Authenticity · Faith

The Small Things

This week is my “rest” week. (If a mother can ever call any week rest while homeschooling five children). As in, I literally worked myself to getting an infection last week and now my body needs to recover. This week, I’m forced to slow down. Sleep longer. Just maintain the home, rather than improve it.

No worries, this is a welcome change. Next week the projects will resume and I will again get to create a list of sorts.

My exhaustion has me wondering if every mother is feeling the lack of mental space to keep a blog running these days, or whatever other hobbies they may have. Having my kids around 24/7 with no sport or music programs, no public school, no church events or parties for the past three months was, in some ways, a welcome break from the normally busy schedule. But if you’re slightly introverted like me, any people, even your own children whom you love will drain all energy for other things.

Is anyone else out there, like me? Completely mentally drained?

Last week I shared that I haven’t found energy for reading, writing, running or other hobbies because of projects. But with more thought, I think it’s also been draining to have my kids around without any breaks. I feel rather uninspired to write about anything.

Now if you’ve followed my blog of any amount of time, you would know that I’ve homeschooled for seven years prior to this year (this was my “break” from homeschooling year… LOL!!! But apparently I’m not allowed to stop homeschooling.) I’ve already had my kids home for much of their lives, however, this has been different. It’s that kind of situation where they have nothing else.

Just home.

Just me and their Dad.

They’re bored. I’m never bored. I’m too busy homeschooling, gardening, cooking and cleaning to feel out of sorts. But I’m trying to sympathize and hang out with them. When I’m tired of being their entertainer, I find them chores to do. And though life is slowly returning to normal, there is an unusual amount of white space on their calendar where their lives are concerned.

I’ve been spending money to help with the boredom… we renovated the bathroom, we purchased a dirt bike and a hot tub this month, plus tons of extra supplies for our pool. The hard-earned/slowly saved money was originally supposed to go to our first ever HUGE summer vacation, but since the borders are closed, we are bringing the fun home.

Someday, we will travel. This year we make the best of our situation. On the bright side, the hot tub will hopefully last us for years to come… vacations come and go so quickly.

Alright… now to deeper matters:

Yesterday, my husband asked me a question. It’s a question I’ve always hated, but I humoured him and answered it anyways.

If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I hate this question because it stirs up unhealthy pride/greed in people. I feel it in myself. Because there’s two ways to answer: I either list all the things I’ve wished for in my life but could never afford, or I act all spiritual and generously give it to those in need. I didn’t want to answer the question, and I told him so, to which he replied: “You are such a ‘Debbie-downer’, it’s just a fun question that reveals a lot about a person’s interests.”

So fine. I answered it.

  1. I want to go back to school to become a nurse.
  2. I would pay off our mortgage.
  3. I would hire someone to give me a magazine perfect yard and finish off our projects because I love to host family and friends.
  4. I would consider adopting two children (of course, HE would have to agree with that one haha).
  5. I would give 10% or more of it away, because I have found that giving brings me FAR more joy than spending money on myself.

He was surprised. He honestly thought I would travel the world. But as much as I DO like travelling, I don’t like being a tourist. Meaning, I love the places, and the people. Not so much the luxury. Whenever I am served by others, either in restaurants or on a resort, my mind wanders to the verse:

“For the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

And I feel guilty. Because I know very well I’m not here on this earth to be waited on. I’m here for the very people who are serving me. To care for them. To show them kindness and bring them joy. Ultimately to show them the love of the Father.

Maybe I am a Debbie Downer.

Yet… I just want to live with purpose! And purpose means radical, right?!?

Hmm… but often, it’s not. The longer I live, the more I am learning that a fulfilling life starts with the small things. In fact, the small things are very often more important than the big things.

How do I treat those who serve me?

How do I treat my own family?

How am I talking to the people around me? With respect?

Yesterday Ryan asked me a question and I said nothing because I wanted to think about my answer for a bit. Which was very unlike me, if you know me at all. I respond first and think later. But an hour later, after I had carefully thought through my feelings and reasons for them, I responded gently, without picking a fight.

He smiled and said, “I respect that, you know. When you think about it and respond thoughtfully. Now I can understand your feelings about it and I’m good with doing things your way.”

And I’m like, “Wow! Why haven’t I done that before?!?”

So… small things. That’s what will make me a loving person. Not the big “save the world” attitude that I so often push myself to have.

A small thing: we ordered limestone to build a pad for the hot tube and pool, but my family scheduled a visit during the time I had planned to work on it. At first I found myself getting so worked up. Why did it have to be that particular day? Why not a better time? But, I took a breath and I pushed off my schedule to “window” visit my elderly grandpa. He beamed when he saw us all there. I cried half of the time. It was SO worth it.

