Mothers are masters at multitasking— we have to be or no one would eat.
Efficient moms know the key to survival is learning how to juggle well. However, it’s when we try to multitask with our roles and relationships that we can get into serious trouble.
Let’s face it; that’s also what we have to do— it’s the essence of motherhood. We multitask things and juggle relationships.
As with every good juggling act, the trick is to keep everything in constant motion. We moms are juggling childhoods, our marriage, intimate relationships with T-ball games and tumbling. All are good things, but the speed of life can blur our vision to the point we don’t see the real value of what’s in our hands.
Think about the speeding car that zoomed past you on the highway. You might know what color it was, but little else stands out in your mind other than it went by way too fast.
How many times have you heard older moms say their child raising years, just “went by too fast”? If it’s simply to become more efficient in our juggling, just to add more activities to our lives, we’ve missed the point entirely.
Many of the things we juggle are like rubber balls. If we drop them they will bounce back, stronger than ever.
Then there are the rocks. Some are heavy and cumbersome, others are just pebbles that take your time but adds no substance to your life.
And then there’s the pure gold. If we drop these things, they may become a bit misshapen for a while, but with a little care they will recover their beauty. But they require our constant polish and protection.
The most fragile of all, is the leaded glass, it doesn’t have the sheen of gold– it’s more common looking. But it’s rare, unique, made by the hand of God. These are the treasures that often hide in the mundane—between the rocks and the rubber. When we drop these, they shatter. They are gone forever.
If we want to savor these short days of childhood. We must first learn to slow down to see clearly– and sort the rocks and rubber from the gold and glass.
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I have to admit, I really admired her– for at least the first 30 minutes.
When my oldest was just a toddler, my husband was serving in the Army. All of our friends were also in the military. Which put us all just about the same in age, and economic status—in other words we were all young and broke with kids.
We had been invited over to a new couple’s house for dinner. He had just been transferred to my husband’s unit, but this was my first time meeting her.
She was pretty, with long straight black hair. Looking at her, you would never guess she had three kids– walking into her house you would never know they lived with her.
Each room was immaculate. As I complemented her on her beautiful home, I was secretly envying her superior organizational skills. With my admiration showing, she offered me a personal tour throughout each room—including closets.
When we came to the children’s room, I was particularly impressed. Not an item out of place. The inside of the their bedroom closet was as clean as any room in the house.
When I asked how she does it. She boasted:
I’m very strict. The children are not allowed to play in any room except their bedroom and they must…”
Her voice faded into the background of my mind. My thoughts began to crowd out her voice– “…poor kids” I thought. I would hate to be one of her children. Clearly, the sheen on her home was a high priority. Yet, it felt as inviting as a hospital waiting room.
Unfortunately for her children, she was extremely efficient at sterilizing a house but totally inept at creating a nurturing home environment.
A nurturing home is one that touches the senses—it feeds the soul, not just the body. It creates a storehouse of childhood memories. It’s not one thing—it’s an entire landscape of sights, sounds and smells that creates an atmosphere of peace and security.
A messy house will destroy your creativity and rob you of your time with your children. A clean house, held in higher regard than those it is supposed to nurture, will not produce a childhood of acceptance, creativity and security. The balance is found the atmosphere it provides.
When your children are grown and gone, what will trigger memories of the childhood home you created for them?
Today let me challenge you to make a conscious decision about the atmosphere of the home you want to create.
Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.– Dee Hock
Let’s play a word game.
When I say “messy housewife” what’s the first image that pops into your mind?
It wasn’t pretty, was it?
Notice how a single image destroys the vision of being at home? That’s what happens when “what” we do, overshadows– even redefines– our “why.”
Let me give you an example.
The loudest message women hear about motherhood seems to be that it is something you have to work out and overcome on your way to all your dreams.
For years, Mother’s Day was the most depressing day of the year for me. I know that sounds ridiculous. Maybe even ungrateful. But every year, it went something like this,
“Mom, what do you want for Mother’s Day?”
“I want to wake up to a clean house, and I don’t want to have to cook all day.”
“Oh Mom,” they would laugh, “you say that every year.”
Yes I would. And every year I would wake up surrounded by excited faces, hungry tummies, and a bed full of artwork.
One day it occurred to me. The reason I get so depressed on Mother’s Day, is because it’s the one day of the year, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to be a Mom! I wanted a day off. Frankly, that revelation made me laugh at myself.
You wrote your vision, now let’s write your purpose. These are the first two steps toward enjoying every season of life to the fullest– living with vision and purpose.
I’ve already shared with you my struggle in the early years of motherhood. Nurturing my children was never a problem. Learning to cook, budget, fold fitted sheets, potty train, cut little boy’s hair, do laundry—all in one day—while nurturing them definitely was.
This week’s new planner page is “A Mother’s Life With Purpose.” It’s the working half of your vision page. If you haven’t already, you can download A Mother's Life With Vision (462) and A Mothers Life With Purpose (461) and all the previous downloads when you subscribe.
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Updated May 9, 2012
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
One of the most powerful things in life is our ability to imagine. We alone have the unique ability to conceive and birth ideas that will change our future. It is what sets us apart from the rest of creation. We are made in His image, and our ability to create something from nothing is an inherited trait from our Father.
Too often we allow the circumstances of the day to shift our plans and obscure our vision for our life. It takes a conscious decision to make the necessary changes in order to pursue the dreams God has given you. When your day tosses you from one demand to the other, you begin to feel trapped and lose sight of your purpose.
Writing your vision down is the first step in creating the life, home or marriage you dream of having.