Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Can't Do it All

Hello to any readers who still may be there - and I am sure there are few after how infrequently I've blogged in recent months! I wanted to share with you some of the journey I have been on in regards to family, school, and self.

If someone were to quiz me on my priorities I would, without hesitation, say:
  1. Relationship with God.
  2. Dh.
  3. Children
  4. Exercise
  5. School (I would actually call 5 & 6 an even tie)
  6. Our home environment: meals, housekeeping and other mom responsibilities
There are many more on the list, but for the purposes of this blog we end here. Yet unfortunately when you look at my life in recent years you could not see these priorities reflected accurately in my life at all.

Let me digress and say two things. First, because one priority ranks higher than another, it does not necessarily demand more time. Exercise needs to come before meals and housekeeping for me (b/c if I am not exercising regularly I hardly have the energy to take care of the other things on the list). Now obviously cleaning my home, meal prep and laundry is much more time consuming than the amount of time I would dedicate to exercise in a given week. Yet if I have had a crazy few days and haven't run once, when Saturday morning rolls around I can choose to start yet another load of laundry and clean yet another bathroom (that will be dirty in 48 hours), or I can hit the road. You get the idea. ;) Second, these are my priorities and I am making no statement about what I think others need to place as their own. I hope that the first three would look similar if you are a follower of Christ, but the rest is all negotiable! :)

Back on topic, I am trying hard to realign my life to these priorities and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy! Having two babies seventeen months apart and starting homeschooling in the midst of that threw everything off kilter. I am not being too hard on myself. I think most of us moms understand these are unique seasons that don't last forever. Yet now it is time to start moving back to some sense of balance in my life.

In my walk with God I have been the spiritual equivalent of the Sahara Desert. As a mom with two young kids and one with special needs, private time is hard to come by - really hard! I have survived on "spit baths" in the Word for a long time now, but just like in real life, after too long you're going to stink. That's my spiritual life: stinky! :) I need to delve deep into the waters of the Word and reengage those spiritual disciplines that will allow me "to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the process of sanctification in my life." (my paraphrase of what I am learning in the book I am reading right now: Pleasing People: How not to be an "approval junkie").

Now to be completely fair, I must admit that I have had some time. I don't want to completely blame where I am on my sweet boys and mommyhood. Heck, I have posted 98 times in the past year since I started this blog. During all those times I could have been doing something more conducive to spiritual growth. But blogging is fun! Pulling out the Bible, studying, reflecting, memorizing, journaling, praying and such can be just so....well, hard. They require me to engage, think, process, and maybe most painfully to change when God reveals an area that doesn't look like Jesus in my life. Ouch!

So here I am trying to make life reflect the priorites I say I hold. The clincher is that the quantity as well as the quality of time we spend with someone has a huge determination on the health of that relationship. The same is true with God. If I only talked to dh when I needed something our community would suffer greatly (quality). Or if I said, "Dh and I only spend 20 minutes together a week, but oh what a grand time we have in those short moments. We have an amazing marriage," you would think I was nuts (quantity).

So where do I carve time out of an already busy schedule to do all the things I want, and feel called, to do? I seriously considered giving up blogging but truly, I love it. This is my space (back to the mommyhood thing - very few things are sacred when you are a mom. Not even bathroom time is off-limits with little ones around ;) Whether or not I had any loyal readers I would love simply having a place to organize my thoughts. It is an added bonus that sometimes I get to encourage another person along the way! So here I sit saying that I am trying. I really am. Hang in there with me and check back often. I'll get there; it may just take a little time.


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9 comments:

Bella Art Girl said...

thanks for the post - it was good, it was real, it was encouraging

Wendy said...

Great post! I've had very similar feelings lately.

Jennifer said...

Jennefer,

Yes, yes, yes. I feel so many of the same things! My number one priority has been trailing behind the urgent. Quality/quanity - yep! And I feel pretty "stinky" myself. What a patient and gracious Father we have!

Thanks for this post. I'm thankful you decided to keep blogging!

And hey - Running makes me a better mom, too. : )

Jennifer

Makita said...

I completely agree with you and have had similar reflections myself. Blogging does take time. As does running. My blog is essentially my journal. I don't keep a paper/book style journal anymore (except for the most personal stuff). I love that blogging is interactive and when I am feeling down or frustrated, others help lift my spirits, providing encouragement and motivation.

Both running and blogging, as you know, help to complete me as an individual. Help me to be a better mother. A better wife.

I've only recently discovered your blog and am pleased to see you have decided to continue. :)

mom24 said...

I too struggle with these issues - especially with my time in the Word. Every pregnancy I go through, it seems to take months and months until my relationship with God gets back to deeper waters.

You seem to be putting your priorities in order. Yes, we as HS moms need time for ourselves to arrange our thoughts (whether it be blogging, reading, scrapbooking, etc,etc.). So there's no reason to take that away - only to balance it with those other things that are even more important.

Don't forget, we LOVE to visit and read but you are not responsible to your readers - only to God and your family. Those of us who know you will hang around because your resources, encouragement, and thoughts are worth the wait!

Blessings,
Andrea

Queen Bee said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog! I sometimes feel the same way. It is hard to do so many things and do them all well!

my5wolfcubs said...

I'm a loyal reader! Not daily, but that is okay, because you aren't posting daily. :)

I've actually been thinking about my own priorities/life lately (since I started exercising) -- and balancing the 4 areas of mind, body, spirit, & soul.

Lee

Kristiana said...

I'm glad you decided to keep blogging. I always like to read what you have to say, but you should in no way feel obligated to write more often than is needful for you and your family. I have really enjoyed keeping my own blog and getting to know other people through their blogs this past year, but it can take a toll on my time. It is good to take time out for yourself though.

As for scripture study (where I'm woefully inadequate as well) one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten was to treat it like tithing. In our church we pay 10% of our income as tithing and I've learned that if I pay it first, I can stretch the other 90% to pay everything. If I neglect tithing or try to pay it last, it becomes much harder to meet all of our obligations with our income. Scripture study can be the same way, if you start the day with it, tithe the time if you will, you'll find more hours in your day. It doesn't add up on paper, but it works.

I hope you can find some balance, and know that you're not alone! None of us can do it all either. :)

Blondie said...

I think that every homeschooling mom has been where you are at one time or another. There are many, including myself, who have stepped back from the computer in an effort to re-evaluate the important ... the non-negotiable. Thank you for your inspiration. Continue to take the time you need and blog when you can. And never feel guilty.