The Swirly Days of our Lives
I remember watching the soapies Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful in the 80’s. Wow, so much drama, it just kept me coming back for more. Little did I know that my own life would have it’s own drama which rivals that of the actors and actresses in those two addictive soapies! When I think of all the time I wasted watching them though, Ugh!
Just yesterday I was trying to be very clever and do a couple of things at once. Usually that’s okay for us girls. Usually.
I ran the water for the dishes, put the shower on for the 6 year old, and then put the washing machine on. Followed by reminding the 17 year old to take the rubbish out. Three of those things involving water… you can guess what followed! I proceeded to get very distracted by the 3 year old, who decided in that moment it would be a good time to try her hand at feeding the cat and tipped the whole bag of cat food out. The toddler was unhappy, I was unhappy, the cat, well she was over-joyed!
As you probably already guessed, by that time I had completely forgotten about the water I started running for the dishes. That is until I heard the unmistakable sound of splashing water on the kitchen floor! I can laugh about it now, but in that moment it was almost too much to bear.
As women, I think we spend an inordinate amount of time beating ourselves up, and allowing others to beat us up too. Whether intentionally or not.
There is a fundamental difference between men and women and there is such a brilliant and funny message in the this YouTube video from Mark Gungor. Often, though, our lives feel like they are just a big mess. A bit like this picture on the right.
I got inspiration for this post from a good friend, who I dedicate this post to. She is actually an amazing woman. She is filled with integrity, kindness, humour and generosity. She exudes the Fruits of the Spirit in such a lovely way, and yet, she sometimes feels that she’s not perfect enough, not organised enough and should be doing much better. My friend received a handmade coffee mug from her beautiful mom, with swirls on it. The message was that these swirls represent the picture of our lives. We feel like such a mess, but in fact, these swirls, twirls and interlinks make up a beautiful tapestry.
I saw myself reflected in those sentiments in so many ways. As moms we get so caught up with trying to be this perfectly organised, perfectly on time, perfectly everything woman. Usually – at least for me – we fail. That’s because everyone around us is not perfect, including ourselves. Life throws curveballs at us all the time. Such as the one mentioned below.
Here in New Zealand at little after midnight on Sunday/Monday the 13th of November there was a M7.8 earthquake that rocked our world. All the plans I had made for that Monday went flying out the window in a moment. A moment I had no control over.
Now I guess this is a bit of an extreme example, and I also realise that earthquakes don’t happen every day – at least not 7.8 ones!
What I do want to get across though, is that it doesn’t have to be an earthquake. It could be that toddler in your home that is being the earthquake, or the 17 year old who forgot an important item for school that HAS to be arranged that day. It’s a myriad of things that happen beyond our own planning that we cannot control. It’s in times like these that you need to be kind to yourself.
A woman’s mind is like the million wires you see inside some complicated piece of technology. Everything is linked.
That is how God designed you. It is beautiful, it is precious. God looks on your million wires, all the connections and thoughts firing between one another, and He loves it, understands it. He loves you!
Yes, we can plan. We should plan. We should try to be well organised. But, it’s not terrible if you are not perfect at it. I have printed planners, and downloaded so many tips for being more organised, and they help. But, there is nothing you can do about those things that come at you with no warning.
Have you ever seen the back of a beautiful tapestry? Yes, it’s a mess, that’s the part we see and tend to focus on, but what God see’s, and often what others see – is the front. I encourage you to look at the front of the tapestry of your life and who you are. It is a beautiful thing, that grows and changes.
Find ways to be kind to yourself
I have three lovely girls aged 17, 6 and 3. They keep me busy, but I love them to the moon and back. I find, however, that I often will berate myself for not being mommy perfection personified for each of them every single day. Each daughter has a different love language. Love languages are a passion of mine. So I try to speak their love languages every day to each one. I don’t get it right – do I need a planner for this? No, that would be silly, but I tried to do lunchbox notes for them. You will see one in my post about love languages here.
The key is to finding things in your hectic life that will make it easier for you.
For example – I am a single mom, 3 daughters, running my own business from home. I’m mommy, daddy, taxi, provider, nurse, comforter, psychologist, teacher, friend and playmate to mention but a few – you know what I’m talking about.
I needed to find some way to cope with having to do all the dishes, cooking, cleaning etc and so I made a deal with my 17 year old daughter. As of two weeks ago, she is now responsible for all the main meals at home. I will do all the dishes. I got my toddler involved with tidying up and cleaning – she loves holding the spray bottle! My six year old wrote down her own morning checklist which we made pretty. She’s in charge of ticking off each item she needs to do to get ready. These three things alone have made an incredible difference to my life and time management.
We can do things to make life easier for ourselves, but the most important thing I really want you to take away from this article is that your messy, swirly days are actually bold, beautiful and amazing. Just as your are.
Please feel free to share your ideas, and even the things you struggle with. I will do my very best to give you helpful suggestions in an absolutely non-judge-mental way.
Blessings to you my friend, talk soon.