Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recently, Cornbread and I have been talking about enjoying our journey - rather than focusing so hard on what we hope the end result of the journey is. I feel like this is something I need to work on in so many areas of life. Of course there is the seemingly constant struggle of our financial/Edward Jones journey - I feel like that is a continual process of one step forward and two steps back. Once we get a few months of stepping forward, we're reminded that - HEY! HEEYYY! This isn't so easy. You're not going to get off that easy - you don't get 5 years of struggle and then all of the sudden the struggle is done. You may get a reprieve here and there, but its not over, honey. Lest you think you might be past the hard part, here's a little reminder for you.

And a lot of times, I admit, those reminders make me turn to God and ask him what the heck is going on. Come on, God? Haven't we had enough? Aren't we over this? Can't we get some relief from THIS particular thing? I mean, really, its getting pretty old right about now. And by the way... what are we doing wrong?

But I have so many areas where I need to learn to live in the moment and enjoy the journey rather than focus on my anticipated end result. Hasn't that been my biggest challenge of parenthood? If you go back through all of the years of writing I've done, I find this struggle over and over and over. Wanting some freedom from the dependence of my children. Wanting to be free of feeling like I'm being smothered. Wanting some time for myself. Wanting them to grow up a little quicker because I know that as soon as they are all "these" ages, life will be easier. Its all right there in black and white - my ever present struggle. Not that I don't love my kids and love their ages, for the most part, but my struggle with being so highly depended on, while needing time to myself.

That journey has gotten exponentially easier... all three of my girls are pretty independent. I don't feel so smothered all the time anymore. Life IS easier in that regard. But right now-summer- is always difficult because of the lack of routine and the need to cart around 3 extra people in order to do anything and the boredom that they feel at times. So my continual struggle THIS summer is to enjoy each day instead of counting down the days until this thing or that thing. Luckily for me, we have quite a few plans for the summer so its broken up really well into 2 or 3 week segments until the next big family even occurs. That DOES makes summer-as-a-whole easier, but I still need to stop and enjoy the journey of getting there.

The journey - in all of our areas - is where the growth takes place, not the end result. It is the journey that is teaching our family to choose fun, free, family activities that build relationships rather than spending money to do stuff that occupies our time, but does not contribute to our family bond in a significant way. It is in the journey where Cornbread and I are learning to be dependent on an unseeable, sometimes seemingly distant God. One whomI feel like I'm constantly trying to convince that we are worthy of his blessings (I know that is bad theology... not talking theology here, but honestly relaying my feelings). In our journey - not the ambiguous end result - we continually have to offer our budget, our finances, our spending, our desires and thoughts to him and lay them and ourselves at his feet and stop giving him our options on how to solve the problems we think we have. It is in the journey that we learn that we have absolutely no control over any of this, so why are we holding so tightly to the idea that we can do it ourselves?

I feel like I've written this post over and over and over throughout the years. Its a lesson that I need to learn again and again. When I was a teenager, my parents used to tell me what they said went in one ear and out the other... THIS lesson feels exactly like that - it goes in one chamber of my heart and immediately out the other and barely spends enough time there to take hold and change me.

I have good intentions. I want to be like this, but somehow I ALWAYS get distracted.

Yesterday, in an effort to enjoy the journey of having small, but big kids, I brought them to the store and we got items to make root beer floats. Cost me all of $5 and it was exciting and fun and special. And I made sure that I didn't just make the floats and walk away while they enjoyed them... I didn't make one for myself, but I sat with them while they had theirs. This is a step in the right direction for me.

Today, instead of picking up my house, I am sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful weather, giving myself the absolute worst, messiest pedicure in the history of pedicures and later I will take the girls swimming at FFFN and maybe I'll actually get into the pool with them in an effort to enjoy THEM (I hate swimming in above ground pools). These are not big things, but it doesn't matter... its the art of enjoying life and what we DO have that matters.

I've struggled, this summer, with being a fully present and non-dismissive mom. I've been distracted, dismissive, selfish, and sometimes rude and snotty to my kids. And after recognizing that and trying to turn it around, I've realized how much happier I am when I am fully present in their lives and when I am intentional in my parenting and relationships with them.

Here's to a joyful and enjoyable July and August!


Mommy Brain 7:26 AM  

It's a hard few months...summer. There are such high expectations of smiles, fun, laughing, kicking back...and yet it's so easy to get caught up in the mess, no schedule, always underfoot, no alone time. I think it's great that you are working at enjoying the moment and that is so important. I also remember when my kids were younger, I used to "hire" a middle school girl to be my helper a few days a was so great for my kids to have another playmate who would do things with them and it gave me a chance to run to the store or take a walk or get a pedicure or read my Bible by myself...which was so important. Hope you keep enjoying the summer!

Skooks 2:20 AM  

As ever, you are convicting. Especially that last paragraph. The days that I am intentional and non-dismissive with the kids are always the best. It can be a struggle at times, however, to not be the former.

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