“Come with me, you have to take my hand.”
This is a phrase I hear at least 50 times a day from the two year old daughter Noelle. In her eyes, whatever I am doing is meaningless and pales in comparison to the importance of playing toys with her. Many days life feels like an endless string of meeting other people’s needs. Wife, Mother, Friend. These are roles that I cherish, but if I’m honest I have started to spend some time wondering lately….where do I fit in my own life? My Jesus tells me to put others before myself and I love my others, but he made me more than a Mom, there is more in me that is wriggling to be born into my life and it brings me guilt, and that ain’t right… right?
I know I am called to serve, I know I am blessed to mother, but most mornings I feel guilty if I take time for hair and a modest application of mascara. If I skip grooming time and write instead, then my spirit is better but I look like a mess. Should I shave my head to feed my soul? I really don’t think any of us want to see me bald. And believe me, I try to get up before my kids, but the sound of my feet sliding into my slippers is guaranteed to awaken them quicker a marching band paraded through our living room.
So where is the line between self-care and selfish? If I rest and read and be, then the laundry piles up and the dishes threaten. I know some rest is good, but all rest leads to chaos and grime, so that’s not acceptable. The line in somewhere in-between.
Organization will help, but I don’t want to be too strict with structure and planning. I want space for my family to feel free to be themselves. So we have to find a balance of flexible structure.
I know I need space to give God the first of my day, Jesus took quiet time to pray and be, but Jesus didn’t have preschoolers. They don’t allow for quiet, that’s not an excuse, it’s just my reality.
And then there is my call, my need to write. If I don’t write my soul feels bound, restricted, it gets cramped inside and I get irritable.
I need more, but I think I need to find the more among the less. Does this make any sense? Somewhere in the void of my thought life are ideas on how to pull it all together into balanced chaos with bright breathes of contentment. I have these seeds of ideas, I have these seedlings of children, I have this relatively young marriage, and I think the rub lies in space to grow.
I want a word, a banner to fly over 2012 to direct me. The words Space, Grace, Seeds… they keep popping up. I need room for the important to grow and I need to starting looking at the trivial and unimportant as weeds that are choking out the good life we are trying to grow here.
I have to find space to be me in my own life, and I don’t think that’s selfish, I am Mother and Wife and Author, they’re all me. I have to find contentment with the chaos my young family is bound to bring to me. I need to realize what IS, what CANNOT BE now, and find balance. Balance, is that my 2012 word?
These are just the musings of a mom, a woman with wet hair, in a bath robe which is speckled with bits of oatmeal and Crayola paint, who refuses to give up on discovering the profound and beautiful in the simple and every day.
– What parts of you don’t seem to fit in your life?
– What have you unearthed in your search for contentment and balance? Please share your gems, I refuse to surrender the search.