Monday, June 11, 2012

I Should Have Kept a Day Job

If anyone ever tells you it is so great to not have to work... they either have kids, worked for over 40 years, hated every job they ever had and are over the whole work thing, or they're lying. Seriously though, I had a poor work ethic early in my working age and in my last job I worked faithfully committed to it for 2 years. I loved my job as a nanny. If you've never experienced royally nasty diapers, baby puke, a child peeing on white carpet, playing in tadpole poop or eating an already partially eaten yogurt covered raisin, then you haven't lived!! I really enjoyed watching two sweet girls grow and show me a little bit of what motherhood will be like someday. It was the best job I've ever had. I would have been there longer but my Cody got a new job in Oklahoma so I had to part with that wonderful family.
Since then I have not been working. This might seem like a luxury to some people but to me it is beginning to seem like a drag.  Oh and did I mention that we are a one car household. You don't know how awesome that is until you have to run to the store for curtain rods and your only form of transportation is a bicycle and the only way out of your drive way is through a group of construction workers. Mmmm yeah.  Well having one vehicle (which my husband drives) and one working partner (which is my husband) means one of us gets dooped. At first it was nice; I could exercise for 2 hours in the middle of the day and take naps and sleep in. But I had to have something to do between all of that. You might be thinking, "Oh gosh if that is the problem well then just get a hobby dum-dum." HA! Remember the part about bikes and curtain rods. Having a hobby is a good idea if you have the materials to maintain that hobby. In fact let me share with you some of my attempts at developing a hobby. Ehem:
Attempt 1: Selling Mary Kay.
2: Running
3: Walking
4: Biking
5: Selling Mary Kay for half the retail price because I want nothing to do with it anymore.
6: Organizing the Mary Kay product to send it back to the company because I thoroughly want nothing to do with it anymore.
7: Organizing my house
8: Spring cleaning, which I had done in winter, spring and summer.
9: Crafts
10: Yardwork... like so much yardwork a little old lady across from us gave us banana bread as a thank you for cutting down some of the forest around our house.
11: Biking again
12: Watching every movie we own at least 2 times each...
13: Budgeting and organizing reciepts.
14: I went to a school that hoped you read a 300-500 page book in one month and in two months have read 6 books of equal page length for leisure.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. My creativity has plummeted as time goes on but not all of my attempts at filling time have gone in vain! I learned that I could probably sweep our floors once a week rather than everyday. I learned that some spiders refuse to die despite the repelent you use on them. And I learned that for some people putting hundreds of random nails into a wall is a fun hobby and a fun little gift to leave for whoever moves into the house next and is looking for something to do one day and decides to enjoy undoing what you decided would be hours of fun doing :) P.s. I did the nail pulling. Not the nail placing.

On a more serious note though, I say I have done a lot and tend to think this free time is a bit much but honestly I could be doing so much more with it. I haven't done anything to boost my spiritual walk. I have a crazy amount of time I could spend with God rather than watching movies. I could fill my iPod with Christian music and bask in God's praises while I walk. I could pray and pray and pray till my knees go numb. I could write people notes of encouragement throughout their week. I could call someone up to simply ask if they need prayer for anything. I could volunteer somewhere. I could spend hours in devotional time with my Father. I could read the Bible 6 times for more than leisure. There is so much I have overlooked in my desire to fill my time. Perhaps I need to challenge myself to keep the movies off and put devotionals on my Kindle. I never sit in silence anymore. I'm bored but I have no reason to be. If anything I'm neglectful of my relationship with God. I have so much I could be doing for Him!! So much to pray for and so much to ask God's guidance on.

Honestly not having to work is a blessing of another kind when you are using the time you have wisely. Some of you work 40 hour weeks; could you imagine what you would do with 40 hours of free time? I am ashamed to admit I have been so blind and ungrateful but I share so that maybe you could change your perspective on your free time too. Don't waste your time simply finding ways to fill it. Fill your time with the One who fills you.

I am going to do a 30 day challenge, "Three of Your Free". Three hours of my day dedicated to reading God's word, prayer, praise, or simply meditation. Whatever, however but at least 3 hours out of the day. I'd like for you to join me too! Three hours is easy. Imagine the amount of TV, Facebook or leisure reading you do. Or even that hour long work out. Fit prayer into your work out, the Bible into your reading and instead of Facebook and TV sit outside and reflect on God's nature, His promises, His goodness in your life and in others'. I owe Him so much and have given so little. It's time to make God a consistent passion in my life. I suddenly see that not having to work is so great! And that is no lie ;)

If you join in my challenge I'd love to hear how you are doing and what God shows you during this time. Write me on Facebook about your experience!

