Striving for Balance

It dawned on me the other day that I’m no longer a “sahm”. I’ve officially become a “wahm” – I work at home (what woman doesn’t? you may ask). The beauty of this is that I can do my work from home, in my pajamas if I want to. The down side of this is that I can do my work from home, in my pajamas if I want to. I am juggling three jobs at once – my paying gig, being a mom to my three kids (and homeschooling them), and being caretaker of the house.

I think I’ve realized what is wrong with this picture. I am in serious need of a schedule of sorts. Up until this week, I have been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal…homeschooling early mornings, doing some housework in between and fitting in my design work when I can. So how’s it working for me? Meh…not so well.

This week we are taking off of school so I can get some things in order in my home office, (hello, taxes), clean out our shop at the farm (hello, garage sale) and do some catching up with the kiddos (hello, park).

I’m also going to be working on a schedule of sorts, something that will enable me to feel good about the time I spend on my computer instead of feeling the guilt that normally comes with sitting at my desk. My kids should be able to handle me working 1-2 hours at a time on my computer during the day without interrupting me for minor things. I love what Darcy (My Three Boybarians) said in my post about homeschool intervention – “we’re a team”. That has stuck with me.

A very wise coach once told me that in order to get bigger, you have to first get smaller. Doesn’t make sense, unless you know what it means and how to apply it. In the spiritual realm, it means that you become weak so that Jesus can be strong. On the workfront, it means that I take on fewer projects so I can take on bigger projects.

I want to subscribe to the Kentucky Fried Chicken principle. “Do one thing and do it right”. I have a limited amount of time and resources – it’s more important to do the right job than to do the job right. That’s not to say that I don’t also do the job right, it simply means that I need to focus in on the jobs I take and be sure they are the right ones.

Ultimately, in order to do the job right, I have to take the right job. Phil 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If Jesus gives me the job, he will also give me the strength to finish it and finish it well.

Here’s to a productive week ahead….what are you tackling this week?

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An ode to technology

There are some things in life that although they are not really necessities, you become so dependent upon them that you literally have a difficult time functioning without them.

I am a lover of all things technological. Computers and phones and gadgets are such wonderful tools that when used properly and not abused, can enrich lives and bring people closer together.

I have a very deep and abiding love for certain gadgets – my cell phone is one of them. I rarely use it, but just know it’s there if I want to use it — it gives me such a sense of security. Weird, isn’t it?

In fact, I’ve had one for so long now that I don’t even remember what life was like before I one with me 24/7. I mean, how did I ever manage those late night trips to the Mart that Mister Sam built? For that matter, how did I manage to feel confident about doing anything any distance from my home in my old beat up ’96 minivan?

Yes, I’m totally waxing nostalgic tonight. I’m feeling a tad bit blue because I can’t find my cell phone. Anywhere. It’s el-gone-o. No where to be found-o. So in honor of my lost cell phone, I shall now write a poem:

O Cell Phone, Cell Phone! wherefore art thou Cell Phone?
Deny thy hiding place and reveal thyself to thee,
Or, if thou wilt not, be but found my love,
I shall no longer be phoning my friends.
And I might have to drink some poison to get over it.
Okay, that last line was a joke.
Sort of.

The end.

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A Holiday Impasse

I have started this blog post no less than 5 times. I have 3 drafts sitting in my drafts folder that I started and have absolutely no idea how to finish.

Other moms compose witty, humorous posts about their crafty and adventurous days with their kids while I find myself wanting to escape to some place where I can have a day to myself to just be. Other moms seemingly have it all together, while I am falling apart at the seams on a daily basis.

Christmas is three days away. I have not decorated my house (save the tree, which the kids did), I have not baked one Christmas item, addressed one card, created one newsletter, or purchased/made one gift for anyone.

I am at an impasse. I want to find the words to explain what I’m going through, but they escape me. I want to cry, but I can’t.

God has just been too good to me this year. He has seen us through some of the worst times in not only our financial lives, but our marriage as well. I should be expressing my thanks and giving Him the glory He so deserves.

