It might help you to know we had a small-ish faux Christmas tree in our playroom that just came down the other day. On February 22nd y'all! Looooong after the Epiphany. It might help you to know that the Valentine decorations are still up. You see, like you, I'm struggling. I am struggling to figure out how God wants me to spend these hours that are a precious gift from Him each day. I'm struggling to be a good wife, a good Mom, a good friend, a good daughter, a decent housekeeper, a good speaker and counselor, and a good Christian. And I constantly run out of time each day never getting it all done.
I'm overcommitted to work and volunteering and Bible studies and relationships. My expectations for myself are way too high. I am floundering trying to prioritize exactly what matters most. Aren't we all? And while I flounder, clean laundry sits in a pile begging to be folded and put away. Junk mail multiplies on my dining room table and I fall into bed each evening drained beyond exhaustion. This is especially difficult for me to reconcile as I have been a "neat freak" for most of my adult life. But my house is a mess. I am a mess. I am trying so hard to "do it all" that I am not doing any of it very well. That makes me afraid that I am letting people down constantly. I probably am.
I am trying to find balance among what I need to do every day and what I am meant to do. And I fall short every single day. And I know this is a luxury of sorts to even contemplate. But this is not about a job or "me time." This is not about being a stay at home Mom or a working Mom. It's not a debate. I do both. Both are valuable. Case closed. This is about a purpose. And about using my time here on earth wisely.
I heard someone say that your mission is what you are passionate about and using that to serve others. I think about that a lot. Am I using my God given gifts and passion to serve others enough? too much? Am I serving other families at the expense of my own? I sure hope not because I want nothing more than to raise a good family.
When I am giving talks or writing about marriage and parenting...I know that is my mission. But I also know that it is hard work. It is hard to prepare talks about parenting and present them on school nights (missing family dinners sometimes) and BE a good parent. It is hard to counsel others about their marriages yet still find the time, energy and motivation to work on my own marriage. There are days I feel like quitting. But what part can I quit?
A friend recently shared this beautiful quote with me.
When I think about that quote it seems so simple. My deep gladness is relationships...my own and helping other strengthen theirs. One of the world's deep hungers is relationships too. I guess that is my corner.
As I was typing this post, a friend texted me asking for some parenting advice. I chuckled to myself. It was as if God was tapping me on the shoulder reminding me of the place HE is calling me to.
The reason I am sharing this is that every woman I talk to lately has told me she feels pulled between her family and her "work." That she feels like she cannot do it all well. You are not alone. We are all struggling to find purpose and balance (even those who look like they've found it). Picture that corner where your gladness, joy and talent meet a need of others and you will find your place.
P.S. I've gotten some sweet e-mails lately at The Nurtured Home telling me that people miss my blogging. I miss blogging too. The truth is I am working so hard to have a nurtured home that there is not a lot of time left over to write here or on the Nurtured Home. I'm a work in progress and I am hoping to be posting more. Thank you for your kind messages.