Saturday, May 9, 2009

De- cluttering and Refocusing

***Happy Mothers' Day! I pray all you mothers have a great day and if you are not a mother that you will enjoy celebrating the mothers in your life today. I am spending my day refocusing on the awesome privilege and responsibility of motherhood and the tremendous blessing my own children are to me.

Ok, so I am back after how many weeks of not blogging? I lost count. But I haven’t lost my train of thought with regards to temperaments. I just got off that train for now because life beckoned me to. I’ll try to get back to it another time! I am now concentrating on this journey of self rediscovery I mentioned in my profile. I think I mentioned that my life is in a period of self rediscovery and redefinition (I can’t check to see if I actually mentioned it right now because I am at a Borders Bookstore CafĂ© that only has a T-mobile wi-fi hot spot so I, a Verizon customer who is completely disinterested in becoming a t-mobile customer, do not have internet access at the moment. I am typing this into a Word document with the intentions of cutting and pasting it into my blog later tonight.) Anyways, as I draw nearer to 40 years old- just 3.5 more months to go!- I can hardly stand what all this rediscovery is saying about me. I am not sure I was really prepared for all I would discover along the way. I have found that I need a constant, consistent prayer life that far exceeds what I have been able to maintain in the state my life is in. Is God near to me? Yes. He always is and has been since the day He saved me, but my ability to sense His presence in my life and really be able to rest in the fact that He is with me every day and in every moment is often crowded out by the constant clutter that exists in my day to day, every day living. I used to be good at giving myself a break about some things. But even the most clutter-ry (I made that word up) Clutter Bug is overwhelmed by the mountains of clutter sometimes. I have reached that point and I think it is worse than it has ever been before. Part of my clutter bug- ness is a result of being the kind of Sanguine personality that never finishes a project. I have been doing a lot of that lately. Recently we had every carpet in the whole house cleaned and participated in a community yard sale on the same weekend- while my Mom was visiting! Believe me, preparing for those two projects threw me into an involuntary state of spring cleaning that I have yet to recover from- not to mention the amount of effort it takes for the family to recover from a week long visit from Grammy and Grampie! I am in completely over my head!!! But, to be honest, I was in over my head before the carpet cleaning and the yard sale and Grammy and Grampie’s visit. The reason either of those things were able to throw me off course in the first place is because my life is such a mess, in such clutter and disorder these days that preparing for them became huge projects that completely sunk me. Actually, I began sinking way last summer when we first moved to Maryland. I honestly never got my bearings and I have been in a snowballing state of disarray ever since. Moving across country and having Damon become a full time student/resident again has really been a kind of furnace for me-one that is trying me in away I didn’t see coming. I mean talk about the trying of our faith working patience! Although I know God is using the combination of Damon’s completely inflexible schedule and our currently extremely limited financial resources (which seem even more limited while we try to sustain both our home here in Maryland and our house in Danville) to create an environment in which he can refine my very life and make me even more of whom He created me to be, this constant stage of preparation can be overwhelming at times. I mean, this is like the longest road trip ever and I just want to cry out at the top of my lungs, “Are we there yet?!!!” I know part of getting there is the becoming. I am familiar with all the Scripture that tells me that I won’t be perfect until I am actually in heaven with Jesus, but the becoming, this process of Sanctification here on Earth is a journey unto itself and mine has taken such a turn, I feel totally stymied by it. I have to admit, I shouldn’t have been caught off guard. There certainly were warning signs along the way. Some I saw but didn’t recognize, some I just didn’t see and still others I completely ignored. So here I am smack dab in the middle of a construction zone and the noise and the vibrations from the jackhammer along with the digging and scooping and bulldozing of old pavement and the heat of the new asphalt being laid and the road blocks and merging traffic and detours and the sudden lane changes- ugh! Some days I long for a completely different route, a way around all this mess or a whole different destination altogether. And other days I just wish I didn’t have to go anywhere at all. It would have been so much easier to have just stayed in Danville. We were loved by all who knew us there. I was so very comfortable being me and felt little reason to fit in with or measure up to or compete with anyone. We had a very comfortable income with which to pay all our bills on time. I had Marvelous Marge to help me clean my big beautiful house and terrific babysitters just a phone call away. All our friends were Christians who supported our marriage and our values and our intentions in child rearing. Life was great. But Damon was unfulfilled in his work, our church was struggling and our spiritual lives were waning. What little there was to challenge me in life didn’t force me to draw closer to God every day (except the day to day of marriage and childrearing- which is a lot, I must say!). In a way, life was easy and we took it for granted. Correction, I took it for granted and I know I was not becoming all God intends for me to be while I was easing on down the road. So, here I am, almost a whole year later- we just renewed our lease which means we are staying at least another year- and I feel so totally overwhelmed by all that life is requiring of me at this stage, I can hardly stand it. To top it all off, school is really demanding for Damon. He is enjoying it for the most part and learning so very much but this stage of training is taking more out of him than either of us imagined it would so he really isn’t much help to me some days! He wants to be, and he does try to support me however he can (I am out alone tonight, for example) but the truth is that he only has so much to give, and the kids need him as much as I do!
If you’ve read this far and you are wondering, “What are you really taking about Nicole, and why? How did you get all the way over there?” I don’t know, you have to follow me quick when I am rambling like this. Come on, catch up! No, seriously, I am talking about self discovery and why I have been away from blogging for so long and what’s been going on with me, remember? I assume that’s why anyone would want to read my blog, so they can see what’s been going on in my life and what God is teaching me these days or if by chance I have some great wonderful revelation to share. Well I am getting to the revelation part stay with me!
Damon and I both sensed God’s leading in this move, this total change of location and lifestyle, so we know we are safe in His arms and in the center of His Will. The problem lies in the fact that I allowed myself to get caught up in all that this place of testing is externally that I have become too exhausted to process where I am- where we all are- internally. Even my sons, at almost 5yo and almost 3yo, have been very much affected by all that is taking place in our lives since we left Danville nearly a year ago and no one can deny the effect it is having on Joelle. This is a place of testing and trial for all 5 of us. The Lord is refining us all, burning away the dross and bringing forth the precious vessels He Created us to be. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:10 that we were all created to do good works. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Certainly we’ve been doing good works all along- we’ve preached good sermons, encouraged friends, supported loved ones financially, lived a life of integrity before onlookers- but the work that lies before us is greater than we could possibly accomplish in the state we’re in. We have a hint of an idea of what God is preparing us to do but we are in no way prepared yet, and that we are well aware of. Damon’s first academic year of this program is drawing to a close this week and the kids and I are wrapping up our most difficult yet most productive homeschool year to date. With those milestones behind us, I am beginning this next stage of our journey anew, this time giving full attention to our spiritual and emotional well being. We all need more exercise and more rest, more downtime, more prayer together time and more being together time. I need to make time to just sit and be quiet before the Lord and time for me to be alone with my own thoughts and organize my responsibilities and prioritize my family’s schedule. I think I need time to de-clutter and to clean and to decorate the place God has blessed us to call home temporarily. All of this “making time” will require me to really tap into the Will of God for my family in this stage of our journey and find out what is truly important for us to be doing and being. It may mean that I will not get back to this blog for another few weeks. But you all are used to that by now! When I do get a chance to check in again, I’ll be sure to post an update about how we are doing. In the meantime,
Be Blessed!