June 23, 2005

Unshelving Self

Luke 10:40-42
40) But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

41) "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,

42) but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

(New International Version - NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Seems like it has been ages since I picked up a book and read it just for pleasure. Somehow, like Martha, I gave up my passions for my duties. There's nothing wrong with duties, and I have not begrudged them - a fine Christian husband and beautiful, sweet kids are nothing to begrudge! But somewhere in the daily grind of household management, the once passionate reader and writer in me... and artist for that matter... disappeared on the dusty shelf of "someday I'll get to that". I never stopped collecting books... books that I longed to read. I never stopped discussing the ones I had loved before. But I never stopped to read anything new, either... for fear that the laundry may pile up if I did.

I don't think it is uncommon for women to loose a bit of their identity after they marry or have children. It is only natural for moms to put others before themselves. The baby's leaking diaper is much more pressing than a fiction novel you've been trying to finish for three months. But somehow, through the Lord's wisdom, I feel that keeping yourself true to the gifts He has given you - and feeding those God-given desires - are something just as important and useful as dish-washing. After all, your husband didn't marry you because you knew how to get Kool-Aid stains out of his white t-shirts. Your kids don't love you because you keep the toilet paper from running out (although this does help). Why would God give you a talent and passion for something if He didn't want you to use it for His glory?

I went to a great Christian lecture at a homeschool book fair recently given by Renee Ellison. Her topic was about "Turn Your Head Home Management Strategies". She gave a job description for Mother as being IMPOSSIBLE and INFINITE. I agreed wholeheartedly, yet wouldn't give the job up for the world! She told us, although most of us already knew this, that we needed to stay "close to our fuel" (the Lord). Her suggestion in doing this was to "snatch scripture". She admitted that we all are similar in having too much on our plates to stop and take enough time out each day for prayer, Bible study, and meditation. Let's face it, life is fast paced - especially if you are a homeschooling mom! Her idea of placing little Bibles (she even said she got some at a thrift store for this purpose) in every room where you might stop to take a pause (use your imagination here), for the purpose of "snatching" a verse or two was so unique. I had always thought if I didn't give God at least fifteen minutes, it wouldn't count.

I think you could use this same method with time out for yourself. Planning some morning reading time after the coffee is made and breakfast is eaten is not a bad idea. Spending Sunday night after church in bed with a good book isn't a bad idea either. Even stealing the moments back in the Wal-Mart parking-lot when you are waiting for your husband to get back in the car would be a nice start. I can stash a few good books in the car along with my Bible.

Surely I can find enough time for me somewhere in my hectic, wonderfully busy life.

So I'm going to pull down one of those dusty "someday I'll get to that" good books and read it this weekend. Then, when I make some more time for me, I'll review it for my blog! I thank Renee for her encouragement in that lecture she gave... she implored us to write down our "wisdom" as homeschooling mothers. Not sure if I would consider what I write as wisdom, but I'm sure glad I'm writing it down again!

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