You know some time has passed on your blog when you *almost* forget your password to log in. That’s not saying much for this scatterbrain who makes up super creative passwords for everything and then misplaces the papers she wrote the passwords on.
I love nothing more than sharing about my family. They are my pride and joy which is why I have to learn the art of prioritizing. I am a work in progress when it comes to ALL THE THINGS vying for my attention and for what NEEDS to get done vs: what I WANT to get done.
Writing is like painting. You can’t just paint a masterpiece when you aren’t inspired and you can’t write anything of quality when you’re not feeling it. (Or in my case super crunched for time, without an extra second left over for forming meaningful words other than “Stop wiping peanut butter all over your school clothes!”.) My present reality is that my sweet husband is co-coaching my son’s baseball team and that leaves me to get the other 4 kids to their one activity that meets multiple times a week and remember to do laundry. Oh and throw food at them so they stay alive. I am failing at laundry but my kids are thriving which reminds me I need to make a Costco trip.
One day a couple of weeks ago, I finally made time and spent half my day cleaning bathrooms. I’m pretty sure we are the minority in our neighborhood, without a cleaning lady. We are also in the minority with 6 kids! I like to remind myself whilst I am bending over toilets that “I am saving $80 bucks a week doing this myself”. Why aren’t my kids cleaning toilets you ask… well they are.. They are supposed to be cleaning their rooms too, and helping out each day in whatever way I deem necessary at the time. And they do. They actually have to do a chore to earn a privilege and they have their set chores for the day along with homework. The shelf life for a clean and organized home around here is about 1 day. It is a pipe dream of mine to have the whole house clean at the same time– while we all live here in peace and harmony and in perfect organization. Ha! Until then, I got this ‘bathroom spin scrubber thingy’ that cleans at the push of a button and it’s almost like heaven.
I just recently purged closets and took out clothes too small and replaced with “new” grow intos. Organizing gives me great joy and then my kids swoop in and ruin it. While my closets are super clean right now, the rest of the house looks like a hurricane hit. Welcome to my world.
Throughout my marriage I have had little jobs here and there to bring in extra money. If I worked full-time, we’d have to hire a cleaning lady, a chauffeur, and a nanny. I would basically be paying someone else to “be me” and the money I earned would not exist anymore. It would be a wash. So like a Proverbs 31 Woman I have learned to be creative and thrifty and frugal with my family’s resources and it’s a bonus when I bring in a little extra cash sometimes. It usually goes straight to groceries because teenagers eat like horses.
I have sold hundreds of paintings over 10 years, taught art lessons, hosted art and wine parties, worked a couple of MLM companies here and there (not my thing), ran a drop in day care, and currently I decorate people’s homes on the side. Each skill set I acquired since being a wife and mom, was during a time of great difficulty. The trying times gave birth to new growth. My little odd jobs started amidst birthing babies, taking care of a chronically ill child, raising 6 kids, homeschooling (lets just say I tried) and taking care of sick parents while volunteering through various healing ministries in the church. What you learn along the way builds upon itself and can then help in even more areas. Sometimes I just thought I was in survival mode, yet I was being trained.
My first priority is my family. I want to be here when the kids get home from school. I want to take them TO school and talk in a funny British accent and hold whoever’s hand is in shotgun that day. I want to pray with them each morning and night. I also want to date my husband! I want to remember his eye color and hold his hand. It all started with us and we need to keep our relationship strong. And to keep that a priority, I need to fill up from the fount of Living Water. I need my Jesus, so I can pour out over my family. I can’t give if I have an empty cup.
Raising a large family ain’t no joke. Every mom wears multiple hats and our hats look a lot different depending on our certain circumstances. We do what we have to do and then some. God gives each of us talents and the ability to grow our skill set over time. For example, I never knew I’d teach myself how to cut my family’s hair, (that’s $20 a head, I’m saving just for the boys!) or that I had a built-in “mom ‘o’ meter” and that I could predict my kids exact fever temperature just by feeling their heads with my lips. I didn’t know I was capable of so much as a mama. Some things I had to unlearn and then re-learn a different way, so that I could better help my family! I didn’t know I had the courage. But God did. He gave it to me. “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
We are ALL capable of so much. What are you interested in? How can you use that to benefit your family or help others? God has blessed each of us like no other. What inspires you to grow? How can you use that inspiration to take care of your people? The world needs you.
For me, I’m schooled in art. I write and sing, but I also love learning about neuroscience and the immune system. I’m fascinated about the forgotten history of medicine and I’m continually learning about it. I totally love DIY projects, and decorating. I’ve learned how to use homeopathy, and the healing properties of whole foods and herbs. Refurbishing furniture! I am passionate about deliverance ministry and healing. I make my own cleaning products and lotions. I mean, the randomness!!
God doesn’t make mistakes. I once said to God, “Hey God, I’m sorry I’m the jack of all trades. I’m sorry I didn’t just pick one thing and become the master of that. I’m sorry I am all over the place.” And as I sat there in the quiet of my church, I heard the Lord say into my heart: “Do you think I made you this way by mistake? I made you this way on purpose, and all of those things will be used for my GLORY!” I don’t know if I could adequately put into words how amazing that was to hear! What a relief to be free from the lie that I was somehow a failure because I was interested in SO many things and couldn’t just pick one.. that God put those things on my heart for a greater purpose.
So in the busy-ness of your life.. in all the ways you are learning and growing, trust in God’s perfect timing. He is equipping you for more than you know. He will call you when He’s ready for you to use those skills. You don’t have to force it. Keep doing what you love. Make your family a priority along with your faith. God will prompt you and He will put a fire in your heart to use those gifts when you’re called.