Such a small thing, but it made the world of a difference to him.

Life Lesson: I don’t have to be everyone’s hero. I just need to love in the little moments. Pause to think before I speak. Switch my schedule around to make room for someone else’s.

THIS is true greatness.

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “The Small Things

  1. I’m pretty much crying while reading this, which answers your question… YES. Being a mama during a pandemic has been mentally exhausting. I feel as though it really all hit me over the weekend, and… well… my poor husband. I just had a meltdown. The books I ordered to start homeschooling my son kindergarten in the fall came in, and I just had a moment where I thought to myself, “there’s just no way.” I’m SO tired of being stuck in my house with my kids at all times.
    God really has had to remind me of my purpose as I’ve felt stripped of joy and reason lately. I have felt as though each day is JUST the same. And although it’s still hard, I’m learning to slow down and to rest, find purpose in each day, and see the beauty in simple things. (I actually just wrote a blog post on my blog that kind of talks about that, and I think you could definitely relate! It’s called “Stripped” and it’s my second-to-last post on my blog). If you want to check it out, I definitely feel as though you could relate to what I shared. 🙂
    Anyway, all that to say, this post was beautiful, and it touched me SO much!! Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your honesty Nicole! I’m so sorry that this weekend was hard for you 😢 are you just starting to homeschool next year? Because like I said, it’s not the homeschooling that has me losing my mind, it’s the fact that I have to be EVERYTHING to my kids right now. I am their teacher, their parent, their friend, their entertainer, their social life… it’s overwhelming and SO not the way things are meant to be. Thanks for sharing your blog, I will definitely read it. Hopefully this week you find the rest/peace you are longing for!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES, this will be my first year homeschooling! Brady, my son, is five years old; and Kaitlyn, my daughter, is three. So I’ll just be homeschooling kindergarten for now. 🙂
        They’ll be second-generation homeschoolers, as I was taught at home (via Christian Liberty Academy) from age 6 through 18 by my mom. Of course, that was a long time ago and during a time when – if you were taught at home – people looked at you as though you were in a cult. HA! We were one of the first waves of homeschoolers, and there was a lot of distrust. I am definitely relieved to be teaching during a time when the choice is much more respected, and people – to some degree – realize just how great the education can be!
        It took years of prayer to decide – for sure – that we were going to homeschool, but I know now – more than ever – that it’s the right choice for us. School systems are going to be under SO many guidelines in the fall, and it’s potentially going to be hard for the kids. So that has only fueled my fire and really confirmed that teaching my son at home is the best decision for him. (And, of course, I have many other reasons too).
        I know it will be a huge commitment, but I’m also VERY excited. I LOVED being homeschooled, and I’m forever grateful to my mom for the amazing education she gave me. 🙂 And YES, that’s understandable that this year has been really hard for you! Pandemic homeschool life is so much different than usual homeschool life!! I’m a stay-at-home mom (although I teach piano part-time), and what I face on a daily basis right now is SO much harder than what it was months ago. I was not meant to stay home all day, every day. Ha, ha!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s incredible! What a testimony you have. I can’t imagine having homeschooled back in the day when people really did judge and look down on it. I’ll admit, I was totally against it myself and even thought that it was wrong of parents to do for a while. Boy, did God ever change my heart once I had my own children and FINALLY understood the love and sacrifice behind that decision!

        It’s really good to hear from someone who loved being homeschooled. I’m hoping my kids will have that experience as well. 😃

        Like

  2. Great post! I hear you about never being bored as a homeschooling mom. Too much to do. It’s been tough these past few months and I feel drained.
    Hang in there and thank you for sharing your story. Have a blessed start to a new week.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy to share! You are definitely not alone in your tiredness. This season is harder than most since everyone has to stay home. I do miss the few hours of reprieve when the babysitter helped and I could go out for a cup of coffee on my own. Even sitting alone in the quiet car was nice.
        Hope you have a blessed rest of the day! Take care and stay well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As a mom who has homeschooled these last two years I’ve been used to having them home with me and not having any breaks from them. I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes I put them on a device, go into the bathroom and take a long bath and watch something on my phone or computer. BUT I only have two, they are eight years apart, and the oldest sometimes watches the youngest for me, but I am lucky that way.

    Hang in there! Things will get better soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m trying to stay strong. I think possibly it’s adult conversation that I’m missing. Too much kid conversation that feels surface level. I like talking about what matters and then they go silent which makes connecting together a challenge! Then my husband comes home and they all crowd around, vying for attention and I want to just be alone with another adult lol!!

      Liked by 1 person

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