Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Beginning of "Grace on a Mission"

My title and what it means to me... and no, my name's not Grace :)

It's hard to know exactly where to start! I'm a recently converted stay at home mom, I say converted because I was working nearly full time and loved it. I loved how it made me feel important and needed in my family. I didn't see much reason for change except that I was always longing for more time with my family, being that I had a two year old at home and he was always doing something new and I felt like I was missing out sometimes.

I went to work one day and asked if I could work a few hours less each week to have more time for my little one. I then went to a Christian women's retreat and began to think about my life a little more. I wasn't sure how to make it work, but I knew I wanted to see more of my boy growing up. I prayerfully thought about things during that weekend and knew we could financially survive if I stopped working, I just couldn't imagine it.

Time went by and nothing happened for a short time. Then on my day off one of my supervisors from work called and asked me to work more hours... What? How could that happen? Didn't I just request to work less? Maybe the message didn't get through, I thought. I had asked the office manager for the fewer hours a few months ago and she said she'd see what she could do, maybe she didn't let my supervisor and my boss in on the info?

I asked my supervisor a few questions and it seems it was an all or nothing proposal. My boss wanted me to work full time or on an as needed basis. I was shocked! I'd been there just shy of 6 yrs and done everything she had asked of me. What was I going to do now?

My husband and I had been talking about things and I knew the answer but couldn't believe how quickly it came out of my mouth. "I'm sorry." I told her. "I can't do that." She knew how I felt and told me she hadn't even wanted to make the phone call because she knew what my answer was going to be. She explained that the boss, the office manager and herself all wanted me to stay and wished they could do it another way. I asked about job sharing or other alternatives but none of the answers worked.

They asked me how long I would work in my normal capacity. They wanted me to stay until they found a replacement. I told them they could have their two weeks and then I would go. I didn't want to see what my replacement would be or how they would change my job, so it was just easier for me to step away.

My husband was secretly happy that this meant I would be staying home. I think he had dreamed that someday I would be at home making our house a home and being the nurturer that I was but didn't have time to be.

Now I'm on my mission! My mission to make my house a home in every way, from cleaning, decorating, and having good eats. To being the wife and mother to my family that God intended for me to be before I am anything to anyone else.

Sometimes that mission means giving up things I wanted for things better for the family. Sometimes it means doing everything I can to keep the grocery bill down so we can afford to do a home project or put money into savings. Sometimes it means taking care of me so I feel good about myself and can more easily conquer my day. I'm always on the hunt to make all of these things easier and more fruitful for my family.

I call my website "Grace" on a mission because I learned a very important thing on that women's retreat I spoke of. I learned that even I'm important to God! His grace is sufficient even for me! Now I don' t know about you, but I'm guilty of feeling down on myself sometimes and I needed a visual reminder that his grace is there for even me. Now every time I log on here I am reminded of that grace... abundant grace for you and me!

I chose this page with the picture of a lighthouse as well to be symbolic of Christ being the guiding light. It reminds me too that he is always there to guide me if I just keep my mind open and just look for him in my life.

I hope my site can be inspirational to you as I'm just an every day, average, Christian mom and wife trying to make it all work in this crazy, mixed up, nutso world we live in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Me time... how important it is!

In today's culture women have so many high ideals to try to live up to. Many of us have found ourselves contributing financially to the family as well as still trying to take care of everyone else's needs and desires. This often times leaves us feeling needed but not worth anything because we are the ones primarily giving of ourselves, we have little time or effort left to take care of ourselves, and there's no one taking care of us.

Think about that a little. How do we expect to do a good job with a happy heart when we are burning the candle at both ends? God expects us to care for those around us, but we need to be sure we are cared for as well. This is something I have personally been working on and I have found so much truth in.

My husband has so lovingly told me for a long time that I need to stop running all the time and enjoy a little time everyday for myself. Have I been good about doing it? Well... not really. Not until recently that is.

I used to think that "someday" I would have time to stop for bubble baths, a movie I'd wanted to watch, a good book, or a day out with my girlfriend. I figured I would have time for it when I was done with college, then it was when I had good job, then after I had a baby. I was always trying to make excuses for not taking care of myself and allowing myself some down time. I found out that that extra time never just happens, you have to make it happen.

I've been trying
to make a small space in my day where I sit down for even a few minutes just for me. I might have a cup of coffee, read from a devotional or my Bible, or listen to some good Christian music or my favorite show on the radio. I find that I have to truly make an effort to do this, but it is so rewarding.

I've found that on the days where I've spent just a few minutes for me, aside from devotional time, the day goes much smoother and I am much kinder at the end of it all.

How hard it is to tell yourself you deserve a little "me" time. I struggle almost every time I stop for it. There always seems to be so much to do and not enough time to do it, but I'm always so much better off if I can just make it happen. My husband can usually tell a difference too.

Try it, you just might be a better person for it. :)

How do you take a little time for yourself? Do you?