In efforts to create a helping atmosphere in my home, I've decided to set forth to do something good for someone else, each month. After creating this, I realized it is similar to the Studers 12 Months of Kindness. Great minds, I guess.
Initially, I wanted to do this with a planned good deed every week. But, I will be honest...I would not be able to follow through on that. So I decided to go with 1 a month.
I wanted to write an elaborate post on Baby's first birthday party. It was A LOT of work, and I am really proud of how it turned out. But, to be honest...I'm just too tired. So, instead, I'm just going to share some pictures and have that be that. Hope that's OK.
It happens sometimes. We don't always live up to our own expectations. We don't always do things right. Sometimes, we are just plain selfish and tired and grumpy. We raise our voices, ignore our baby's whines, or roll our eyes when our children fuss (and fuss and fuss and fuss) about nothing in particular. WE do that right? It's not just me?
Have you ever watched your child as she sits in the middle of a toy pile, bewildered, not knowing what to play with? She may pick at a few things, but eventually gives up and goes to play with the door stop. But... give your child a choice between a few things and he will happily play with them for a while.
Kids don't need, or even want, 432 toys to choose from during play time. Plus, if they see all of their toys on a daily basis, they will get sick of them (whether they play with them or not). This is why I rotate toys.
I follow my favorite blogs and find mothers who put their children's needs above their own with the greatest of ease. They make clothes and deliciously healthy home cooked meals. The keep a perfectly tidy home and spend their spare time breathing in the joy of their perfect families. They are loving life because life is perfect for them.
And then I let my eyes wander from my computer screen. I see my to do list that never ends. I see the clutter crowding my desk and the dishes piling in the sink. I see the material items that are supposed to make us happier, and they just make me feel claustrophobic. I look at my finances and sink into a slight depression.
I make a mental list for what I need to do that day. It doesn't give room for mistakes. It doesn't give time to enjoy my family. The baby wakes up before I expect him to, and I stuff my frustration down inside so that I can greet him with a smile. My husband comes home late from a hard day at work, and I raise my voice at him for leaving his shoes in the middle of the floor.
And instead of stopping...instead of putting an end to the journey to perfect...I keep going. I add more to my plate and I buy more things. I add more good intentions to my well intentioned life. But it doesn't work. This isn't how I achieve the "amazing" life that I know I should have. I need to stop. I need to say no. I need to put down the credit card. I need to turn off the computer and make time to surf and cook and breathe in the joy of my family. I need to just be. I need to realize that I should love life. Not because life is perfect, but because life is good.
God tells me to be still in him. To let him take care of it and stop worrying about perfection. He's got this.
So, I missed you for Motherhood Monday, yesterday. Because...well...I was dealing with motherhood. My sweet boy is suffering through double ear infections and a cold. Aside from sleep (which is not achieved easily), I must hold him or he clings to my leg crying and bouncing. We used up our acetaminophen, and I had to send Daddy to the store twice because he accidentally bought "Children's" instead of "Infant." Baby screams at the top of his lungs for seemingly no reason. Our house is a disaster. We are miserable, and we are exhausted. But, this is motherhood and it can't be scheduled.
I'm so excited to have Tabitha from Team Studer visiting, today. She has incorporated kindness into her home the lives of her children. It's hard enough to get through the day and do the simple things (like feed and bathe our children), but teaching them to love others is truly important. I love Tabitha's story for us, today.
In my opinion, empathy is the first step to developing a giving heart. If I care about you, I am more likely to help you.
Unfortunately for me, this isn't always why I give. Sometimes I just give. I give to the random charity at the checkout. I know nothing about it. I barely even listen to the clerk to hear the name of what I am giving to. "Would you like to give a dollar to the Teach a Tree to Read Foundation?" Sure.
This month's Healthy Home post is about spiritual health. This can be a touchy subject, but take a few minutes to check out what my friend Jeff has to say. He is very passionate about the Lord, and loves talking to people about Jesus (he also happens to be married to my dear dear friend and soul sister).