I have always had a passion for projects and art and making things. I have always loved notebooks and pens and all things stationary. Before becoming a wife and mama, these things fit into my life without thought. And afterwards…it takes a lot of thought to remember these parts of my soul!
That was why, after all, I started this blog.
As a space to create. A place to just be messy and try something different. To document my journey through being a mom.
Somewhere along the way I got a little lost.
I thought to be a good mom, the only crafting I could do was with safety scissors and crayons. I thought that I had to only pursue projects that had to do with our home. And while I definitely love those things, trying to push myself into a box was not a good plan.
It took me a while to set up this desk in our back entry way closet. It works well because I can keep my kids out of my piles of things and my husband…doesn’t have to see my piles of things. Haha! I am not messy or neat. I both organize and let things go for a while. I enjoy changing things around even if I do keep it all tidied up. And sometimes I have to dump everything on the desk to feel inspired.
But the biggest problem was that I wasn’t even using my desk.
Even after I went out and got new file folders to sort all the legal/ financial/ important-y papers. Even after I got little bins to sort all the little things.
I kept holding back because I kept making rules for myself.
- no using the desk for wasting time, it’s for organizing the family calendar
- or: you must do your 15 minute devotionals here before you make a list for the day
- or: you can’t use your desk until it’s clean
- and: you’re a mom, you don’t have time to play with water colours
- and: your children will turn into delinquent pumpkins if you don’t spend your spare time entertaining them
- and: if there are chores to be done then you are not allowed to organize your growing pile of papers or write in your journal or be a human
Basically, I was trying to squash out everything that made me who I am. I sometimes really enjoy just working on the house. Actually. I love especially to make things all white again- which is why my kitchen is one of those mostly white kitchens. I enjoy sorting things and trying new systems of organizing and I love to cook and bake.
But other days I have no spark for these things.
Other days I want to curl up with my kids and read books and then make art messes at the table and not clean them up until just before a boxed mac and cheese dinner. Sometimes I even need space from them altogether and I put the baby gate over their door (which is literally beside this desk closet space) and I let them tear a part the bedroom for an hour or so. And sometimes my dear husband lets me run away to starbucks to pretend I’m 21 and free from all things tiny for a while.
I always felt guilty for this weird ebb and flow of motivation. I wanted to just be one way. To always love being a homemaker or to always be in the mood to make things.
But I am not that kind of woman.
I have five projects on the go at any given moment. And they all overflow and feed into the other and spark and enliven my heart.
It has come down to knowing what things must always be upheld.
And for a while I would say that things like dishes and laundry always must be done. But you know what? That’s not true. My to-do list doesn’t define me. My productivity doesn’t keep the world going. I am a limited, finite, needy woman. And I can leave the existing thing to God.
And in fact, as per my calling, all that must remain in each day is love. Love God. Love the people God places in my day/ life/ season/ place/ mind.
So that looks like- of course I feed the tiny humans that live with me. And I truly try to remember to make sure my husband has a “crispy” bed to fall into. (Seriously a tiny thing that he absolutely adores.) What simply loving God and simply loving others looks like is freedom. Freedom to use my actual personal “gifts”. My talents.
My love for art and reading and writing and re-ordering and chatting and thinking and all those things…can be used to glorify God. How do I glorify God with thinking? By using those thoughts to serve others for His name. I suddenly think of a friend- and turn it to a prayer. And jot it down in my notebook. And later that month in a time of monthly reflection, praise Him for how he worked in that situation. I can artfully love people by taking time to send snail mail to others. To give my sons the gift of quiet water colour painting. By passing down a love for books through modeling. Modeling reading outloud, modeling reading my Bible, modeling the enjoyment of discussion, passing on lessons learned to my husband, using books as an excuse to cuddle.
See, I am not a good Mom because I have learned how to do certain things. I am never going to be good enough- or bad enough. Jesus died for both my trying and failing.
However, I am still purposeful. God designed the woman that I am to be the mother my sons need.
Maybe (probably) my once dream of being a home-school mom will fall- but perhaps what will happen instead is we will all be in school one day and I can show them what it is to love learning. For example if I get some kind of degree in english which often entails how to communicate- then perhaps I will pass those lessons along to my sons. Three men who know how to talk? I mean, that sounds like a good outcome to me.
I have been wrestling with these things for the better part of this year.
And finally I am just tapping out.
And embracing that despite what I thought- I can’t think myself into some ideal mother. God holds those things. God knows and plans and works for those things. And my job?