Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Managing and Mothering, But Not Too Smothering

During this wonderful week 3 of the Let. It. Go. online Bible study, I have received encouragement from Karen and the obs leaders on letting go when it comes to managing my home and my family. They also have give me awesome guidance on how to be the thermostat of my home rather the thermometer...an analogy that will stick with me for years to come. Below are some reflections of what I've read and learned:

"She watches over the activities of her household"~ Proverbs 31:27 HCSB

This verse really speaks to my heart because it describes perfectly the kind of mother and wife I want to be. The woman of the house comes in all shapes, sizes, and spirits. The spirit I’ve always admired most is the quiet, watchful mother and wife. She is a source of wisdom, strength, and comfort for her family. She is the essential glue holding it all together. She is always the first one up and the last one down, and constantly puts her family’s needs before her own because she knows that is what the Lord has called her to do. She mends broken dolls and teddy bears just to see the smile on her little one’s face, and wipes every tear with a gentle kiss. She doesn’t buy the affection of her family with toys, clothes, or other things of the world. She is effortlessly loved by her family in response to the love and care she gives them everyday. Whenever any member of her family is tired, sick, hurt, or scared, her presence let’s them know that everything is ok. Most importantly, she keeps God alive in her heart and her home. She never lets a day go by without thanking God for her blessings and leading by example for her family to do the same.

I honestly try to be the thermostat, but unfortunately, when I let myself get worn out instead of making rest and health a priority for myself just as I do my family, I quickly turn into the thermometer….at about 180 degrees. I’ve been battling with that for awhile now. Though I have been praying for strength, I know I haven’t yet put my heart into making this situation better, and I have to…not just for myself, but for my family. My child and my husband deserve better. God deserves better. It will be a step by step process, but I will get there. Reading this chapter was one of the many steps I needed to take, and it truly spoke to my heart. I have so much to be thankful for, and I don’t want to take any of my blessings for granted…especially my Lord and Savior, as well as the people I love the most.

Like many mothers, I am a micromanager for sure at times. I was much worse when my daughter was younger, but as she gets older and her desire for independence gets stronger, I continue to realize that while I will always want to provide and protect my child, I don't want to smother her and possibly keep her from becoming the person God wants her to be. Though there are still many are still many areas in which I need to loosen those maternal reins, I have learned that it is so much more gratifying to back off and watch what my daughter does and admire the person she is trying to be instead of trying to hover over every move she makes. I mean yesterday as soon as we walked in the front door, she began yodeling! It was evening time, I was tired, and had very little time to do a mountain of chores, but do you think for one second I worried about any of that once she started belting out her self-discovered fluctuating tune? Absolutely not. This as an unforgettable memory in progress that she had come up with on her retry own! I was impressed, joyful, and laughing to tears. We didn't shush her! We got out our cell phones and pressed record!

I've always known that when it comes to my husband and I, and the relationship we share, there have never been any coincidences. God had His hand in it every step of the way. As a result, we have a relationship that thrives on loving and supporting each other. My husband knows that I do my best to keep our house in order. But sometimes, my working part time doesn't allow much time for chores during the week. Most of the time, this is ok. But this week, I had scheduled a little dinner meeting with a few of my girlfriends and I won't lie. Even though I know they would love me regardless of the condition of my house, I enjoy being able to welcome my friends into a nice, relaxing, clean, cinnamon-swirl smelling home where we can sit, talk, and enjoy each other's company. My husband knows this, and knows that I generally keep a to do list of things to clean when company is expected. Before I came home from work, and after he had worked a full day, my husband retrieved my list from the counter and preceded to make my life easier. I came home that evening to a clean kitchen free of all dirty dishes, freshly swept and mopped floors, and the last load of laundry toasting in the dryer. I didn't walk around with a clip board inspecting his work to ensure that each task had been performed to my specifications. It was such a tremendous weight off my shoulders to have that work done. But more than that was knowing that my husband had done these chores not because it mattered to him. He did it because it mattered to me, and I matter to him. Then we got inspired to spend this Saturday working together getting things done around the house. We got excited talking about helping each other do house work and lightening our load together.

"Shoes strewn about means you have children who can walk. Mud-spattered uniforms means you have children who can run, jump, and kick. Homework papers left on the dining-room table means your kids have a functioning mind and are able to learn, absorb, and live quality lives” (pg. 124).

The words of Karen ares the very words that spoke to my heart the most when reading these two chapters because they are totally true. I have so much to be thankful for simply because I have a healthy and happy family to spend my days and nights with, and a Heavenly Father who loves me and will be with me everywhere I go. Even on my worst day, I know I have more blessings than I deserve, and I am so thankful to have a family so understanding and a Father so merciful, and this is the encouragement I've gained this week and will hopefully never lose. Like many wonderful wives and mothers, my plate may be constantly full, but my cup runneth over.

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