January 3, 2014

journey2014: week one

Sometimes I feel like an empty shell.

That's a lie.

Often I feel like an empty shell.

I do what is required of me. I do it well, most of the time.

I wash the necessary 1 or 2 loads of laundry per day. Hang them on the line. Get them off the line the same day if I'm on top of my game. I try to keep the dishes washed, the floors cleaned up, and the toys in their proper bins. My family eats the mostly healthy food I cook, from scratch, and my children are usually clean and dressed (when they're not naked and dirty).

I'm a shell on auto pilot.

Wake up. Make breakfast. Take a shower. Prepare for school. Teach the children. Blah blah blah. Make sure to look really happy doing it all.

Look happy...

But really, it feels like its gone. I had it at one point, but now I can't seem to find it.

Where's my joy?

Where is my glad heart and my content spirit and my rested soul?

Well, I'm not sure where it went, but I'll tell you this - I aim to find it.

I've really been impressed that the Lord is trying to speak to me in 2 area of my life. The first, and the one I tend to focus on more, is my parenting. My yelling. My impatience. In fact, sometimes I can almost hear Jesus whispering in my ear, gently admonishing me, "Gentle, Mama. These are my children you're talking to like that. Be kind to them." And I realize if I ever heard anyone talk to my children the way I was talking to them I would likely take them out.

Yet the harshness is coming from me. This is a really hard confession.

Gentle, Mama. Gentle.

So, I'm going to take ME out. Well, at least that part of me. With support from my friends and awesome blogs like the Orange RhinoParenting Beyond Punishment, Aha! Parenting, and this amazing book I'm reading. I'm finding support, inspiration, and tools to achieve my goal. It's not perfection. No, if I aimed for perfection I would only fail and feel worse. My goal is to be kind and gentle as a mama. I want to be kind and loving and patient with my children. If I'm successful, I hope to see this love pour over into other areas of my life also. But my children must be the first to see change.

The second area I feel the Lord speaking to me about is to fill this empty shell I've become. He wants me to fill it with joy and happiness. My friend shared this article with me, and I just went on one of my favorite blogs and found this little gem. The theme of feeling words keeps popping up.


Feeling words.

Content. Loving. Healthy. Joyful. Alive.

I've never been a "New Year's resolution" kind of girl, but maybe I can be a theme-for-my-life kind of gal. I won't know unless I try.

Content. Loving. Healthy. Joyful. Alive.

These are my words, my themes, for 2014. These are the feelings I want to have. This is what I want I'm choosing to fill me up.

Over the next 362 days I want to figure out why I'm not feeling these things, what I can do to change whatever is preventing them, and to feel them in abundance. If my mission is successful, the words to describe me this time next year will be content, loving, healthy, joyful, and alive.

Heaven help me.


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