Embracing the Ordinary

It’s been a while, friends.  Not only have I felt like there wasn’t much I wanted to say but I also had our 4th child on February 22nd.  So life was busy in preparation for him coming and then life kind of exploded on me once he came.  It’s been a good transition overall but life with 4 kids is different from life with 3 (mainly, it’s louder since my 22 month old really discovered her outside voice and uses it inside).  Before Asher came into this world, I had more free time and the ability to read a lot, write, work a mostly-from-home PT job, and overall just enjoy myself a bit.  I’m not sure how that happened but things were just fairly easy with the occasional crazy day thrown in there.  Now?  Life is different and I fought against that initially.  Couple that with hormones and the baby blues became my reality.  Because I struggled with PPD with my 3rd, I knew I needed to be proactive.  Thanks to a supportive husband and a great support system, I’m doing well.  But life is still different than it was and that’s something I need to accept and embrace rather than fight against.

I feel at a loss for the words to explain it all so I’m deferring to the wonderful Sarah Bessey.  She wrote a post recently about how God is in the ordinary day-to-day stuff like mothering little ones . . . and how prone she was to wanting to do something “big” and “heroic” for God.  Instead, she was cleaning up messes and wiping butts.  You should read the whole post but here’s a little taste of what hit me so hard:

God is present in the ordinary and the regular and the uncelebrated in a way that I never could have fathomed when I thought God’s best was only either on stage or in a pulpit or a mountaintop or an arena or far away.  

Because here’s the secret behind it all: part of the reason why we want to be radical is because we believe that it’s better.

I have believed for so long that I needed to be more than “just” a mother.  I have a college degree and passions and skills and they’re being wasted, I believed.  And yet I would hear that these days with littles go by far too quickly and how I’m having a big impact on them in these early years.  But I continued to strive to be more and better than “just” a mother.  I’d even read lots of people saying that mothering is a full-time job and it’s so hard and honorable.  But it didn’t really sink in.  When Asher arrived, I realized that I can’t do it all.  Mothering really is a full-time job.  But here’s the thing: it doesn’t require that I stop everything I love doing.  It just looks different.

I can so often think that I need to have a job or a task in order to feel important and productive.  I can certainly say no to a lot of things but it’s difficult for me to say no to it all so I can say yes to the ordinary.  It’s still something–it isn’t being lazy and just receiving all the time, being a consumer of it all.  It’s choosing to embrace the natural and organic in life . . . the mothering of my littles, the conversations online with like-minded women all over the world, the interactions with those in my neighborhood, the saying yes to allowing my daughter to plan a casual party, the time with my husband now that he’s only working one FT job and I don’t have a job outside the home.  I don’t have to check something off my to do list in order for it to be important.

So what does this all mean?

It means I’m finding 10 minutes in my day during naptime or after the kids go to bed to exercise.

It means I don’t have Facebook notifications on my phone because I don’t have time (nor do I want) to be distracted like that.

It means sending quick texts to friends to nurture friendships even if we can’t see each other every week.

It means reading a couple pages of a book a few times a week and not feeling obligated to finish a book I’m just not into.

It means choosing not to be at my computer as often as I was before, knowing that I need to be present with my kids or they’ll be looking elsewhere for that attention.

It means having the time now to be outside with my kids, talking with neighbors, knowing I don’t have to cut it short to be inside doing something else that is required of me.

It means becoming a little less me-focused and more others’-focused, while still making sure to nurture my own passions and gifts.

For this blog, it means I’m taking a break.  I kind of already started before Asher was born but I felt like I needed to really communicate that to you all.  It is all too easy for me to think I have to write a certain number of times a week and that I should care more about getting more people to read my blog.  I really don’t care how many people read it.  More than anything, it’s been for me . . . to just get my thoughts out there and be able to look back and remember some of the things God has been teaching me.  But in the blogging world, writers are told they should make it out to be more . . . to get more readers, more subscribers, more interaction, to make money, etc.  I simply am not in a place where that is important to me but I also don’t want to fall into that again.  And because I haven’t felt the need to write much over the past few months, I think I’m going to embrace this new season I’m in and not feel the need to write.  If something comes up I really want to share, for sure I’ll do that.  It may or may not happen and I felt that I needed to share that with you so you know not to expect anything. 🙂  If I still haven’t felt like this is to be continued pursuing come the end of the year, I’ll be closing the blog for good.

Thanks for understanding and supporting me in this transition.  🙂

Comments

  1. been thinking of you 🙂 I’ll shoot you a text with no expectation for a reply 😉

  2. I’m so proud of you, Debbie. Thanks for your inspiring thoughts!!

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