Your socks do not determine your goodness.

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Your Socks Do Not Determine Your Goodness

You’re right. That feeling you have as you stand over the ever-full sink of dishes, tears welling up, because nothing ever gets done. Completed. Accomplished.

It doesn’t. It’s one of the hardest parts of being a grown up that I’ve ever had to deal with. As soon as you think you’re done, it starts all over again.

Remember the feeling of putting a finished assignment in your backpack? It felt amazing. You could just chill the rest of the night, because you were done.
Ever clock out at the end of a long day at work and skip off to your car because you were DONE for the day and you go do whatever you wanted?

It’s not like that anymore. Not now that I’m a parent. I love being a parent. I am so immensely blessed to have these four precious people in my life. This isn’t about loving them. This is about loving me. I crave a feeling of accomplishment. I need to sit down at the end of the day and look back at a job well done, and I can’t. No matter how hard I work, this day still comes. The day I’m crying at the sink, wondering if it will ever get done and knowing in my heart that it won’t.

We have a home full of energetic children, eager to play and learn and move. They need to be fed and washed and educated. Meals are waiting to be cooked and bills are waiting to be paid. Dirty laundry is waiting to be discovered – just as you think you’re putting in the final load. Birds are dropping feathers, dogs are shedding fur, and dust bunnies are planning revolutions.

No matter how hard and fast we work, it will never be marked “done”. My list never includes a task that can be fully completed. It’s always a task that is just meant to keep one of the many plates spinning. Load of laundry, run the dishwasher, make sure bathrooms have toilet paper, take out something for dinner. Rinse, repeat.

My Self Worth is Not Determined by The Dishes In My Sink

I write, and I craft, to give me a brief feeling of accomplishment. I finished a post. I finished the blanket. I can mark something as “done”.

Here is where my own head starts to mess with me. Unless there is a justifiable reason (wedding, holiday, birthday) to warrant the putting aside of the to-do list to do something fun, I can’t do it. This means that on an average day, I can’t write or craft or do anything that could bring me a sense of accomplishment, until all the other things are done. Those other things are never done, not completely, not in a way that satisfies my brain. My motivation and inspiration disappear because I’m not getting a boost from having something be finished, and I start having difficulty in just making progress on all the daily tasks, even the easy ones. Fun circle of doom isn’t it?

This especially cold winter is only making things worse. In the spring and summer, I can send the kids outside for a bit, get something cleaned up, and actually see it stay clean for more than five minutes. No snowing dog paws on the freshly vacuumed carpet in June. Shorts and bathing suits take up less space in the washer, so laundry takes half the time. Picnics are held under the willow tree, crumbs landing in the grass instead of the kitchen floor. And sunshine. Glorious sunshine.

Marbles in socks

I can not make winter move along faster. I can not stop my children from learning and playing and leaving a trail of happy childhood messes behind them. I must adjust my thinking.

Reconsider my standards: am I expecting too much of myself and others in my house?

Reinstate a routine, even if it’s a flexible one: have I stopped requiring certain “must dos” to be done because I became overwhelmed by it all?

Rediscover joy: have I failed to focus on the blessings? the giggles? the “a-ha” moments that my children have daily?

Set a time: As mommas (all mommas, not just homeschooling mommas), our day is never-ending. From the moment the family is awake (if not sooner), until the moment the last sweet head hits the pillow, it’s game on for us. Set working hours. Set them for house work. Set them for school work. When the clock says it’s closing time, shut her down. Call it a day. That doesn’t have to mean you stop being mom. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore the socks on the floor, if you don’t want to ignore them. It means you stop, acknowledge a day’s work well done, and choose what you want to do next. Take a bath, watch tv, knit, read, write, without guilt.

Because you did work hard. You did do a good job. The dishes can wait.

Don’t let a dirty sink or crumbs on the floor determine your worth my friends. Jesus already told you what you were worth. You were worth dying for.

Socks on the floor can’t take that away.

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The Anyway Girl

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The picture is already out there, so I might as well tell you. I got a tattoo this weekend.

My first tattoo.

I didn’t go small, or put it somewhere easy to hide.

I put my heart out there where everyone can see it and nobody gets it.

That’s okay. It’s takes a while to “get” me too. I’m a hard nut to crack but it pays to stick around and get to know me a little.

Let’s start with the quill pen. Seems a little logical to me, since I write things.

