me wrong – they have both a very loving & involved dad and mom (my brother & sister-in-law) – I am not the girls’ mom at all and would never want it seem as if I was trying to be, but I get to watch them one day a week – and I’m auntie (which almost equates to grandma in fun times :-D). I don’t enjoy babysitting, never have, but we have similar enough parenting styles to make this an easy transition and it’s so much fun! The girls are so well behaved and I get to be the “something different & fun”, not the normal every day for them :-).
[This is the picture my brother sent me this morning as I was writing about my excitement of the girls coming. (I don’t think it’s gotten over 10° today) It’s so nice to know the excitement is a two-way street. :-D]
–>I get to “play house” one day a week: I feed the girls lunch, take the oldest to pre-school, youngest gets her nap, then we go pick up the oldest and do after-school snack. Without thinking about having to work. <– BLISSFUL to me.
Both of my children are teenagers and being mom looks so very different. I have learned in the last six months how to better embrace their getting older, which brought more out-of-the-house classes (part of our homeschool still, but in classes with other homeschoolers). This last fall we were gone every day for multiple hours while they were in a class or two I was forever trying to work at the coffee shop or sitting in the car waiting. It was frustrating, I forever couldn’t access the files I needed. I really resented needing to work, but tried to focus on being thankful I had work. My resentment of working has lessened in the last couple months because I’m not keeping their schedule & working. As of mid-November my son drives, this means he can take them to their classes/youth group/Young Life & this spring his daily track practice, while I stay home and work. It looks different, but I’m still here. I’m still mom. always will be their mom. The best moments are still when they come in the door, whether their eyes are bright, with a big smile, and so excited to share something with me; or their eyes are clouded, heart heavy, and bit more reluctant to share after a bit of quietness. I was afraid I’d lose this connection not being right there when they were done – but God, in His graciousness, has magnified these times of communication when they get home. I believe it has strengthened their bond as siblings and Vince’s in protection of Christine too.
I have learned so much from being mom to teenagers about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. He just wants to spend time with me – it’s not about what I do, how I do it, or if I messed up. It’s about communicating with Him, being His child.
What feeds my soul?
Being mom to my two children + Being a daughter to the King of Kings = Soul-full: rest-full & full-filled
please, please, please read this:
- If are not a mom yet (or repeatedly) & your heart is aching to be, I’m so very sorry for your pain. I don’t have anything to say other than cling to your Heavenly Father. He is the only one who can truly comfort you. Your husband isn’t meant to fill that hole, don’t look for him to, it’s an unfair burden to thrust on him.
- If you are a mom and feel blindsided by the bad-tired-endless days, that is okay! (They will subside, I promise. Someday the littles will sleep more, in the meantime – lean on His strength for each day)
- If you are a mom & want a career/to work from home – that is okay!
- If you are a mom & want a career/to work out of the house – that is okay!
We all have good days/seasons of life and I’m in no way implying life can’t be hard – We will ALL have bad days, no matter what we do, it doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. There is no guilt or condemnation for what feeds your soul – it is how He made you. Because He made me so this is what feeds MY soul – doesn’t mean it is what feeds YOUR soul.
You are an individual child of the King, uniquely His, and He has His own good purpose for you.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
As I went to sleep last night I was “writing” this post in my head, in response to the Beloved Brews prompt – then this is today’s post. I love her heart. Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest was a key factor in my learning to put these thoughts/feelings into writing. I so appreciate Bonnie & her vulnerability to start this journey and allow others of us to join her.