Wow, it has been a LONG time since I posted anything on Peace in the Pod! Did you miss me? Actually, don’t answer that question… Since the day I started this blog, I have been struggling with balancing my work with the rest of my life – something that each of us struggles with every day. I have been constantly asking myself questions like:
- Should I use this blog solely to help others or should I follow the traditional mommy blogger route and try to make it profitable (since, you know, I don’t have a paying job and the bills don’t pay themselves)
- How should I split my time between child rearing (the reason I quit my job), house keeping, blogging, taking care of myself, selling stuff on eBay, spending time with family and friends, and the growing mountain of other responsibilities that are on my plate?
- Am I even qualified to run a blog? Should I keep trying to make this venture successful even though my stats aren’t what I’d like them to be? Where is the line between persistence and balance?
Even as I write this, Will is crawling onto my lap, asking for breakfast, and complaining that I’m not giving him enough attention. I’m hearing cries of “Mommy, can you help me?” from Clara, who is busy playing on her iPad while I neglect my mothering duties. Balance is such a challenge. I have spent a lot of time praying for guidance regarding this site. I felt God’s direction when I wrote When Winter SAD Attacks, Big Lessons from a Little Boy, Are YOU Lonely, and My Depression Story . But then it all dried up. Just like that. I know that getting ideas for posts is a common blogging problem, but I didn’t feel that going my own direction was the right thing to do. I wanted to wait for God to start giving me assignments again. At the same time, however, I wondered if He was telling me to start using my brain a little more instead of waiting for Him. So I wondered, waited, and thought myself to death (I’m an over thinker.) But then I encountered an even bigger problem. I had been ignoring that still, small voice that kept telling me to take a break from blogging. Here is how the conversation went: God: You’re doing too much. Stop. Take a break. Focus on your family. I will get you through this. This is a waiting period. Me: But God, how can you ask me to take a break when I’m already falling so far behind on my posts? If my stats go any lower, I’ll never make any income from this venture. How will we keep paying the bills if I don’t contribute? God: Rest. Stop. Take a break. I will get you through this. Me: I can’t. God: You can. Trust me. God: PS – You know that nagging feeling you have that I’m going to do this to you again? It’s real. Be prepared. After having this conversation repeatedly, I had an experience that finally convinced me to listen and take a break. I had been at an end of the year picnic with some wonderful ladies from my prayer group and their beautiful children. We ate, drank, talked, and played with our kids on the host’s play set. They are amazing women and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Let’s skim over the fact that I was actually only there for an hour because I got the starting time wrong and had to leave early to take Will to school… So, as I was leaving to take Will to afternoon kindergarten, I was thinking about how completely in love I was with the host’s back yard. Totally random, I know. I get stuck on one topic and obsess over it until the next obsession comes along. Anyway, our host’s husband owns a landscaping business, so naturally it was like a picture out of a magazine. And the decorations, food, and hospitality? Out of this world. I could not have asked for a better get together. All the way home, I threw myself a pity party because the lifestyle I want (read: want, not need) seemed so far out of my reach. Instead of focusing on the blessings of my family, friends, and the wonderful life I have been given, I focused on my sense of failure. Failure with my blog. Failure with managing our cut-in-half income. Failing to give my children the love and patience they deserve. Failing to love my husband more than my own agenda. And then I cried my exhausted little eyes out. In retrospect, I should have gone to confession. The grace that I receive from those few short minutes is usually enough to get me back on track. I’m not proud of that lack of gratitude, but at least it convinced me to take a break. I was beyond wiped out, stressed, not sure where to go next, and I needed to step back and get some perspective. So I spent the next couple of month focusing on my family and my priorities – our end of the school year activities, our yard sale, Will’s birthday party, caring for our vegetable garden, and the countless hours of track practice and boy scout meetings that took over our weekday evenings. I stopped writing and tried to listen for that voice to start talking again. And FINALLY, it did. God always follows through on his promises. He told me to take a break from the things that weren’t important so I could focus on the things that were. It was a uniquely strange and beautiful experience. So, I guess this post isn’t really about taking a break. It’s about listening to God’s voice and following his lead. He has led me through all of the major steps in my life, so I should have trusted him to lead me through this one as well. What does it all come down to? Faith. Believing that God can and will take care of us. Believing that his plan for our lives will give us greater blessings than the life we plan for ourselves. I have a long way to go before my faith is stronger than my will, but one day I will get there.
Here are a few pictures of the things that occupied my free time while I took a break from blogging. And no, my children don’t normally lay on the dinner table…
There is a famous quote that says “When my will crosses with God’s will, God’s will must be done.” Tell me about a time when your will crossed with God’s will. How did you leave your own will behind? What surprise blessings did you receive? Linked to: Titus 2sday | Thriving Thursday | Rich Faith Rising | The Mommy Club | Thriving Thursday | Faith Filled Fridays | Essential Fridays | Catholic Bloggers Network – July