I’m still learning how to call myself a “writer” with confidence in my voice.

When I told Jason, the amazing artist who did my tattoo, he didn’t question me about it at all. I know that shouldn’t be shocking or even a thought that crosses my mind but do you know how many times “I am a writer.” gets the reply of “Really? Huh. What do you write?” or “Really? Where?”. It was so nice to have someone just say, “that sounds cool” and not question me as if they were trying to catch me in a lie.

The word, well that’s a bit more complicated, as it has several meanings.

Anyway

Last September, during a counseling session, my doc stopped me to say this:

 

“Your the girl who does it anyway. You forgive anyway. You love anyway. You help anyway. You dream anyway.  *long pause*  No matter what they do to you or say to you…… you move on and love them anyway. *longer pause*  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who really did that.”

 

I remember being shocked. Not that he thought that of me, but that he didn’t think that of other people. Seems that is how we are supposed to be, as Disciples of Christ, right?

 

So my word became “anyway”, and as I rolled the idea around in my head that word came to mean even more.

They said you couldn’t or shouldn’t, well dream it anyway, Lisa.

You think no one will read it? Write it anyway, Lisa.

Kids want to play cars and dolls but you really want to get that laundry folded. Play anyway.

Don’t think you can make it to the top of Humpback Rock? Hike it anyway.

Every conversation turns into a competition. Converse with them anyway.

Worried you’ll be pitchy and they will all laugh at you? Sing anyway.

Think your daughter needs more grace and less time outs, but everyone says you’re just letting her slide? Parent her, your way, anyway.

Want to climb a mountain in a red dress with all your girlfriends, but your family thinks your crazy? Climb it anyway.

 

Life is short, time flies, and you never know what journey that other person is on so treat them with the love and grace you are being freely given by Jesus.

I’m far from perfect. I flip out. I growl under my breath at the idea of having to socialize sometimes. I bribe my children with a different activity to avoid playing. I leave the dishes in the sink overnight, a lot.

I need to be reminded, everyday, to do things ‘anyway’.

2014-03-04 11.21.15

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The Day I Wish I Didn’t Homeschool Anymore

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The Day I Wish I didn't homeschool anymore

Today is one of those days.

Not quite two weeks post surgery.

Teeth hurting. Not one, but several, because they should have been pulled a year ago but I fall apart at the idea of having partial dentures at 38 so I find excuses not to do it until it hurts so bad I can’t stand it. Until today, when I finally call and schedule the first appointment.

Deadlines due.

Dishes dirty.

dirty dishes

Laundry to fold.

Tears over math. Fists of fury over language arts.

How dare I suggest they read a book?

I’m hungry, but if I eat, they will see me and want to eat. That means fixing lunch (early) and it will be an hour before I can eat because I’m fixing them food first.

Three different songs playing in three different rooms. Laughter one second, crying the next. Somewhere in the mix, a 3yo in IronMan skivvies runs past, almost knocking me over, on his way to startle his sisters.

laundry and legos

Every part of me wonders what it would be like if I put them on a bus each morning. How much cleaner would my house be? How much work would I get done? Would I finally be able to read a real book? Would I finally have time to sew things for the kids?

Every part of me acknowledges that my reasons for giving up on our choice to homeschool are completely selfish, and I began crying.

I really don’t want them gone. I really don’t want to change the life I have.

I just wanted today to be different and I can’t seem to force it to go my way.

The harder I try, the worse I feel about it all going wrong.

Only, it’s not wrong. It’s just not my way today.

What needs to get done will get done.

What can wait, and needs to wait, will wait.

What they need to learn, they will learn.

I’ll learn something too, if I’ll stop fighting against the day long enough to pay attention.

Doodlebug’s Minecraft/Skype friend just taught her about the Netherlands. Another one told her about living in Ireland. The third one? He was telling her about London. They were discussing what time it was where everyone was at, and chatting about what each other’s mom (mum) was making for dinner.

friends in far away places

Bubbagirl was teaching Lil Man the first rhyme in her reading lessons. “A is the first letter we will say, a is the short vowel sound of A”.

Taderbug just made me a Lego car, complete with mom drinking coffee.

Those three things, were way cooler than anything I had planned for the day.

I think I’ll go make a cup of coffee, grab a book, watch my kids play Legos and thank God for planning me a pretty awesome day….even if it isn’t going my way.

be still

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

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