We have a friend who is an excellent baker! I find myself wishing I would take the time to bake as she does.
I like to bake, it seems I just don't get much time for it. It seems that I always get interrupted; something small happens (skinned up knee for instance) so that I am called away and the cookies are three minutes overdone.
Or something bigger happens; cows are out or he needs a part for something. There are even days when I plan to bake something and everything goes haywire here with the children and I just can't get to it.
So I found myself thinking, "I could be a better baker if I didn't have all these distractions..."
And then I realized where that train of thought could take me.
"I could keep a cleaner house if all these people didn't live here."
"I would have more money if we were a smaller family."
"I could keep a better lawn if we didn't live on this farm."
"I wouldn't feel so rushed all the time if the kids would just get ready to go when it's time to go."
"I could be thinner if I had more time to exercise."
"I would be a happier mommy if I had some help."
"I would be more patient if I had more patience myself."
etc., etc., etc.......
BUT---then who would I be? Those things are really quite a big part of who I am. I think it's time for a little confessional.
~~I am a woman who struggles to keep her house clean. I like to clean house and I like a clean house, but with 9 (10!) people living in a house built for 5, there isn't a whole lot of room for us. And let's face it, kids make messes. And so do husbands. Is a dissheveled house the worst thing in the world? I'd say it's close, but not the worst.
~~We have a big lawn. It doesn't get mowed as often as it should. We have two push mowers and two bigger boys. They do the best they can. (For years I mowed it myself with a push mower--only one, as I am not quite talented enough to run two at once.) We have two dogs that drag stuff all over the yard, there are holes where critters have dug, there are over-grown edges of sandboxes and much trimming that needs to be done. We don't have a trimmer. Is a less-than-perfect yard so terrible? When I get to heaven, God will not ask me about our landscaping habits. I am responsible for the lives of the 8 (so far) children he has placed in my care. I look forward to hearing him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
~~We are always late. Church, appointments, engagements, meetings---always 5-10 minutes late. I HATE it.
Many (all??) times, it is because of chores. Something didn't go quite right during milking, cows got out, a calf was sick, etc., etc.
Sometimes, it's because I did one more thing: hung that load of clothes out on the line, folded that basket of laundry "real quick", or loaded the dishwasher when I should have just let it go and done it when we got back home.
Other times, it's because the baby NEEDED to be fed, or a dirty diaper made itself known as the individual was getting buckled into their carseat.
All of these things can make me late. But in the grand scheme of things, is anyone going to get that upset if I'm a few minutes late for a meeting? Or if our troop marches up the aisle during the opening hymn (our family always sits in front. There is no slinkin' unnoticed into the back pew...)? I can get all upset with the kids about how we're always late, or I could say (sadly, though, I usually don't) "good try kids--but we're going to be a bit late. Hopefully it'll go better next time."
~~I carry some extra weight. I try to tell myself it's because I don't have time to exercise, but really it's because I put too much food into my mouth.
I could really obsess over this, but isn't there more to life? I know so many thin people who say that they need to lose weight. !!!!????? Good grief, it their not thin enough, I don't have a chance!!
Again, in the end, it's really not that important if I have an extra 15-20 pounds. It's just not. Besides, as one of my children once told me, "I think it's good for mommies to be squishy. That way it doesn't hurt if you run into them."
Works for me.
~~Well, this one is probably pretty true. I do need some help. (Dennis--are you reading???) But I could rejoice in my suffering, instead of getting upset with the kids because I don't get enough help from their dad. I need to change my attitude about that. And be upset with him instead. *wink*
~~Patience is not a virtue of which I have an abundant supply. But how will God teach me patience? By making me wait. So while I'm waiting, I'm learning. Learning to trust Him more and rely on myself less. Learning to slow down, take a breath, gather myself,and then respond to the fussing and whining that DRIVES ME BATTY! Remembering that there will be times when the house is a mess--and there will be times when the house looks pretty good!
Knowing that now, amidst all the spills and the smears and the holes in the knees and the spitting up and the germs and the bickering and the messes and the diapers and the laundry and the endless dishes---one day my home will be too quiet and too clean (wait, is that really possible???) and I will wish for some people to come and fill it with the sounds of LIFE. One day I will wish for all these things that can bother me so much now.
Hmmmm.... I need to do some work on my own attitude.
I know I need to be a better and more faithful servant.
And I know who I am and how God made me. I can't be like everyone else, because I'm ME. I can't compare myself with all the other mommies who are skinnier, more patient, better dressed, more happily married with nicer lawns and on time for their engagements. She doesn't exist anyway, does she?
I can only do a better job of being ME.