Like your completely stuck and any headway you're making isn't really headway. With my zeal to live intentionally came bondage. I was trapped in my head and couldn't get out. Question after question: Should we or shouldn't we...eat that, travel here, spend here, teach here, play now, read now...it goes on and on. I laid awake at night thinking about these things and more....will our kids be safe? Will our kids succeed? Will our kids be followers of Christ? Are we really raising them to love Christ?
I am also very good at creative problem solving and a great rule follower (is that even gramatacilly correct)? Naturally, when I would come up with a question, I would make a rule to "fix" it. For example: I think we need more Bible time so Alan will read the Bible to the kids at dinner every night (on top of what I do during the day) and that will make it so they are better Christians. OR we will use Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birth but we will NOT give gifts; we will "serve" somewhere. OR I will read my Bible and pray twice a day so I will have more patience and more wisdom with my kids. Now, none of these things are bad or wrong, but they are simply rules. MORE BONDAGE!
I used to be a mama who LOVED everything about...well....being a mama. I enjoyed teaching, nurturing, and I loved to play! This year, I have grown to dread those things because all I can think of is....how do I make this year intentional....how do I make sure they are learning everything they need to learn.....that mom is using that curriculum I should too...maybe that is intentional. And again, the battle in my mind begins. The other day, Alan said to me, "Is it hard being so intentional?" This question has run around and around in my head, and the answer I have is: I are not intentional, I are OBSESSIVE (I think I am being a little dramatic here, but it fits)!
I recently started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and I have gained new perspective (well, actually it is old perspective just new in this stage of my life). She talks a lot about living in the moment. Breathing in the here and now, and seeking out 1,000 things to be thankful for. I cried when I first started the book because I remember being that kind of person.....the one who could see God's grace in everything. Then I mourned because I realized the kind of person I had become. I became so obsessed with trying to live life as fully as God has asked that I completely forgot about LIVING and embracing the here and now.
I had to change the way I was looking. I didn't have the right lens. I was looking at life through intentionality NOT through Christ. What my heart desired was good but the way I was carrying it out was not. I wear glasses, and when I take them off I am as blind as can be....if I wear Alan's glasses, I am still blind. And when I am blind, I run into things and well....it gets dangerous. I felt like I was walking through life blind (for a few months). I didn't have the right glasses on. You know it's bad when your 8 year old says, "mom, you never play anymore." OUCH! I used to play, but then I got serious....too serious about being intentional.....and I forgot to play.
Matthew Chapter 6:25-34 has solidified a lot of this for me. Many people know it as the "worry" passage, but I like to call it the "take no thought" passage. I will not type it all out here, but just the first verse (25):
Even when a dear old grandpa wants to buy each of the kids Jelly Bellys at the store (simply because they remind him of his grandkids), and everything inside of me screams, "ALL THAT SUGAR!!!! It isn't good for them.....their teeth....their health.....their lunch..." I take a deep breath, thankful for this kind man's generosity, thankful to be a blessing to him, thankful that I can teach my kids to humbly accept a gift, and Relax. I say to myself, "is it really that serious?"
I still consider myself intentional....I have simply shifted the way I look at living intentionally, and right now that means taking a deep breath, laughing out loud, living in the moment, going back to old home school routine (I will talk more about this in another post), seeking out things to be thankful for (rather than things to be intentional about), and PLAYING!
There you have it....probably the most transparent you will ever see me get on this blog, but I wanted to share God's goodness and grace with all of you because...well...authenticity is important!