This morning Jeromy and i both were having to go our separate ways. One to Ruby's basketball game and one to Juniors hockey practice. And we aren't a family that likes splitting up-or being busy-for that matter.
But then as we were racing around getting ready i double checked the schedule and it turned out that we could actually go to both games--all together.
So as i was loading up the stuff and Jeromy was taking care of the chickens i suddenly realized that I may have choir practice for the Christmas program at church this morning as well.
...i frantically checked old emails--praying that we didn't have it today.
But alas, we did.
The practice was from 9 to 12. It was now about 9:35 and i ran outside and informed Jeromy that i had practice and asked if he could manage getting the kids to both things without me. He said "yes".....but it sounded alot more like "no". (ya feel me, ladies?)
So instantly i felt torn. I don't like missing my kids stuff. Even if i leave them in the capable hands of their Dad, i still like to be at everything.
Cause they're my kids. Why wouldn't i be there?
My parents didn't miss my games--and that is a wonderful memory for me. And i am determined to make it theirs as well.
So then i--lets say argued--with Jeromy about what to do....
I threw up my hands and just decided that i would have to forfeit the program. But i wasn't happy about it and now was mad about the way our conversation had taken a turn....
In the car i stewed--quietly--frustrated. I though about all the things that men do and then i thought about how us women just adjust to make it work for them. And honestly, i felt like it was unfair that he couldn't "adjust" today to make it possible for me to go. Though if you ask him now--i'm sure he would say he would have. (funny, huh?)
If you're a wife of a hunter, this feelings tends to occur right around the end of November. I'm sure others women recognize this.
So as i sat and watched my girl play (and i use that word lightly today) basketball, i loved it. Like i always do.
I love being with my kids. I feel obligated to be there for them. And i absolutely enjoy it and wouldn't want to do anything else.
I feel like i have to be at the parties they go to, the practices, the games---anything.
Not in a helicopter way--but in a Mom way. I bore these little buggars--why wouldn't i invest fully in them?
So, as we grabbed a bite to eat and headed up towards the rink--the frustration of having to give up any thoughts of me doing something fun-- started to fade.
And it only strengthened my already strong opinion on the value of being there for my kids and how sometimes even when we want to say "yes" to ourselves, we have to say "no."
And that doesn't mean we are deprived, because we aren't entitled. It means we tip toe the line between sanity and overcommitment. And i never want to land on the side of over committed.
I don't want to have to arrange rides and sitter and ask others for help on a weekly basis because i overbooked my life--and my kids.
As i talked myself off the edge, i assured myself that this was the right choice and one that i believed in anyways.
Sometimes we have to say no to our own wants. And that's okay.
Too many women i know schedule, schedule and re-schedule their lives and fill their calendar like its Christmas. Unable to deviate from their deadlines or commitments.
We are so overly committed. Mostly to self. Though no one would admit that. People give into society and into the pressure of getting kids started young. Or they're afraid if they miss this event they will be the odd ball out, because even if we can't afford it or don't have the time for it--our kids are doing it!
I'm sure a few faces pop into your minds as you read this. Because we all know that person.
And today i reminded myself that i have never agreed with that way of living---and then i actually had to say "no" to something to ensure i didn't fall into the very tempting trap. And i gotta say--its easier said than done. But i am determined to stand firm in this.
We are an entitled people. Generation. By never saying "no" and never being home with time on our hands---we are affirming, an already entitled generation, that your worth is synonymous with your calendar.
And that is the opposite of truth.
I know for me, value lays in my family. Even when we aren't perfectly happy or when we're perfectly frustrated, that is where i want to invest the most. Their little futures depend on it.
Sanity. Stillness. Peace. Being able to play--and waste time. Those are very big deals.
Sometimes we forget that no means no, mister.
I deal with adults that can't even register this one. No doesn't mean no. Its only means "wait" until they can make enough racket to change it into a yes. To benefit ourselves, of course.
As i stood in that freezing rink. With my husband and kids, and we watched as Junior continually tried to skate alone--even after he fell and fell and fell some more. I finally felt positive that i had made the right choice. That is was good to say no to something even if i felt like i "deserved" it. Nothing is worth missing my boy as he smiles and gives us the thumbs up--moments before hitting that ice once again.
Standing there, smiling, watching Junior skate on one side and Laney distract the boys from her class on the other half of the rink--our neighbor came up to us and surprised us. We visited and found out he is the coach of the boys hockey and that his girls would be at the rink at 5 and 7 tonight playing hockey as well.
For me, just sitting there, visiting, living life, engaging and investing in my community felt so good.
Choir would have been great fun today. But its safe. And i have talked--very passionately-- about how critical it is that we (as a nation and as a body of believers) really know our neighbors, invest in them, give to them and show love to them. And when you're too busy--even if its "in the church"--i feel like we're missing the call to love our neighbor---our actual neighbor--as ourselves. (just a note: I'm not saying being in choir means i can't do that-- its just the commitment that would have over committed me.)
As we left that freezing cold rink (and after i broke some poor little boys water bottle) i told Jeromy that i was so glad our kids were playing sports and testing the waters of St.Francis (Ruby is in Andover for b-ball though) because it is so valuable to connect with "our people". Our community. Their classmates. Their friends. To be totally invested in them--helps to assure me that they are going to be alright. That we are building a family that values our time away---because we are still together for it.
Do i wish i could be in the Christmas program at church? Most definitely.
But will life go one even if i miss it? Unfortunately,Yes. And likely even better due to my absence.
I am still totally bummed that i couldn't make it. If Jeromy would have offered and i would have been prepared, i might just have gone anyways....and that would have been okay. But the bottom line is when i find myself shuffling everything around and running frantic---maybe i should just say no. For the sanity of all involved.
I never want to get lost in my own selfish wants and desires--because its so easy to do and we have all been there.
The bigger problem is when we become so busy thinking about yourself.....we accidentally lose sight of the others God has placed in front of us.
So today i will continue to break up the fights between siblings, i will fold laundry like i do EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE and i will remember that i want to make a difference in my community and for me, that means putting others first and leaving myself time to actually see the needs that are right around me.