Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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An Honest Stream of Consciousness

This Is The Way We Wash Our Clothes by George Dunlop Leslie

Hello friends, do you mind a little rambling stream of consciousness today?

I was standing in my disastrous kitchen a bit ago, cutting up acorn squash and thinking about this neglected space.  We went on vacation and came home sick.  Just as vacation didn’t look like I thought it would, my blog doesn’t and my days typically don’t either…try as I might…In my mind, today we would have awakened to a tidy house, everyone would have quickly dressed and eaten, and we would have joyfully gathered at the table for a delightful Bible study and lessons as the baby and preschooler played quietly.  Ha!  Not even!

Instead, I woke up stiff and a little chilly, on the couch where I had spent most of the night with a feverish, restless little one.  Got up and packed my husband’s lunch and scrambled eggs for all of us.  Washed the giant stock pot I didn’t have time to wash last night and got beef bones started for stock.

Told the kids that yes, they could watch an episode of Mythbusters if they first watched the 8’s multiplication table on School House Rock five times.  Got the baby to play for a few minutes while I got a shower, finally.  Helped my tender-scalped youngster with her hair.  Gave sinus and back rubs and dispensed remedies to the sick ones.

Scrambled two more eggs for the 4 year old since we had eaten everything from earlier and she was still hungry.   Rewashed the laundry that didn’t get put in the dryer last night.  Helped the 7-year-old write a letter to her friend.  Looked for poison ivy medicine for the 9-year-old and came up empty.

Nursed sick baby.  Tried to put him to bed but he woke and screamed.  Nursed and rocked some more while my preteen chattered about friends and boys.  Peeked at facebook a couple times in there somewhere, and drank a couple glasses of iced coffee milk to stay awake.  There is a proper name for it?  An iced latte?

Blew out a fake candle and “ate” a play doh cupcake that the preschooler made for my “birthday.”  (Thank you, Jesus, for play-doh!)  Gave up on fixing my hair and threw it up in a bun.  Tried compensate with my favorite earrings.

Added meat to the stock.  In the midst of the kitchen that wasn’t fully cleaned from last night or breakfast this morning, I made a new recipe for Moroccan Mash (modified from here) because a) clearly I am insane, b) it sounded really good, c) I had two butternut squashes that needed to be used, and d) there was nothing else in the house for lunch.  To my surprise, the kids loved it.  So did I!  Maybe I am not entirely insane after all.

So all that chaos and pandemonium and the day is only half over.  I still haven’t read my Bible or put on makeup or made my bed or cleaned the bathrooms or switched out the laundry or dressed the preschooler or put chickens on the stove for soup.  All things that should have been done hours ago.  And as for homeschool, it’s officially a sick day.

And as soon as I got up from finishing that last sentence, the kids told me that the dog pooped in the girls’ bedroom.  And then I had to break up a knock down drag out fight mediate sibling rivalry.

Did I mention that I am sick along with everyone else?  Not as bad as they are, but I keep forgetting to get something for my headache.

I know it’s been said before, but you know, blogging can make everyone else’s life look perfect.  And I know I only have about 2 readers compared to the superbloggers, but still I worry that even as I try to be transparent, I come across as having it all together.

I thought about posting an honest picture of the state of my kitchen, but I decided not to because people can be judgy.  Not you.  Just…people.  You know.  And besides, it really does defy belief.  You know those bloggers whose homes always appear to be in perfect order, and then they post an “honest” picture.  You know the one where they say, “But I want to be honest with you, sometimes my house looks like THIS!  OH THE HORROR!” and there are 3 socks on the floor and a couch cushion is crooked?  Yeah.  That is not the kind of “honest” picture you would get from me.  You don’t want to see it, trust me.

Anyway, I hope this does not sound like complaining because it’s not.   The whole point of this sleep deprived stream of consciousness ramble is, often we don’t have it together, or at least I don’t.  We have rough days or weeks or heck, even rough years.  Honestly, “together” days happen here about, oh, once in a blue moon.  Stars align and angels sing.   If you are more organized than I am (and I am pretty sure most of you are), then that is great, and I say that with all sincerity. Although this day is even less cohesive than usual, I’m not even close to having it together–so my dear sweet friends, if you have ever felt inadequate because of something I wrote, never fear.  I am just a disaster, doing the best I can, trying to remember to rest in God’s grace and help.

And when it comes down to it, that is all we have, really, isn’t it?  Just Jesus.  Our Friend and Helper.   He saves us and He guides us and He helps us.  Right in the midst of the mess, He meets us.  He enables us to somehow touch others, even if today those others are just our own needy little ones.  He is enough.  Today, even if it’s in the midst of chaos, may you feel His presence and His peace!

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Wrote this a few days ago–see, I can’t even manage to write and publish a post on the same day! :)  And if you got this far, I hope it makes sense to someone besides my own fuzzy, sleep deprived brain!


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Mama Self Care: Creatively Feeding our Souls

I find that so often mamas neglect the special gifts and passions God has given them, the things that make them uniquely THEM.   God has made us body, soul, and spirit, and He wants us to take care of all of those parts of ourselves.   These creative things sometimes seem so unimportant in light of the urgencies of daily life with little kids.  But I’ve noticed—when we don’t cultivate those special creative gifts He’s given us, we kind of wither inside.

That’s not to say that we should express creativity at the cost of our families, but there are ways to flourish in the small moments!

I believe as people made in the image of God, we are all creative in some area.  For me it is writing, making things, and maybe art?  (Something new I am exploring.)  For you, it might be cooking, event planning, decorating, organizing, serving others, or any number of other things.  Don’t get bogged down in what you can’t do.  Just do what you can.  Find simple expressions of your passions.  At risk of sounding like I have this all figured out, because I so do not!—here are a few ways I am incorporating soul-nourishing passions into daily life.

Write for just 15 minutes before the kids get up.  It’s not much.  One mom I read recently said, “I don’t have the luxury of writer’s block.”  Seriously, that is so true.  I hammer something out and it may or may not be good.  But at least I am writing!

Very, very simple craft projects.  I have a super simple brainless knitted dish cloth pattern that I have done while I school the kids or sit in a waiting room.  It would be nice to make a sweater or a pair of socks, but sister, that ain’t happening right now!  Sometimes I sew pillow covers.  Straight lines that take about 5 minutes.  That kind of thing.

A little art here and there.  I nature journal with the kids.  I stapled together a few pieces of paper for a mini sketch book and put it in my purse.  Experts say “Are you sketching every day?”  Well, no.  That would be nice.  Maybe one day.  But just because I am not sketching EVERY DAY, I am not going to let that discourage me from sketching AT ALL.  And every now and then, I just push aside the mess on the table and pull out my watercolors.  Now that is fun!

Maybe you take one photo a day, plan a simple tea for a friend, or paint one wall of one room. Maybe you just organize one drawer.

These are ways to slip a little creativity, a little passion, into our daily lives.  It may not be the perfect ideal we have in our heads, but those tiny moments can make such a difference in how we feel emotionally.

So: How are you going to incorporate a simple bit of creativity into your life today?

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