Boldly and brashly with love,
Mrs. P

Rediscovering Life

Before January, I was a new bride. My Prince and I were consumed with being in love and that was all we needed. Truly, not in a corny way but in a free to love, free to live, free to do what married people do kind of way. I have a past filled with poor choices and the last 6 years were another self-discovery journey that taught me how to value and respect myself. It also led me to a solid relationship with God. Those 6 years taught me countless lessons; God is the only thing that can ever truly fulfill you, God hears the cries of the broken, Good things come to those who wait, God provides, etc. But when I married Cody it felt like God's way of saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I was free from guilt and free in love with my husband. We were blessed beyond measure and felt almost untouchable.

I believe I touched on it in my last blog about how I tend to be ready for whatever comes next of life. In high school I was ready for college, in college I was ready for marriage, and after I was married I immediately came down with baby fever. Cody and I decided to let nature be our guide to avoid any complications presently or in the future due to the use of birth controls. I didn't give my body much credit as far as fertility was concerned because I was told once to look at your mother's birthing history for an idea of what yours could look like. It didn't happen overnight for my mother or my sister so I felt i'd follow suit. In January, 3 months into our marriage, my body proved me wrong! We were pregnant and so very excited. But now we felt a lot more fragile. We wouldn't realize how fragile we'd become until about 2 months later when we found out that we were having twins and that they no longer had heartbeats all in the same terrible sentence. We weren't trying to have children but we weren't opposed to it. And once we had them we knew for sure how badly we wanted them. Losing them was the most destroying feeling I have ever experienced. It threw me into tug-of-war of resolve to be strong and work through the pain and the burning desire to crawl into a ball and let the pain consume me. I had lost a sense of who I was before the babies and now I was having to figure that out through grief rather than exhausted joy.

Thankfully my God is faithful. He helped us in the most tender way by giving us a new start in our new home in Oklahoma, literally 3 days after we lost the babies. We immediately found greeted by  people who loved us and prayed for us and helped us with whatever our needs were. The day we moved in to our new home, a band of people from the church we now serve at, came to clean and help us unpack! I remember having to sit down just to take it all in; it was overwhelming. I still wonder what we have done to deserve such kindness. We have had wonderful people to help counsel us through the pain and understanding how to deal with grief in your marriage (which I am planning on writing a blog about). God even put children in our life again! No, I'm not pregnant...yet. We are youth minister's at Dewey Christian Church. We get to love on children from ages 1 to 13 and it has been such a healing experience. It's good to be needed by young ones or to feel helpful to older ones. It's giving us more practice for the future when number three comes along! Our new home has been a sanctuary of new beginnings for us and we are thankful.

Other changes have been harder to see as blessings. For a while after the babies it seemed I couldn't even look in the mirror without seeing signs of them having been there. And for a while I even considered leaving my body as it was because I didn't want to truly face it all being over. My new baby belly had become a source of unhealthy comfort and defeating emptiness. I had to make a choice to either move forward and have hope in the future and faith in God's will or become clouded by depression and make myself suffer. I chose hope! I chose to look at all the blessings around me. To remember anything and everything I could about dealing with pain from a Christian perspective. I tried to talk about my pain as I needed to and be honest about my feelings rather than treat pain and anger as a sign of spiritual failure. I prayed to God the deepest truths of my heart rather than let bitterness keep me silent. I looked at my husband and sought to remember our bliss as newly weds. And finally I looked at my body and decided that my health, my husband, and my chance at future babies were enough reason to let go of what was so I could prepare better for what will be again someday. I began reading up on how to prepare your body to be healthy while trying to conceive and keeping up on an exercise routine. My husband and I also decided to trust nature again. We are still very young and new in our marriage, so we want to enjoy the time we have with each other and have fun with our new "married people privelges" (quotes are a good cop-out for awkward things). Admittedly it's been hard not to obsess over trying again but it's a part of my journey to learn patience. I so badly want to be better with it. I know I can't live so far into the future that I can't be thankful for what is in the here and now. My prayer has been, "God thank you for your many blessings you have laid before us and for all you have provided us. Thank you for answered prayers and thank you for prayers still unanswered. Give me a patient heart and an open mind. May I never lose sight of the gift of today and may I trust more fully in your plans for tomorrow. Give me peace enough to say your will not mine and faith to truly mean it." This change has restored my passion for life.

It's been a process but I am thankful for where it has brought me today. I miss my babies everday and long to be a mommy again. But this experience will lead my family somewhere I cannot begin to imagine, just like my last personal journey did. Whatever the future holds I only desire to hear from God again, "Well done, good and faithful servant." He is my best motivation.