Thursday, June 12, 2014

Housework & the Devil (revisited)

While doing a little housework today,
a post I wrote a few years ago came to mind
and I thought I'd share it again.

I'm not sure why
other than there might be someone,
a mom of young children, perhaps,
who needs some encouragement today.

Old Abandoned Home

Originally published by Lessons from the Desert on June 3, 2011
Reposted with minor editing.

 "I was blessed today with accomplishing enough housework to feel smugly self-satisfied.

As I was revelling in my accomplishment,
 my mind wandered back to a conversation I had with
my three teenage children several months ago.

I remember looking around my house in disgust and asking them,
 "Do you remember when I used to keep the house so clean
we could have eaten off the floors if we wanted to?"

The three looked at me, a bit puzzled and replied,
 "We don't remember how clean the house was,
 but we remember how crazy, scary you got while doing it!"

Yes, that was me.
It was as if Satan himself would possess me
and turn me into a rotten, cranky, screaming, madwoman.
It was not a pretty sight.

The fact that that's what my children remembered
 both saddened and humbled me.
As I pondered their words, the Lord revealed to me my error.
Several years ago, as I did a study of the Proverbs 31 Woman,
 I fell into a trap.
A trap that said I had to be
Suzie Homemaker,
 Betty Crocker,
Joan of Arc
 and Mother Teresa
 all in one.
It was a train of thought that said
 I had to perform a certain way in order to truly be the model of
 that Proverbs 31 Woman.
It was exhausting.

And unfortunately,
I remained in that trap for several years.

You see, my children didn't care
 how clean or dirty my house was.
They cared more about how it affected me.
 They noticed more whether I spent time with them
 or on housework.
They shared how, to them,
 they felt as if I cared more about how clean the house was
 than I did about them!
 The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes!

Through life and circumstances,
 I (thankfully) was freed of that way of thinking
 and began to relax a little bit more.
I have learned to choose my battles more wisely
 and how to make the best use of my time...
time with my children.
They're teenagers now and
don't necessarily want to always spend time with me,
 but when they do,
I jump on the chance!
The years go by too quickly
 and I now see that I wasted some of the best years on things
 that don't matter as much as I used to think they did.

The children don't hold it against me though.
Most of the time they laugh about it
and make jokes about how "crazy" I was.
Thank God that I'm better now -
well, mostly.

As for my husband,
he has never said anything about the cleanliness
(or dirtiness of the house)
 - ever.
He's always thought of me as
Suzie Homemaker,
 Betty Crocker,
Joan of Arc
 and Mother Teresa
 all rolled into one.
And I suspect that it shall remain so
 for the rest of our days.

So, when all is said and done, what matters the most is that
my children stand and bless me,
 my husband praises me,
and God is pleased with me.

Old Abandoned Garage/Barn
I hope that whom ever needs encouragement sees this.
Because if I can overcome something like this,
you can too!!!




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Ocean in Me

There's a trait the women in my mom's family share
and that is
the love of the ocean.
When my children were small
and we lived in
Southern California,
we were at the beach nearly
every Saturday
all summer long.
Since moving to the
Northern Nevada desert
almost eleven years ago,
I have experienced periods of great
melancholy due to a servere longing
for the ocean.
Summer is the most difficult time for me
living in the blasted -
I mean -
And with summer quickly  approaching,
that deep longing,
the wretched ache,
has begun.
Via Nicole Lucas-Waddell
And though I have learned not to dwell
on the things that I cannot change,
there is part of me that
upon this longing for
 the ocean.
Because for me,
the ocean is Nirvana.
And it's time to go back!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Are You Listening?

These days it seems as if
everyone wants to be heard
but no one wants to listen.
I despise cliches
but there is truth to the saying,
"We were given two ears and one mouth
so we can listen twice as much as we speak."
Nearly every day
(no exaggeration)
I either take part in or witness conversations
where one of the "participants"
isn't really listening.
We've all been guilty of not listening
a time or two when our minds have been preoccupied,
but THIS is different!
As my 18 year old observed,
"Most people aren't genuine.
They only seem to want to talk about themselves,
their politics,
or complain."
 I tend to agree with him.
My 18 Year Old
And for those of us who are listeners,
this makes real, genuine relationships
(or at least challenging!)
we like to be heard too.
This is why I am thankful
that I am a writer.
Because whether people truly listen
(or read)
or not,
writing provides me with an outlet
for all the things that go on in my head,
otherwise, it
 (my head),
might explode
and that would just be gross.
I am thankful, too,
that the man I married is my
best friend
and that we
to listen to one another,
which has resulted in
my cultivating a habit of listening
in our children.
Our children are 21, 18 and 16
and are the best conversationalists I know.
My 3 "little" Listeners
Not only do they listen, engage and respond appropriately,
but they think for themselves
and bring fresh, new and interesting ideas
to the conversation.
And listening to them in return
builds their confidence,
creates empathy within all of us,
and encourages them to go out and
pursue all they dare to dream.
Young people have a lot of
things to say.
They should be seen
Because when it comes down to it,
aren't these the types of people
we really want in our lives?