Thursday, November 12, 2015

What is Success?




Life could be described lately as "survival mode".  I'm not sure if it is the fact that my husband is coming to the end of his nursing program (he still has more schooling afterwards, but will be able to practice as an LPN) and we are just plum wore out! :)  We have also had sickness, mainly Clay and myself, and that is always hard for me to deal with young children around all day.  Yesterday I actually wrote a to do lists and checked off everything.  I cannot remember the last time that has happened!  And while we think life feels like it is on the difficult side I know we have it so good.  My husband flopped onto the couch the other night looking soooo tired, I was trying to encourage him and said, "We have it so good we don't even know it.  We could have a child with Type I Diabetes and have to get up in the middle of the night to check their glucose."  He responded, "You're right."  But I get it, he's tired, in every way he is tired. 

I have been having a hard time in other ways, being at peace with myself and specifically my mothering.  I am not the mother that runs around and takes her children from this to that.  My children are still young, maybe one day we will be in activities, but for now we stay home.  Sometimes it doesn't seem like I am doing a lot or enough...do you know why it seems like that?  Because I have all the tools, literally at my finger tips, to see what everyone else is doing.  I have such a love/hate relationship with the internet.  I ended my facebook account, AGAIN, yesterday.  We'll see how long that last.  My kids and husband need my mental energy, not facebook. 

I am a homebody and I have kids that are homebodies too.  We like to dig in the dirt, draw, craft, cook, find cool bugs, watch our chickens, build fires in the back yard, read aloud books, and just be together.  I do not like the Mall, my kids hate going to Walmart,  Chucky Cheeese is just way over the top, but the kids do love Jumpin Joey's. :)  I wonder how I, as an introvert, am supposed to fit into an extroverted, never stopping world.  Well, I'm not, because this isn't my home.  :)

One day I really needed encouragement and found this quote online. 


"Success is liking yourself,

Liking what you do,

and liking how you do it. "

Maya Angelou


I do not think she means liking yourself in a prideful/arrogant kind of way, but rather, being at peace with yourself.  Your story, my story, is the best story.  I need to love the story God is writing for me.  I need to thank Him and be at peace with the details.  Would I change my adrenal problems, and my struggles with anxiety?  I used to say yes in a heart beat, but now I'm not so sure, because if it wasn't this to help me work out my salvation, it would just be something else. 

There has been another piece of writing that has really helped me.  When I read this I thought YES! this is what I am doing and so is someone else! 

"Do the first thing, and let the first thing be to just love and care for the people in your life.
If cares or extra commitments or certain relationships are hindering you from doing so, cast them (the cares) aside, or set them (extra commitments or certain relationships) aside, until things are running smoothly and you feel able to reach out a bit further.
If you have to face a difficulty today (and you may and will at times) breathe deeply, send your simplest prayer of childlike trust-- with all its fears and/or concerns of inadequacies and possibilities--up to the Lord, and then go in, or out, to face --knowing that He is not surprised by or afraid of, anything."
This is from a blog called Eyes of Wonder that is now a private blog.  Recently, someone (a Christian in fact) pretty much said I shouldn't be homeschooling or I should stop later and send them into the public school system.  I felt deflated and shocked that they would tell me that.  When someone, in their way, is trying to be faithful and take care of their family the best way they know how, why can't we just keep our mouths shut or if we have to open them, encourage them??  As difficult as it is I need to hear things like that sometimes because it is a good opportunity for me to work on being dispassionate.  Which is hard for this drama queen, but it is good to acknowledge that not everyone will like me or approve of me. 
These pressures from our culture pushing us to be a certain way are really from the Evil One.  I do not have to be doing a lot to be productive.  I don't need to have a completely detailed monthy menu plan or, what seems to be really in style right now, a capsule wardrobe.  When I put things into perspective it is comical the things I allow to stress me out!  My children will not remember if I had a beautifully planned, coordinating wardrobe, but they will remember if I was joyful and had a smile on my faceThere are three basic things that keep a home running, making meals, laundry, and light tidying.  If that is all I can accomplish that is a lot.  I do not have to be running an etsy shop or taking my kids on some big excursion to feel like a worthy human being.   Survival mode might be the best I can do right now.  And your survival mode might be the best you can do right now, whatever that looks like.  
 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  
II Thessalonians 5:16-18   
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Brooke, what I have seen during the times I've been around your family - not many, I know, but they've left an impression - is love.

    I've seen a husband and wife who love each other. Parents who love their children. Children who love their parents - and each other - and show it. Children who are kind to others, who are kind to animals, who are friendly to visitors.

    This is *not* a typical house, in many ways. Unfortunately! Because what I've seen at your house is unusual - but beautiful. Far from thinking you're not doing right by your kids...it's obvious you *are.*

    It is hard work raising a family and keeping a home. It is hard to keep order. It is hard to know how best to fill the days.

    It's true that options are plentiful. You could run all over town every single minute. Many people do.

    Matthew tells me to think of time and energy like money. They provide options, but - they're limited. They are spent whether we like it or not - and we have to decide how.

    What I see at your house says you are spending your time and energy on what matters. Your children - far from seeming like they're missing out - are delightful. They're bright-eyed, happy, curious, friendly, sweet, and pleasant.

    The true, deep affection that you and Clay feel for each other and the kids...it shows.

    It can be hard to know how our decisions are working out, whether they're getting us where we want to go.

    But I know this - your decisions are creating a loving, caring, beautiful family. One day at a time.

    What I say is: Good Job. You're doing it. Even on the days when it's hard to feel.

    with love, Cathy Groves

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    1. I have not checked my blog in awhile Cathy and just saw this. Thank you so much! How encouraging and beautifully written. God bless you.

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