Monday, January 28, 2013

Taking Care of Mom or We must Retrench!

Last week the chatter on the HOD boards was about ME TIME, how to get it and do we need it. Don't we all think as Supermom Christians  we're never supposed to be sad, depressed, worried, burned out, selfish, or backslide!  We tend to display to the world a exemplary life "having it altogether" That  Really my life is fabulous motif  hahahaha!!!   How many of us have sat through sermons exhorting us to a strong spiritual life leaning daily on the Holy Spirit and then go home to a emotional and physical mess and think "I'll never make it".  At Irving Bible Church last night they had a great speaker. His name is Rett Smith, But oh my goodness he was such a babe in arms! He even opened with Yes I'm sooo young what can I possibly know to help you. Too funny! 

Over all his message was good. I think if he read Bondage Breaker his message about anxiety would change a wee bit. But he was right on in so many places!  Overall he affirmed to me. We are going the right direction with Sweet Potato.  Now if ever a child is anxious it is Sweet Potato... We all have fears in our lives, but she is a child living in perpetual fear. When she is not afraid, she picks a new thing to be afraid about. Unless she is having to much fun to be bothered. She is afraid of grey clouds because they might turn green and then it's a tornado.   I used to be afraid a volcano would grow up in the back yard and start spewing lava everywhere.  So I understand where irrational fears come from. Even rational fear need not make one anxious forever, for example: I was once in a bee swarm and got covered in stings. I have a rational fear of bees, but after 25 years I no longer jump up and run away.  I'm back to "It won't bug you, if you don't bug it." and only hyperventilating for a minute or 2. We don't have to live stuck to our anxiety.  Rett Smith said just because kids are good at 38 things does not mean they need to be involved in 38 things. It creates to much anxiety, then he quietly said:

  • "Kids should be involved in one thing at a time." 

Think about that for a minute.  How much time would you as a Mom gain if your kids were only in one Hobby at a time?  How much family time would you gain? If you have a family of 3 with kids in just 2 different things. You could be looking at getting in the car and driving to 6 "activities" a week, add in bible study, or Awana, play dates, sleepovers and what is left for you and your family?

I know self sacrificing to the point of burn out does no one any good. Yes I see Heroes of the faith standing up and living a life of sacrifice above and beyond human ability.

  • I also learned these heroes of the faith have a prayer life often 4 hours long.
    That is a heck of a lot of alone time! 
  • How can we continue to pour out if we don't pour into ourselves?  

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a parent was from my sister. "When your expectations are too high, Lower Them."  the next great piece of advice I heeded was from Thompson's book "When Love is Not Enough"  It told us to look in the mirror and if we resembled the image Which I did, to ask ourselves "If I was a child would I want to be parented by that?"  And she also recommended Retrenching: Reduce or diminish (something).  In our case we removed Girl Scouts, Dance Class, and Gymnastics from our activities to focus on our child who needed more Mom and Dad time and less be all you can be time. 

Rett quoted  Mark 12 28-31
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

I loved how he used this verse to show how Jesus wants us to take care of first things first. This is the part where you fill up your jug before you go and pour it out on your family and others. I loved looking up at his slide and saying YES, this is what I have found to work! He broke it up in to 4 parts
  • Heart: Keeping your spirits up, Coffee with a friend, Date nights with your man. 
  • Soul: Keeping close to God, Personal retreats, Quiet time, Praying together.
  • Mind: Keeping mind sharp, Hobbies, Non fiction books, learning new things.  
  • Body: Keeping your body fit: Exercise, eat healthy food. 
All these pieces of the puzzle will enable us to be strong, and pour ourselves back out into our families and the body of Christ. Often to have the time to do these things we need to say No. Saying no to teaching a class, or saying no to our child because the event is to late, to far, to much. It also allows us to say, Yes to game nights with friends, walks to the playground, time of wonder to sit and just be or just think, for kids to sit and swing. Time to walk the dog and chat with the neighbors, to lay outside and look at the clouds with your child.

Yes if your child is fabulous at Soccer put him in Soccer, but you don't have to be the soccer mom 5 times in a row. Really if you don't do it someone else will rise to the occasion,  or you just bring your own drinks for your own kidlet, its really not as enormous as its chalked up to be.  He doesn't have to play both seasons, if he wants to take a painting class let him drop soccer for a season. involvement is great, but not if you are all to tired to enjoy each other at the end of the day.

So go ahead try it, say no till your kid is down to one thing, take time to have coffee with a friend, take a nap, gaze at the stars, walk to the park and enjoy a more sedated paced life.

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