The first thing that came to me was this:
Then it hit me:Feeling lost again.
Need to stick with the routine, but afraid of the monotony. Lack the self-discipline. Need to keep the end in sight: the building of character, both mine and my children's.
I've often wondered why I can't be "that" mom: the one who is completely content to be a wife, mother and homemaker. I just couldn't understand how someone could be content with life when all it entailed was dishes, diapers, laundry, temper tantrums, housework and generally being pulled in five directions at once.The routine is there to facilitate life, not be our life.
Now I see that I've confused Routine and Living. A routine is meant to facilitate life. It allows us to keep up with the necessities so that we have the time, space and resources to focus on truly living. Truly living means that we focus on our relationships with God, family and friends. It means using well the gifts God has given us. It means building memories with those we love and sharing God's love with those we meet along the way.
I have thought, for years now, that the routine was life and most everything else was a temporary escape from the monotony of the routine. No wonder I couldn't enjoy motherhood; I defined it as all the mundane responsibilities it involved, instead of fully understanding that those are only the means to an end. They free us to truly be mothers: the nurturers, adventurers, teachers and guides that we are called to be.
As I wrote, I began to see the difference between Routine and Living. To make it clearer to myself, I placed the phrases that described Living in bold print:
- We eat to nourish our bodies and sustain our life.
- We clean our home to protect our bodies and provide a comfortable space to interact with each other, building each other up in Christ's love, learning and growing in knowledge and character
Have you confused the daily routine for living? How do you tell the difference between them in your own life?
- We spend time baking and cooking to provide food for nourishment and to be good caretakers of the resources God has given us
- We spend time together to build up each other in Christ's love, nurture each others' spirits, foster our strengths and shore up our weaknesses.
- We exercise to strengthen our bodies and preserve our health so that we can continue to live out God's plan for our lives
- We work to provide for our physical needs and to spread Christ's love to those we meet
- We discipline our children that they may live peaceful, joyful lives, free from the slavery of impulsive behavior and selfishness.
- We spend our money in ways that truly build up our family, our friends, our society and our Church.
- We assign chores to teach self-discipline, the value of teamwork and gratitude for God's gifts
- I write to help me sort out my thoughts and feelings and be a better wife, mother, homemaker, person.
- I write to share what God has shown me so far and the ways He is working in my life now
- We go outside to nourish and strengthen our bodies, clear our minds and appreciate the world God has created, even if it's only the small part of the world called our backyard
- We make improvements to our house to increase it's livability, comfortableness, order and beauty. The latter does matter as our souls are soothed by a calm, beautiful environment.