Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Piece of My Mind

The following post is a jumbled up look at what has been going on in my mind for the past few months. It is not always pretty.

It all began back in January, when I read this interview with a seller on Etsy named "Poor Pitiful Pearl". In the year 2011, her shop was the second most clicked upon. That is astounding when you realize that there are ten million users on Etsy. If you don't know what Etsy is, go check it out. It is big. It is a marketplace for artisans, designers, crafters, and the like.

After reading about her life as a stay at home, homeschooling mom and seeing her unabashed love for God reflected even in her business, I began to get excited. Really excited. What inspired me the most, was that she is doing what she loves, keeps her priorities of family first, and sees her business as a ministry. She gives ten percent of her profits to an orphanage in Mexico. Add to that a really funky and unique style and she's on my list of cool people to hopefully meet someday.

Go read her profile here. I cried. You probably won't, but I did. I blame it on having lots of babies, or something like that.

{one of her items that I would totally buy!}
 I told you that I got really excited. Well, I did.

I began to dream about selling my jewelry again and really becoming successful at it. I began to dream about including the girls and teaching them the life skills that come from owning your own business. I wrote up the rough draft of a business plan. I opened a new Etsy shop (that has nothing in it). I opened a Twitter account. I began cleaning up my blog posts and tagging them so that they are searchable (it's all about social networking, ya know!). I began getting out my jewels and playing with them again. I found a solution for a design/work space.

And then, about a week later, reality hit.
What was I thinking?!
I have five children. Poor Pitiful Pearl Wonder Girl (this is not meant to be a dig, she really IS cool and genuine) has two. She also has way more business experience. I am an amateur.
One of my five children is a baby who needs (loves, deserves) a lot of attention. All of them do, really. But baby can't just go entertain himself for thirty minutes like the others can.

Jump back to the first item on my business plan, which was to decide upon and begin implementing a daily schedule. And that brings me to the next reality bite.

My days are chaotic. I spin my wheels in this area because, well, probably fear of failure. You know I want it to be perfect THE FIRST TIME I do it. Whatever.
I guess I'm afraid that if I get my days all planned out that I'll be constantly tweaking it for the rest of the year.
So, because I feel out of control in this area, I do the one thing I CAN control.
Yep. We clean a lot. It is rather dull to always be cleaning.

This brings to mind a third piece of reality that I believe IS changing this year, by the grace of God!
There is a drivenness behind perfectionism that, I have begun to believe, is based in, take a wild guess ... fear. I'm not sure what the fear is behind this, could be a fear of what others may think? Still chewing on that one.

Then there is the fourth smack of reality. Since we have no real sense of order to our days, schooling comes in spurts. Right now, I think I really suck as a home school teacher. My oldest basically schools herself because she is a voracious reader, but lacks in subjects such as math. My Oli is struggling to be a confident reader because her mother isn't taking the time to work with her on it. My wild child could care less to join the schooling craze, but she does know her letters, by golly. She must've learned 'em from Starfall The three year old is content to just go along with the flow, although, he REALLY wants to work with tools out in the garage which can't happen when daddy's not around. Plastic tools don't fool him! And me? Well, I sit around nursing a baby and making meals and cleaning up after our meals. Oh, and spend quality time on facebook and Pinterest. And try to be a thoughtful wife too.

The biggest reality of all that I have had to face, is my selfishness. Add to that, laziness.
I have been slapped in the face by the realization of it! I would rather sit around and be served by my children than be a servant to them. I see them as a bother rather than a joy. They interrupt my quiet and peaceful existence. Sounds rather selfish, don't it.

Well, I'm gonna shout "HALLELUJAH!" now that I've seen it clearly. Because now I can change. Be changed.
I have not loved my children without requirement. BUT...
I have been loved without requirement, and this changes everything, when I let it in.

Another thing that changes everything, is  g r a t i t u d e.
I see the word "attitude" (minus a 't') peeking at me. An attitude change comes when I choose to choose JOY. Honestly, that statement has always irked me in a deep-down-get-under-my-skin-kinda-way. Mainly because I could never get it. I didn't know how to choose it. Now, I see.

I see that I have been given a voice and that voice must not be kept silent.
When I sing songs infused with God and His Spirit, He dwells and abides with me, in me, all around me. Sometimes His presence is almost palpable. It is definitely catching. When my children hear me sing, whether out of joy or desperation, they join in. Then something in the air begins to clear.

My head clears too. Even in the writing of this, I see that I have not really taken the time to ask, seek, knock. I keep trying to do this alone. I keep yearning for wisdom, but not believing that I will be given it. So double-minded of me.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and reproaches not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." {James 1:5-8}

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

I also see that I must become a vigilante against the doldrums. I usually spin into the dullness by not watching my thought life. There was a reason for the verse that states, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" {2 Cor 10:5}

The battlefield is in the mind. As soon as I begin to accuse myself, like believing that I really suck as a homeschooling mom, which then leads to believing that I really suck as a mom, I agree with my Accuser. I would rather disagree with him, wouldn't you?

Maybe by the end of the year I will be able to pick up my business plan.
But for now, I exist here, learning, growing, stretching, being transformed, in this place called wife and mother. It is a good place.

~ christa jean

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