Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Setting Limits

My girlfriend laughed kindly at me that day in the coffee shop.  That day when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child and I told her all my plans.  The day I said I was going to be different than those "other moms".  I was not going to let motherhood keep me at home.  My life would carry on with a bundle of joy in tow.  This friend did not have kids of her own but was a seasoned and involved auntie.  She witnessed reality with her own brother and sister-in-law.  Two years after that conversation, we laughed together at my ridiculously naive plans.
Now, here I am again,  looking back at the optimistic plans I had for life with three children.  I am exhausted, overwhelmed, grumpy and perplexed.  Why can't I hold onto all the friendships I have made over the last 10 years?  Why can't I just go for a coffee at any time in the day, go on a random road trip like in the SUV commercials, or keep a Pinterest-like home?  Why? Why? WHY??!!
I actually know some people who seem to be able to do it.  So I try it.  I try to keep my life the way it was single, then with no children, then with one child, then two children.  Some people can do it. I cannot.  And that...is okay. This is my life right now.  It won't always be but it is right now.  In order for me to do well at being a godly wife, mom and disciple maker, I need to slim down on my goings on.  I don't like it, I am embarrassed to admit and I am struggling with the false guilt that comes from making these changes.  I am also tired of feeling this way.
I am learning my limitations. 
We live in a bedroom community but still try to live a life in the city.  We did it well without kids because going in for suppers and coffees and getting home late was fine.  Now, going into most parts of the city seem like a great feat to me.  There's naps, snacks, breastfeeding, diapers, traffic, weather.....   (I have to stop, it's making me nauseated. )  I may have friends scattered all over the GCA but I don't feel like we are a part of a true community. We attend a church but I do not have a relationship with the people there, outside of Sunday. I don't think this is what God intended for His church. It bothers me so much.
God is teaching me what is good and what is godly.
In my time of prayer and reflection, this is what came about.
More time praying, less time doing.
Ask God what is good, what is doable and be obedient to what He says.
Get to know my neighbours.  For real this time. This town is where the Lord has called us to. I am going to respond to those women on my the street who have reached out for friendship.  I don't want to drive half an hour every day for a coffee or a "playdate".  I want to embrace the community that I am already in.
I am going to take the lovely ladies from my church family up on their offers to help.  I am going to invest in this church family as long as God calls me to be a part of it.  This means that even if I love what another church family is doing, I won't over extend myself or my family to be a part of it (because I hate to miss out on good stuff!). Again, this all needs to be prayerful.
I am going to be okay with not always needing to go out.  I am going to be easy on myself and not think myself a loser if I stay home for three days in a row because their are meals to plan and clothes to be washed and teething babies to care for.  This means that I am going to say no to invitations, even if I have to cry about it.
I will not give my husband a hard time because he likes to stay home.  I am going to be grateful that God gave me an introverted husband to teach me to be still and quiet and to love home.
No more Facebook News feeds.  Reading people's statuses apathetically and not responding keeps me up at night.   I am a horrible Facebook friend most days. I don't want to be a horrible friend.
I am not going to try to juggle a million things and have my family pay for it...or my health...or my testimony.
Phew...I am starting to feel the weight coming off already...
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

For the dear Mom who is like me, too simple for this over extended world, slow down, let go and find freedom.  You don't have to do it all, be it all and know it all.  It's okay to say its too much.
It's better to do a few things well than to do a whole lot poorly.

And just when I thought I was the only one, I found this.  A God Sized Dreamer's Loaded Question
Maybe it's a season for many of us...

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

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