Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Tuesdays. They're just kinda there. Mondays are the first day of the week. Wednesdays, the hump day. Thursdays, we start to wind it up for the weekend. Fridays, we rejoice. But Tuesdays? They're just kinda fillers.
Or are they?
I HATE the word "bored." I think it's really and completely impossible to be bored if you love your life. Seriously. First of all, I don't understand how a parent can be bored, unless their children are like little cardboard cut outs with no personalities at all. But even at that, I can't wrap my mind around the concept of boredom. There's always books to read, things to clean, places to explore, dreams to dream... you get my drift. Over the summer, I told Abi that since her room is FILLED with fun stuff to do, and she has a back yard most kids dream of having, every time I heard her say she was "bored," she had to do a chore of my choosing, and then I'd make sure it was a time-consuming task, like sweeping off the back deck (which is ALWAYS covered in leaves from the giant oaks around our house.) Miraculously, the boredom disappeared after two times.
Since today is Tuesday, and I guess it's techincally the most "boring" day of the week, and boredom is not our friend, let's have a little "tune-up" today.
You're in need of a tune-up if:
...you literally prayed for ten more minutes in bed this morning. And the day before.
...you count the minutes until nap time, bed time, and going to the mailbox alone time, every single day.
...you literally feel your skin crawl with annoyance when you hear, "Mom" come out of your little one's mouth... even if it's not attached to a tattle or whine.
...you find yourself looking at women in the mall who don't have children with them and envying them or imagine hitting them with your car.
...you see your pregnant friend and the first thing out of your mouth is some kind of warning about how pregnancy is the easy part and raising kids is like being pecked to death by pigeons.
...you fix PBJs every night because once again, you're too tired to cook.
...you consider the nightly news your "adult conversation" for the day, and then are seething with anger when your husband comes home simply because he got to talk to real life grown ups during his day.
...you constantly find yourself wondering if there's life out there.
...you constantly think, "If only I had gone to college..."
How do we fix it? What is there to do for those of us who are burned out, worn out, pooped out, and give out?
1. Make a gratitude list. You heard me. Keep a notebook on the counter and trim it with electric fence wire if you have to so that no one scribbles in it. Throughout your day, as moments of sunshine peek into your heart, write them down. Because Lord knows they disappear as fast as they come. Little Precious fed herself without painting sweet potatoes on the wall? Write it down! Tiny Wonder took a THREE HOUR NAP instead of his usual 45 minute one? Write it down! Angel Child said "I love you" to his sister? Write it down! Then at the end of your day, re-read the list. You'll be surprised.
2. Find one Bible verse for your week. Just one? Well, let's start with one. It's unreasonable to think the average mom can sit down with her Bible and study the seventh horn on the great beast in Revelation. But at the beginning of each week, after every one is in bed, we CAN sit down and find our weekly verse. Write it out and stick it on the fridge, where everyone can see. Speak it outloud to your children. Incorporate it in conversation. Pray it over meals. The Word of God is life and it is marrow in our bones. We need it.
3. Choose a good perspective. Keyword: CHOOSE. Yesterday, I heard on the news of a local pastor whose five year old granddaughter died from brain cancer. Instant perspective. Every time I see a parent who is struggling financially because of unemployment, instant perspective. When I feel weary from morning routines, packing lunches, and homework, I think of the men and women in uniform, who missed their child's first day of school and would love nothing more than to be able to make a turkey sandwich for their first grader. Instant perspective. I love the Bible verse that says, "I have learned to be content in whatsoever state I'm in." Choices. Ouch.
4. Do one thing differently. If you normally have your coffee in the kitchen before anyone wakes up, have it outside tomorrow. If the kids do their homework at the dining room table, load them up and drive them to the picnic tables at the park for homework tonight. If you always have pizza on Tuesdays, have breakfast for dinner, complete with waffles and whipped cream. Routines are needed and a part of a successful family. But they also can stick you in a rut if they aren't ever veered from. Changing one little thing can breathe new life into a dull pattern instantly.
5. Find YOUR song. Music is therapy. Whatever the mood, whatever the issue, there's a song for it. Recently, God challenged me to listen to only Christian music for 30 days. At first, I fought it. But I have to tell you, 21 days in, I actually find myself with a song in my heart more often than I have in a long time. Does this mean I will forever quit secular music? NO WAY. But what it has done is challenge me to rebalance my intake. It's actually nice, being surrounded by music that affirms God's plan for my life. *DISCLAIMER: NOT EVERY SONG ON CHRISTIAN RADIO IS BIBLICALLY SOUND! FOR INSTANCE, GOD DOESN'T PUT YOU THROUGH FIRE TO SEE WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF. HE'S GOD. HE KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF. GEESH. Right now, my favorite song is "Better Than a Hallelujah" by Amy Grant. It's on my lips quite often.
Are you in need of a tune up? Start today. Or, you can stay where you are. That's the beautiful thing about God. He loves us where we are.
But He also loved us enough to make a way OUT of where we are.
Just in case we want it. ;-)