my goal in blogging is to write life the way Papa wants me to see it. to glimpse my day-to-days through His lens and in so doing, prayerfully, encourage someone else to wander with me down the paths of discovery of how He lives in our every-day lives. it's easy to gloss over the hard stuff and i think, sometimes, to miss what light He wants to speak into the sometimes-darkness.
and it's dark right now in my world. despite five beautiful children, a husband who loves me and is faithful to provide for us, i am tired, and grumpy, and frankly, feel they'd all be better off without me.
He's given me a gift of being able to use photography to build a business within the last couple years. i've taken to it and run with it, more enamored than with any art form i've pursued. a passionate person by nature, the desire to capture beauty in others' lives and to bring out all its richness through artistic editing has consumed me. to the point, it's become so consuming that i've taken every job offered, overcommitted, and am now in a hole so deep i wonder if there's a way out... trying to catch up on committments and keep clients happy.
i considered a field, like the proverbs 31 woman i so aspire to be. i planted and i watered and i went without sleep and i let it become my god. oh and here's the thing, i've been so long and so often "in the field," that the little home i am queen of has gone neglected. those five (well, six, counting my man) favorite subjects of mine have been often fending for themselves as i "did this for them."
the term "managing" has been brought to me twice this week through the wisdom of two women whose advice i trust and respect. the concept of good management of resources is rich in God's love letter to us. there are stories of fields and coins riches and provisions, where sometimes people invested wisely, and often, they squandered. i am not a good manager, and i have justified myself, thinking it was okay to be "artsy," and yet undisciplined. i've let my house, and my physical dwelling (my body, girls), go downhill. i've let my desire for affirmation lead me to take on more and more "outside" work, and i'm not keeping up with any of it.
why in the world am i sharing all this for any joe schmo to read? maybe, just maybe, in vulnerability, i will be able to encourage someone else. the world, and feminism, and the Body, and other sources, would like us to believe we can do it all. even in the microcosm of "homeschool mom," there's this notion that we can do everything, and we can do it well. i'm pretty sure, though, that we can't. yep, the proverbs 31 woman had home-based business(es). she also most likely had her in-laws living with her. she had servant girls. she didn't have target and a minivan and internet to divide her interests. she rose before dawn, but she most likely didn't stay up till 11 watching top chef. or 3 am editing photos. or till who-knows-when blogging.
these blessings are all well and good. but if i am to enjoy them, i've got to manage them well. and i've got to first pay attention to my love affair with the God of my soul. and then the people He's given me responsibility for. if i am going to be an "artist," i've gotta learn to manage the resources at home first. somehow, i've got to discipline myself to ask only for His approval, and not need it from my friends, my in-laws, my clients, or even my husband.
i've got a lot of digging to do, but i
my precious friends have stepped in and are loving on me through the mess i've created. they're loving on and helping me teach my children for a few days. they're sneaking in and cleaning up messes in my house. (oh how i cringe to share this info.) and they're so sweetly speaking truth to me over my own loud cries of failure. one spoke to me yesterday gentle reminder that i need to "plant my face in His word. even if in spite, read every day and night." so finally, prodigal daughter i've been, i sat last night and asked Papa to speak to me. here's what he had to say through the heart of my old brother in the faith, the passionate and often-undisciplined "man-after-His-heart."
"O Lord, I beseech The, save my life!"
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous. Yes, our God is compassionate.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul.
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For Thou hast rescued my soul
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling...
From my distress I called upon the Lord;
The Lord answered me
and set me in a large place...
The Lord is for me among those
who help me...
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in (myself) man.
The Lord has disciplined me severely,
but He has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them,
I shall give thanks to the Lord...
Thou hast become my salvation.
(from Psalm 116 & 118)
oh, help me, Papa! thank you that you are helping me, even in the hole i've dug.