Most things seem to boil down to a choice.
Things are changing slowly and I'm wondering if the changes have to do with the choices?
They're simple really... but for this soul they've fallen into the category of deep rescue... rescue from the rut, from the same old same old.
Some Changes That Are Changing Me...
1.Going to bed earlier, rising earlier, starting each day with my eyes scanning His Words and my brain racking and repeating to remember as much as it's old self can manage.
I've spent years telling myself that my time after the kids are in bed, is "my time"... time to just relax, to watch TV, to zone out after the chaos of my day. But lately I've been pondering two things... First, How is television really renewing my spirit, bringing me refreshment, or turning my thoughts towards Him. Hours of zoning out in front of the big box late into my nights, has not even one time, helped me to be a better mom, wife, or Christ follower.
And secondly I'm wondering, if at this point in my life, with many small children and a desire to choose kind words and loving actions towards them... would not earlier to bed and earlier to rise be two very simple steps that I can take that help me to be the kind of woman that I want to be. How can I ask the Lord to help me choose kindness, and develop patience, and then purposely make choices that cause me to continuously be exhausted?
I'm wondering... how can the hours after the treasures are in bed be better spent? Maybe chatting with and praying through the events of the day with my Joey? Writting a letter of encouragement to a friend? Finishing a project around the house? Watching the snowfall, sitting on the couch, in the dark, with my Joey, laughing about the simple, eating ice cream, finding out more of each others hearts, chatting up our dreams, our hands intertwined, being intentional about our time with one another? Painting, reading, making a little love, creating, building, discovering something new? Making PB &J for the kids, putting them to bed a bit early, having a late dinner for two with the man I love? My Savior's Words, the last thing my eyes see before falling asleep each night, the first thing they see when I rise each morning?? There seems hardly a shortage of meaningful things to do.
I have this one life that I've been given... the moments seem many, but in all realness, there are actually so few. How then will I live? What then will I choose?
2. Seeking to say YES to my treasures, as my lips seem way more familiar and comfortable with NO. Yes, you can have more bubbles in the sink. Yes, we can have friends over for dinner. Yes, you can play outside even though it's 45 degress. Yes, you can wear your Christmas dress and that cowboy costume to the grocery store.
3. Memorizing His Word WITH my treasures... together, at our kitchen table, after each meal, we started with Psalm 23, went onto Ephesians 4:29-32, and currently soaking up Philippians chapter 1.
4. More days without television. More days spent outside. More tents built with giant pillows in the living room. More bugs caught in the bug catcher. More trees climbed. More bikes rode. More make believe pirate ships found in the back yard. More walks through the 'forest'. More fires in the fire pit. More backflips flipped on the trampoline.
5. Slowing. Slowing in everything. Slowing to hear the birds chirping outside my window. Slowing to see the distress on oldest son's face. Slowing to listen to his thoughts. Slowing to read story after story to the treasures that fill up our home. Slowing to hold them long, squeeze them tight, savoring each moment with each of them. When I turn the day into an emergency, I miss out on the gifts that are constantly being showered over everything.
6. Less stress over the mess... Leaving the house to live life with friends while leaving a few dishes in the sink, dust on the furniture, laundry in the drier, scum on the toilet. What will my treasures remember more when they're grown and looking back on their time in our humble farmhouse? Will they remember how everything was spotless all the time, or will they remember a home full of deep joy, laughter, kindness and memories of living this one life well, together with Him? I pray my heart out for the latter. :)
7. Including our treasures in the everyday... unloading the dishwasher, picking out the apples at the store, wiping down the counters in the bathroom, getting the fields ready for spring. For whatever reason I've spent countless days separating the two, being with the kids and getting through the everyday... I'd play with them, thentry to 'get something done'. This change has also helped me with getting to bed earlier. Since we do a lot of chores together during the day, the nights are freed up to do other things besides clean. We're learning to do all of life all together.
As I write this Im thinking about how obvious this one is and I feel kinda silly admitting that it hasn't always been that obvious to me... :)
8. Speaking gratitude outloud in the midst of the strained and tense moments in my days. At this point I must confess that it is akward and often difficult to begin speaking words of thanks outloud when everything in me is simply flusterred and on the verge of explosion... But the moment I begin to speak those words.. Thank you for this one treasure, thank you that you answered my prayer in giving him/her to me, thank you that we have this moment to see more of you, to learn to problem solve, to learn and practice Your grace with one another... the volcano within me settles down, disapates, and my eyes begin to see more clearly how HE really is in, even this moment.
9. Counting the gifts...
Spring break, homemade french bread pizza, a week of friendship, encouraging words, God-conversation, a son who wraps his arms around me several times a day, my lover's feet finding mine under the covers, gas in my car, an extra large iced tea that takes me ALL day to drink, fresh fruit in winter, painting after the treasures are all in bed, family projects on Saturdays, sitting in our warm home with a cup of tea warming my hands looking out at the frost covered forest, birthdays; true celebrations of the two of the greatest gifts ever given to me, my Siah, my Hal.
A few weeks worth of groceries, freshly folded laundry, hot water falling from the shower head, a call from my dad who's 'just checking in'. Learning to give out of sacrifice, not merely out of abundance. Prayers in the night with a scared son who's learning daily that HisFather's perfect love, scatters fear. Forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness! Treasures who are constantly teaching me to forgive freely, always, in all things. Smallest treasure saying 'Mama' for the first time, clear as day! :)
10. Discovering His joy and living in His grace, in each of my moments.