Part one of this post is here.
To be clear, the title “Scheduling My Life Away” is referring to the enormous amount of activities I can try to cram into our days… activities that are offered everywhere I turn; activities that carry with them the unspoken message that my child will be lacking in some serious way if I don’t sign him up for this or that, that if I were a better mother I’d give him these experiences regardless of the cost to my well-being (or sanity). It also applies to all the other things we are asked to do, feel we need to do, etc. The craziness with which we fill our calendar pages.
These are the things that can make us so busy, busy, busy, that while we feel we are being productive (because if you aren’t busy you must be lazy!), we can easily lose sight of exactly what our life is – what is truly meaningful in it – normally that’s the people we love dearly: our families. I don’t want to have such a busy schedule that my family’s needs are not being met in the best way possible.
At one point a while after having M, I realized that our home had become quite chaotic (Really? Why didn’t anyone tell me that could happen with a new baby?!) And I realized that it was up to me, as the mother of the home, to change this. I was happy in a way, but lacking a sense of peace that I truly longed for. Longed for in a way I can’t express. It is deeper than the desire to simply be happy.
And so I began to examine all of my activities and my schedule for our days within the framework of this desire for peace in my home. I began to see that at this point in my life, this is part of my “job description” as a wife and mother.
Really, our gifts and talents are given to us to benefit and serve others. Keeping the house clean and life running in an orderly fashion is not a very glamorous job, but out of the three people who live in this house, I am the one best suited for doing it and I can honestly say, I’m the one who can best see what needs to be done and is capable of getting it done. Yep, yep, yep. :)
For real peace, our priorities must match up with the responsibilities we have at our particular season of life. Blogging, for example, simply can not be first on the list! ;) Neither can anything that is just me pursuing my own interests. Because when I do this, anything that my family needs from me is seen as an annoyance, an irritation, and an inconvenience. It’s a struggle because we do need time for ourselves, and we need time to rest and recharge our batteries, but it is so easy to confuse resting with escaping.
What brings true rest for me? Time alone to think (I’m extremely introverted), prayer, proper sleep. Those are things I have to schedule into my days. Those are things that are so much more important than play dates and shopping and everything else!
What can be ok in moderation, yet easily turn into an escape? Time on the internet, reading, shopping, hobbies… anything that tempts me to skip my duties in order to spend time on it.
If only our hearts were in line with our duties, right? Oh, if only.
I need and pray for a conversion of heart when I’m cleaning the bathroom and hating every single second of it, ready to cut down anyone who dares to need my attention at the same time I’m slaving away for them, knowing I probably won’t get even a simple “thank you”.
Yet, I would do cleaning and laundry and cooking for a friend who is ill joyfully, happy to help them out. Happy to help keep their home running a little more smoothly. Happy to take on extra work so that their family had one less thing distracting them.
Why can’t I feel the same joy in taking care of my own home and my own family, the people I love more than anyone else? Why is there this disconnect between my heart and what I do for my family?
I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m still trying to live my own life, pursue the things I want to. It’s because I’m selfish. Apparently I have not yet learned that happiness is not to be found in doing my own thing, it’s to be found in loving others through our actions.
I’m working hard on spending the time at home to do what needs to be done. I don’t want this to just be a place where we sleep and a "base station” for all the running around we do. I don’t want to be so tired all the time that we eat whatever we can find or fast food.
I want to bring peace into our life together, then we can go do all that fun stuff and know that things are ordered correctly in our lives. The opposite of peace is disorder and chaos, after all. The one is achieved only by fighting the other.
I believe I veered away from the track I was on when I began this post… and I know I can be a bit of a chatterbox! If you’ve made it to the end, congratulations!
I hope you have a beautiful and peace-filled day!