Monthly Archives: January 2012

7 Ways to Make Space for Spontaneity

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Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates an explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of reference, memory choked with old facts and information and undigested theories and techniques of other people’s findings. Spontaneity is the moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and see it, explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces of ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of discovery, of experiencing, of creative expression.” – Viola Spolin

Since I want to enjoy motherhood and avoid the nuthouse,  I need to find ways to keep spontaneity in my life. Here are some ideas so far:

1. The Crockpot: You start dinner in the morning so you don’t have to be home by 5 and come up with the ingredients and energy to make dinner. Here are a bunch of recipes but I really like just dumping in a bunch of meat, vegetables, and spices in and seeing what happens.

2. Try Minimalism: Get rid of clutter so you don’t spend so much time cleaning up junk that is just sucking the creative energy out of you.

3. Don’t be Awesome: If everything in your life has to be amazing/perfect/awesome it is going to be hard for you to break free when you need to. Mediocrity can be the path to delightful experiences.

4.  UNplan your time: Don’t have every waking hour of your day mapped out with set activities. (Just thinking about that kind of schedule gives me heart palpitations!) Your kids can still have a cool life without playing 4 sports and 2 instruments.

5. Be present: Too much time worrying about the future puts your soul in a prison. Be fully in this moment and see the spontaneous opportunities around you.

6. Let go: of false ideas that mothers cannot be spontaneous and must stick to a strict schedule. It is more of a challenge than pre-children but not impossible.

7. Follow the Spirit: God has an exciting plan for you if you let go of the total-control mentality.

What are your ideas?

Don’t Go Psycho!

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Anxiety is a MAJOR reason I don’t enjoy life. Here is how it goes in my brain:

If I don’t fret about money we will lose everything and be homeless. All because I bought a kombucha! That $3 did us in!

If I relax the kids will get a disease, be illiterate, become criminals, or die.

If I decide to lower my cleaning standards a little we will be on “Hoarders” and CPS will take the kids.

and IT WILL ALL BE MY FAULT! So I have to keep worrying about money, run around cleaning, go psycho! It is what GOOD mothers HAVE to do, right? Go psycho?

Don't go psycho!

I was thinking about how great it was to be a child recently.  “Look at them they don’t worry about anything. Just taking life as it comes while I make sure they have everything they need. No wonder they are happy! They just live in the moment and don’t worry about anything!”  Then this verse came to me:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

Then I realized I have access to the same peace as my children do by being a child of God. (Duh). I don’t have to carry these burdens. I can release anxiety to my Father and trust that He is caring for me. I can revert back to childhood!

Now let’s all listen to this song  and enjoy life!

What burden are you taking on that is making you psycho?

Cleanliness is Godliness = Not in the Bible

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My house while I write this post. I am not wearing make-up. My son is watching a movie.

As Christian women I think we would enjoy life a lot more if we stopped living like cleanliness is next to godliness. It is not in the Bible, yet the proverb seems to have taken hold as scripture.

I have read many books, blogs, and articles about Christian living for women and it is maddening to me now how much focus there is on cleaning. Now being a homemaker does require a certain amount of effort in this area since it is loving to our families and others to not make them live in a pile of filth. But the degree to which it  is taken I cannot see Jesus supporting–having everything perfectly organized and dusted. “There was something different about those people. Did you notice how clean there house was Bob? I want to know more about that Jesus.” said no one ever.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

I contend that we are spending way too much time on this and it is hurting the church.  This “law” is creating anxious and defeated women who don’t have people over, excercise their gifts, or rest enough because they are pushing themselves trying live up to non-biblical standards. (Or am I the only one?)

How many people are out there lonely and hurting and would love to sit at your table with dry oatmeal stuck to it (I have seen that at other homes) and eat a bowl of soup.  If you have to take the time to project the perfect Christian wife image, how often can you muster up the energy for hospitality?  Your home should be a tool to be used up, not a museum to elevate your pride. I don’t want to offer up my perfectly clean house when I die. If it is all going to burn then why become obsessed with perfecting it? It is like sanding firewood for your burn pile!

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

What if you were using that time and your gifts to love people?  If you are striving in vain to get the house clean before you start it will never happen, especially if you have mess machines children. You would not be reading this blog post if my house had to be clean before I could write it!  Whether you are an artist of some type, a builder, a good listener, you could be using that gift to increase others’ joy (and your own!) Write them songs, make them art, fix their car. Let them trash your house and eat your food, ruin your budget! Take them out to coffee even though there are dishes in the sink and the laundry is unfolded. (It is clean and you are just going to unfold it anyway. I mean is really wise to fold it?). Or take nap so you can be patient with your children and avoid the nuthouse.

When you open your imperfect life this way two responses can happen: The first is that people will judge you calling you a lazy, undisciplined, slob and ask people to pray for your family. (Oh well, good thing Jesus makes me great!)  The second, and most likely, is that they will feel comfortable being in a home much like their own and they will feel better about being real with you.

Imagine what would happen if we let go of the bondage of the fear of man and replaced it with the freedom to love God and others as directed by the Spirit.  The gospel would be proclaimed, people would be loved, and God would be glorified. If we stopped striving for an image, we could have a godly mess that could change the world. Like Christ on the cross.

All this to say, I know there are some people who love cleaning and have lots of energy to maintain a pretty immaculate house. There is no law against that either! You can even serve people by cleaning and organizing their home for them! Yay! Where things go wrong is when we decide that a godly woman=clean house because Jesus makes you godly, not your vacuum.

 

2012: A Year to Enjoy

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I felt the Lord tell me that this is the year for joy. I have been burned out and I am taking the year to experience life as a Mary instead of a Martha. I want to enjoy and fellowship with the Lord instead of trying so hard to serve Him. I want to have a happy gratitude for the gifts he gives instead of feeling guilty all the time.  I want to let go of the church culture’s expectations and be led by the Spirit instead of a to-do (and to-don’t) list. I am going to do some things I like (after I remember what they are).  I am not going to worry about if I am working hard enough or that other people have clean houses.

This blog will chronicle my experiences throughout this time. I am writing with the hope to inspire women to come out of the bondage of slaving away as their highest Christian calling and into the presence of His joy and light. Only then can we really love and really live. 

 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 40: 38-40

Want to enjoy 2012 with me?