[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I [/dropcap] have been awake since 4:45 due to needing to feed a 9 week old, and I’m feeling very wintery. Cold, tired, and a bit blah with a sore throat thrown in . . . ugh. Born and raised in Colorado and I still dread our winters. However, as I drove to work at 7:30 this morning, I couldn’t help but love how green everything is. After all of my attempts to kill our yard, it’s bursting with every kind of green weed + some actual grass. My flowers are thriving as well, and the trees are changing colors. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Looking at beauty makes my heart happy, and God is such a wonderful Creator. He’s a fabulous Artist.
And speaking of creating and artistry, I always feel this need to create things, yet I’m totally not a creative person. Put a bunch of kid crafty stuff in front of me, and I will stare at it and then make my usual form of something that resembles a flower. So how does that work? How does one really want to be creative, yet have zero ability? One of my favorite waste-your-time activities is to read about other people’s lives and see how they’ve created their living spaces; it fuels my own creativity. Then I look around my house and see all the messes and all that creativity goes out the window . . . oy. So I use cooking as my way of creating things, and it bums me out when my oven goes wonky and burns my creation. I use writing as a way of creating words that accurately express my thoughts and emotions. I also use my children’s clothing as a way to create cute/handsome outfits. I just find little ways to express the very limited talent that I have, and I find it extremely rewarding to cook something that looks, smells, and tastes good + is nutritrionally excellent. I love watching two cute boys run around in very smart clothing. And I love colored socks; just a random thought there . . .
I also have big dreams of creating a beautiful backyard/garden space that has all of the flowers and colors that I love, as well as the practical fruits and vegetables that we need. I dream of a house that accurately expresses who we are as a family; one that’s a mix of my style, Mark’s creativity, and my children’s personalities. And I dream of a life where my creativity is actually expressed in my passion for traveling, for learning, and for meeting people of every background. I find myself always torn between wanting to work at an orphanage where I can love on babies, to wanting to teach at a Bible school where I can train up future leaders and inspire them to be who God made and gifted them to be, and then I want to walk the streets of Paris and speak to the homeless and give them food. I want to see the people of Africa and do something to put a salve on broken, hurting hearts. I want to work in a restoration/rehab/transition home in Amsterdam and see former addicts and prostitutes changed in every way possible so that they live thriving, happy, whole lives in Jesus. I want to do all of that.
And some days, I can feel the desire to do all of the above so strongly that it feels like my heart may burst.
Yet I sit in a little house with a (normally) horrendous back and front yard, a pile of laundry as tall as I am on the chair in the living room, and a sink full of dirty dishes to be washed. I spend my days teaching little people to simply be kind; if we can just learn kindness, we can move on to something else (at least I hope so). I sing the ABC’s about 20 times per day with both my boys. And I wipe 3 bottoms every afternoon when all 3 children decide to do their business at the same time. Like all moms with multiple little ones, our days are packed full with all the day-to-day activities of just running a household. There’s not a whole lot of free time, quiet time, creative time, or dream time.
So while my heart is bursting to do what Micah would love to do someday, I remind myself that I have to do what God has put before me. And I have to do a good job of it. I have the hugely important job of loving on and raising up three little future world changers, and along with that, come the many lessons on kindness and learning to read. The laundry, the dishes, and the cooking all come with the 3 little people too, and I would not trade them in for anything in the entire world, even living in Paris. I just get several chances per day to remind myself of that fact . . .
Therefore, while in this phase of life, I have decided and determined that it’s okay to pour creativity into outfits, into meals, and into whatever little things can make the days brighter. It’s okay to also keep dreaming about the things that keep this mama’s heart alive and growing. And it’s really important to remember that 10 years ago while I was traveling the world and doing what I wanted to do, I was dreaming of the days when I would have little people to care for. Is dreaming a good thing? I think so. Can it be a bad thing if it distracts and keeps us from living our fullest in today? Yes. But if we forget our dreams and simply live in today, we can also forget the point and forget the dreams. I’ve found that a heart without dreams leads to a frustrated, lifeless heart. And that’s no good either. But a balanced dreamer, one who is able to appreciate every season of life and hold on to hopes and dreams, has a happy heart.
As I get older, I’m learning more and more that life really is like the changing seasons. If we were stuck in a cold, lifeless, dreary winter all year around, it would be one miserable place. Yet if we’re always producing life, always bursting to the full with activity, then it would get tiring after a while as well. Seasons of growth, seasons of rest, seasons of change, and even seasons of life with little ones, are all necessary. A season of digging in and focusing on all the little character building traits that my kids will need in the future is a healthy season for both them and me; it’s working in us into who we will need to be for the next season. And we can’t move from this season until we’re ready for the next. So I trust that as I put my hand to the plow of parenting little hearts, God is actually working in this heart and preparing me more and more for the days when I do get to walk the streets of Paris, teach at the Bible School, hug on orphans, and minister to the addict in Amsterdam. And even more than that, I really hope my three young ones get to join me in doing all of that as well. That would make this mama’s heart burst with pure joy.