For the past six days, I’ve been home with the kids.
Spring break couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve lost 4 pounds being at home this week. They say stress has a way of weighing you down and I guess this goes to prove it.
For each of those days, I’ve made something. I can’t help it. It is who I am.
I made a dress two of the six days. One for Bell and one for Bug. I painted Boy’s bedroom and did my spring cleaning. Now the kids can’t call Gramma and tell her they don’t have any clean clothes to wear to school.
Today, we’re planting seeds in egg cartons. We’re a little behind on this, but we had skipped a garden entirely last summer because I was working full-time, and because the rabbits living in the bush in the neighbors yard hinder our efforts. Any, we’re ahead of the rabbits this year. We’re planting marigolds in the garden, too. Now we’ll see if rabbits really like the little yellow flowers or not.
Saturday, we painted bird houses to hang in the tree in the backyard. We spent a good hour painting and laughing and complimenting each other on our bird houses. I loved how excited the kids were to do this together.
It also saddened me. We don’t nearly do it enough.
And it’s my fault. I don’t feel as if I give them all of me anymore.
This week reminded me how much of me I’d been missing. How much of me that my kiddos had been missing, too. And as I sat there painting bird houses and seeing their faces, I thought it’s no wonder Bell has had a rough year at school. That Boy needs an extra hug before and after school. And Bug always has to ask if I’ll be there to pick her up at the bus stop.
All of me had been traded for providing for my family.
My parents, whom I love to pieces, grew up in an era where families could live on one income. Although more difficult, I believe it is and can still be done today. My father gave us all of him.
I grew up on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania. Dad got up early, milked the cows, worked all day, came home and milked the cows, and sometimes spent his evenings in the barn with a sick cow or helping one of his brothers. No matter what, he always made time for us. He still does.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that there is more to us than the path we have chosen.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4)
I used to think that the verse meant only desiring in God. If my only desire was to be closer to God then I would find my greatest delight. However, more recently I realized that God planted seeds inside each one of us. Just as the kiddos and I planted seeds today, but if we don’t water those seeds then they will never grow.
Those seeds planted inside us are like the desires of our heart. Only when we nurture those desires, peruse the dream, and answer the calling from within ourselves will we ever truly find delight.
I am one of my father’s greatest pride and joys. Not because I went to college. Not because I can prepare a tax return or write a book. It is because all of me, is part of him.
It has made me realize this week that if I fail to give all of me to those who depend on me most – my children and my husband– then they will have no part of me to carry forth.
It’s all of me or nothing.
I believe that our children learn best when they see us in motion. They imitate us and want to be more like us. Young as they are, they are easily impressed and even easier to discourage. If you want to read more about how parents influence their children I wrote an article about it that can be viewed from this link.
But its more than just about our children. It’s about being you, about being me. And I don’t know about you, but I owe it to myself to be who I am and use my talents to their fullest potential.
I may not be the greatest cook, the most immaculateness house keeper, but I have a big heart, a big love for God, and a creative spirit. That’s who I am.
How about you? If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?