Monday, October 16, 2006

Faith Builders - finding purpose in everyday life

In the past few years I have had to reduce my life to almost nothing because of my health. Well...almost nothing may be a little strong but my life is nothing compared to what it once was. I have had to leave committees, cancel almost all evening activities, I can't get any part-time work; this isn't hard for me since I love being an at-home mom but I think it's hard for my husband, I had to drop out of our church choir which I loved and generally watch what I do. I have severe IBS and any stress sets it off, even stress I'm not aware of.

So my day to day life is pretty quiet. I have one 12 year old daughter, grade 7, who is awesome and words can't describe her awesomeness...but she is in junior high. I have a quiet, semi-workaholic husband who doesn't really need me (but who loves me, etc. you get what I mean). We live in a small house, in a quiet town. Sometimes I go crazy with my lack of life.

How can I have a purpose in my life when I seem to have no life.

NB: being forced to keep quiet is great for reading books but my addictive personality can make this a problem. I read the DaVinci Code in one day. I just sat down and read it, to the exclusion of the rest of the responsibilities.

I am a terrible housekeeper by nature. I like laundry and keeping the kitchen clean and tidy but I really don't like anything else. I was one of those kids who never made their bed because I was just going to get in it and mess it up later.

I love being a Mom. I find my child fascinating. To watch someone grow-up from birth and have an influence on that life is exciting and horrifying all at the same time. I am already lamenting the time when she leaves home...yet I want her to leave home - to be well-educated, have a plan and go off and live her life (hopefully with me still in it), to be a good and kind adult. I look forward to sending her care-packages to university , helping her shop for her first apartment, crying at her wedding - am I getting carried away?! But she's 12 now and is starting to need me less and I need to let her need me less and I need to do it encouragingly and joyfully - are you with me?

Her needing me less is giving me more time - more time for the purpose I am trying to find.

So I have decided to try and live my everyday life... everyday. I used to have a laundry day and save it up for one day and have a break from it the rest of the week. I now do a load every morning. Everyday I thank God for my washing machine and dryer, the selection of clothes at a selection of stores, the good job my husband has to pay for them, the invention of soap and a machine so I'm not at some stream banging on them with rocks, my child and husband and me who wear them, my dryer so I don't have to use the clothes line (I don't like bugs), etc, etc.

I don't like cooking so much. I'm not very inspired. So I thank God for the bloggy people who like to cook and share and have re-introduced me to my slow cooker. I thank Him for the grocery stores and farms and try to make good meals for the temples of God my family inhabits.

I try to relate all my daily activities to God and to see them from His perspective. I am trying to read His word more regularly and to put more effort into my bible-study homework. I am trying to be more accepting of the "quirks" of my husband. In fact, last week I finally realized that my husband is the man I need and not the man I want. I never knew that before but obviously God did. He brought us together but it is only now, several years later, that I get it. I am trying to be more encouraging and less hovering to my pre-teen.

I thank God for every poop I have, every time!!!! That may sound gross but believe you me, you would be astounded at the things we take for granted.

A couple of Faithlifts posts ago, I read that the purpose of life was to "abide in God" and he would take care of the rest. That struck me so profoundly. I think about it all the time. It has made me think about the books I read, the TV I watch (I love TV), the words I say, the things I do, everything! I admit, I'm not changing much yet but I'm thinking about it a lot more and hopefully that's a start.

I think that's how we find purpose in everyday life - regardless of how busy, how slow, how productive, how "whatever" our lives are. If I live my life with God right beside me, in constant communion with him, whatever I do will have a purpose because I will be doing it with Him.


Erna said...

I appreciated your thoughts. As a mom of young children, I can imagine how strange it is to not have to be so involved in my kid's life. I can't imagine it and I'm glad it doesn't come suddenly. I'm already having to "let go" and allow my little ones to become more independent. I totally agree on the need to abide in Christ and let His leading be at the forefront of our day. Blessings to you . . . off I go to feed my family.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Everyday - that sounds like a pretty good plan to me. I've said before, manna could only be gathered for one day, except on weekends to save up for taking a day of rest. Sounds like youre being brave and trying to work on this a little at a time. xoxoxo

Barb said...

Hi Sandy,

First thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments and I apologize for taking so long to get over here.

This is a great post. I had to stop and think for a minute before I remembered what IBS is. You mentioned in a previous post that you also have a tilted pelvis. My, you're dealing with a lot.

What I like about this post is your calm acceptance of the people and situations in your life and your appreciation for what you are blessed with rather than overly negative thoughts about problems.

I love the way you know you need to let your daughter learn to need you less. That's huge. And very, very true.

I enjoyed every word of this post.