Sunday, April 26, 2015

Looking for Better Days

If you read my post from last week, you'll know that my life can be a bit.....less than perfect?
Really, lots of days I'm a mess.
After I banged out those words and gave them time to settle and had a decent night's sleep, I woke up Friday morning to some new thoughts, some wisps of things I couldn't quite grasp.
After some time, a question lodged itself in my mind and wouldn't move: are there some things I could be doing that would change my days for the better?

I had much to do, so I started going about my day, asking the Lord to open my eyes to what I needed to see. As insights about myself, my children, my hubby, ministry, marriage, and home came to me, I scribbled them into my notebook.

They weren't deep or profound, but they were tiny bits of truth that I could tuck into my heart and mind.
They were a place to start working from.

First, I was reminded of the fact that I get to choose what I see.
Some days are just more difficult than others, but choosing to look at only the bad sends my mind careening down that well-worn path of discouragement.
When I make the choice to hunt for the good, I start to see more and more of it around me.
For me, looking through my camera lens helps a lot.

Secondly, when I take the time to look for the joys and then remind myself of them when things aren't quite so picture perfect, the Holy Spirit strengthens my self-control.
I'm re-minded about where I'm supposed to be, and what I'm supposed to be doing ~ right here in my home, raising my little ones for the glory of the Lord.

And last, but a new thought for me, is that I need to see something accomplished during a day to feel like I've done what I should. I'm a task oriented person, and though that isn't necessarily a good thing, it is part of my make-up. When I only manage to do things during a day that are getting constantly "undone," I feel like I've not really done everything I could do for that day.
Scrubbing dishes, sweeping floors, washing clothes, and feeding hungry mouths are all good and important tasks, but they are something I will be doing for the rest of my life. They are not accomplishments, they are just the things I have to do to keep life running smoothly.
I need to be able to point at something at the end of the day and say, "see what I did?" Many times it is only to myself, but it makes a difference to me.
Friday my grand accomplishment was to sharpen all the colored pencils we use for nature journals.
Totally insignificant? Yup.
But the next time we go to sketch and the pencils are sharpened and ready, I'll be happy!

*So this is definitely different than my normal writing, but I'd like to try out some new things.
I'd like to share some of these tidbits I'm learning about myself, simply because this is how I think things through. I'm thinking about posting a bit more day to day glimpses of life, a chance to more permanently remind myself of all my blessings, and maybe offer those who are interested a little better peek into the life of a missionary mama. I'm also going to try to post a little bit more.....though we'll see if that happens or not. I think hubby and I have worked out a possible schedule.
I'd also like to hear from You! What things have you learned about yourself that have led to better days? Please share!


  1. I, too, like to "see" things that I have accomplished in a day besides the normal schedule. I have started writing my to-do tasks individually on post-it notes and putting them on my bedroom cupboard. As each one is accomplished, with elation I pull it off and throw it away. It also keeps me focused on what needs to be done. Writing everything on a list was a little discouraging because I didn't feel as if I could get rid of it until everything was marked off.

  2. Great ideas, Patty! I was challenged at the beginning of the year to write a daily blog post for my friends and churches, because I was struggling with the challenges of living and working in France. Very difficult at first, but now it's like journaling my Bible times. It makes me want to dig into God's Word, because I know I "have" to have something to share with others. I decided that I wanted my blog to be an upbeat one, so I have to look for the positives, even when a lot of what I see is negative, and God is retraining my thoughts. Looking at the beautiful pictures you post are an encouragment to me, because I see the beauty in your life that is the making. Your girls are beautiful, and they are learning to trust and walk the way you want them to go. The chaos is inevitable, but at least in your husband and children's lives, you are creating great beauty for them. Thanks for sharing your heart, and I will be praying especially for YOU, that God will help you to see the beauty in the "day-to-day" sameness and craziness of missionary wife! Lots of love and hugs from France!

  3. I loved the statement that what you'd accomplished was sharpening colored pencils. That whole image sums up so much about life. It's preparing for the next thing, being ready when we need it. And, every mother in the world knows you made breakfast, lunch, and supper for your family, you were wife, mother, and missionary, and you educate your children, and try to savor the good stuff. I loved this post!

  4. Love this! It's amazing when you can figure out bits about yourself you never realized, isn't it? My thing? I need some me time. It doesn't have to be more than 5 minutes, but I need some quiet with just me. If I don't get it, then I am a bear. I feel like I'm doing, doing, doing, and never have a moment alone. It snowballs on me. I also realized that I have a choice. I can ignore a need because of a want, or I can sacrifice a bit. It doesn't matter when I get my me time. It can be midnight if need be. I do, however, have children who need me, chores that need to be done, etc. If I take the time to take care of these things when they need me and not wait until they are fever pitch (and I know you know what I mean), then things go so much better and my stress is reduced. God has been working on my tendency to procrastinate...and it isn't easy, but it will be beautiful. :)