Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother's Day, Scrapbooking, and Self-examination

This is an odds and ends post again.  More potpourri.

First,
I'm looking forward to Mother's Day very much.  Not because I
expect to be spoiled, but because it is a triple day of celebration for
us!  This year, our wedding anniversary falls on Mother's
Day.  I love it when that happens!  And, this Sunday, we'll
be having a Dedication Service for our Baby L at church.  I'm
looking forward to celebrating our 12th year of marriage, celebrating
the fact that I get to mother 6 wonderful blessings, and dedicating our
6th blessing to the Lord.  When our church troubles arose, my
selfish desire was that it would not affect the Baby Dedication. I
truly wanted to be able to dedicate Baby L on our Anniversary and
Mother's Day. 

I feel wonderfully blessed whenever I
think about this upcoming Sunday.  Even if everyone sleeps in too
late to bring me breakfast in bed, even if the children forget to make
me cards, even if Steve forgets, and even if we eat lunch meat
sandwiches at home ... I will still feel wonderfully blessed.

Second,
I'm just itching to start Scrapbooking again.  I love to
scrapbook!!  And now I have pretty baby scrapbook paper and pretty
stickers just calling out to me.  I even have a new Creative
Memories album for Baby L.  And the lady I bought it from on ebay
threw in some other fun scrapping tools!!

However, I have no
place that I can set up my stuff and leave it out.  So, whenever I
scrapbook, I usually wait until all the children are in bed and my
chores done, and then I have to clean it all up before I go to
bed.  I did spend time before Christmas making photo calendars
using my scrapbook supplies.  I did alot of this during the
afternoons.  So, I am trying to tell myself I could scrapbook
during the days, but now I have Baby L.  And I'm just afraid that
as soon as I start Baby L will wake up and need me and I'll have to
clean it all up again.

I am brainstorming ways I can find
time and space to scrapbook regularly again, without neglecting my
family.  I need to finish M's First Year album and start on Baby
L's album.  And then, of course, my Family Album ends at our
engagement.  All those pictures sitting in boxes.  And to
think, I used to be a Creative Memories Consultant. 
Shameful! 

To quote Winnie the Pooh, "Think, think,
think!"  I just need to keep thinking until I come up with a
workable solution.  "Think, think, think!"  Maybe I need to
do an all-night or half-night scrap once or twice a month.  Where
I stay up dreadfully late ... into the wee hours of the morning ...
scrapbooking.  I used to do that reading from time to time. 
I wonder if I'm too old to do that now?  Hmmm ...

Third,
I am not very pleased with myself right now.  At first, I was
thinking that my blog posts lately were lacking the same joyfulness I
started out with.  Then, I began to listen to my interactions with
my family, and was ashamed at the snippy tone of voice I used too
often.  Then, I realized how often I'm brushing my family aside
lately.  And it's affecting our home.  Our interactions, and
the way we go about our work is suffering.

And I know the
reason.  I've been much too self-indulgent lately and
self-focused.  I haven't been serving my family joyfully. 
And the reason is I've lost my thankful spirit.  I'm not being
thankful or joyful.  I'm being selfish, critical, and lazy. 
And when Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  Things are getting
steadily more chaotic and negative here at home.

I'm not going
to spend too much time worrying over what started this spiral
downhill.  (No, I'm not clinically depressed or even suffering
postpartum depression.)  Is it fatigue, my children's negative
behaviors, our seasonal allergies, our church situation, Steve's work
schedule, adjusting to a new baby?  It could be one of many things
... or it could be none of the above and all come back to me. 

But it doesn't matter what started it.  What matters is what I do
about it.  I need to get back to being the Thankful Wife of Steve
and Joyful Mommy of our 6 blessings that my signature at a different
website claims I am.  It is what I strive to be, but I'm failing
at the moment.

I know what I need to do.  I need to be
harsh with myself and remove my escape mechanisms.  They only feed
my selfishness and pull me further away from my family.  I need to
draw closer to them, to build those relationships up, and to be able to
more quickly correct negative behaviors.   I need to be
pouring my extra energy and spare moments into my family and our home
... not into time on the computer or reading fiction or watching old
movies. 

And the only way I can do that is to correct
my spiritual focus: to get back into God's Word, to choose to be
thankful and joyful again, and spend time daily in prayer. 

God brought these verses to my mind today, and I need to apply them to my life right now:

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"Likewise,
teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be
slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."
 
Titus 2:3-5

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands,
just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of
outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
 
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

I've been told by other well-meaning Christians before, to be sure I
make time for myself.  That I don't want to give too much, and
wear myself out.  I've always struggled to get them to understand
that I am so naturally selfish, that it isn't really a problem. 
I'll always make time for myself, sometimes too much time for myself.

I had a dear online friend who I lost contact with.  She used to
say it so well.  Jesus calls us to "Come and Die."  Die to
self.  I struggle so much with that.  I have to remind myself
that my daily acts of service to my family, my daily moments of giving
up my own desires to follow God's will are my spiritual acts of worship
... my living sacrifice.  Even when I'm cleaning the toilet, it
can be an act of worship and sacrifice to God, if my attitude is right.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect
will." 

Romans 12:1-2

It seems I have some
dying to do.  Joyfully, thankfully, prayerfully dying to self so I
can faithfully serve my family with love.  I need to serve God by
loving my family better, keeping my home cleaner, and doing it
joyfully.  Lately, I haven't been fulfilling that call as well as
I could be.

April

3 comments:

  1. kindredspiritMomMay 13, 2006 at 5:22 PM

    Your daughter is beautiful and the kitties

    are too cute!! I'll have to show my kids :)

    Happy Mother’s Day! I’m glad to be on the

    mothering journey with you.

    Love and prayers,

    KindredspiritMom

    ReplyDelete
  2. That whole last part of your post? I could have written that myself! It's been on my mind a lot lately. It was nice to see that I was not alone!


    I hope your Mother's Day is wonderful...and Happy Anniversary! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your honesty. Sometimes I feel like the rest of the homeschooling world has it all together and I'm the only one who struggles. Thanks for being honest. I could have written your post. I KNOW what I need to do--get back with the Lord and LOVE my children. Now to do it!

    ~Kelly Ü

    ReplyDelete

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