The most a reader can ever really witness in a blog post is 10-15 minutes of a writer’s day. And while I try to blog about the good things that God has done for me, I realize that I spend an inordinate amount of time feeling so sorry for myself and the situation I find myself in, that more often than not, I miss the mark. I want to be so much better than I am. But there are sadly, some things I forgot to tell you.

I forgot to tell you that God has miraculously kept our 13 year old van running in spite of the fact that it has over 200K miles on it.

I forgot to tell you that even though the deal fell through on my husband’s truck and it didn’t sell, we were able to get his licensing fees paid.

I forgot to let you know that someone who doesn’t know me outside of reading my blog sent me $200 when I talked about my husband’s licensing problems to help us pay for said licenses.

I forgot to tell you that a precious, dear client sent me embroidered gifts for my children when I wrote that Christmas would be sparser than ever this year.

I forgot to share with you that our church picked us as the family that would receive the food basket one month when our cupboards were so bare, I was literally in tears about having to cook another pot of beans.

I forgot to tell you that our prayers were answered when my husband found a temporary job through the Christmas holidays that would enable us to keep our lights on and food on the table.

I forgot to let you know that just about the time I am ready to throw in the towel and cry, God does something else to renew my faith and keep me going. He is my sustainer and without His mercy and grace and the sacrifice that his precious Son Jesus made, I would be inconsolable this Christmas season.

I forgot to tell you that I am so incredibly thankful for Christ Jesus who took on the form of a man to redeem the world, who will forever BE a man, who now sits at the right hand of my Heavenly Father, and is making intercession for me when I can’t find the words to express my feelings.

I forgot to share with you that Jesus is the sweetest name I know.

Do you know him?

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Long overdue: A New ‘Do

Let’s just say that I am nothing if not a peacemaker. I don’t like conflict. I like for everyone to be happy and I always feel the need to be the one to make it so. Especially when it comes to my husband.

Until now. As Popeye™ once said, “I’ve had all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more!”

You see, conflict has reared its ugly head, and for once, I am determined to get MY way. Hear me out, folks.

I’m talking about my hair.

What works for my husband is long and grey. What works for me is some semblance of style and not looking like my 78-yr old mother.

Exhibit A: Photo of subject taken on December 5th. Note the 3 inches of *lovely* new GREY! growth and the dull, stringy, lifeless (not to mention “NO STYLE OF ANY KIND”) hair. Please disregard the horrible, washed out look of the defendant due to the unfortunate pairing of camera flash, no makeup, and yellow sweater that is TOTALLY the wrong season for her:

Note the “Deer-In-The-Headlights” look. She’s obviously GUILTY of neglect, and looks pretty upset that she’s been caught with her hair down.

Luckily, she has a wonderful friend who bailed her out of her hair prison by paying for a new cut and color for her for Christmas! {cue Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus}

Exhibit B: Photo of subject taken 3 hours after haircut and lowlights to help blend in the grey as it’s growing in, because, 3 inches of white on top of 9 inches of dark brown really should be a crime. {my before was just a little more “hillbilly” than what I was going for, y’all}

Note the relaxed and happy look on her face, even sans makeup. (Yes, I am a sahm mom who NEVER wears makeup unless I go to church, or on a date with my husband – it’s too much trouble!)

The conflict was within me, to be honest. My husband just wants me to be happy. But I wanted to please my husband and have beautiful long, silvery-white hair {think “Storm” from Fantastic Four}, but the reality is that I’m almost 40, overweight,and I look nothing like Halle Berry. It’s a good look on her, not on me. I knew it, but was really clueless what to do about it. I had taken to wearing my hair up in a clip every day of the week until I could grow it out long enough to get all the color cut off.

So what works for me? Having a good friend who listened to me whine and complain to her about my hair and the way it was making me feel and who was willing to take action on my behalf and rescue me from my pit of “desp-hair”. She is wonderful, not because she paid for my hair makeover, but because she is one of the most encouraging and uplifting people I have ever met, and she would never tell me I was having a bad hair day! 🙂

I rest my case.

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