Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Priorities

I've been thinking today about something important. My priorities (bet you already guessed that, huh?). I realized that I have been way too focused on myself and my selfish desires, and not focused enough on my family and what they need. I spend way too much time in bed, in front of the TV, with my nose in a book, or with my fingers glued to the keyboard. And not nearly enough time cuddling with my husband, taking care of my house, teaching my children, or talking to God.

I know that every woman needs to have her own interests, her own hobbies, something that makes her HER. But I feel like at this point in my life, I need to put that aside. I need to sacrifice part of myself, willingly, for the good of those around me. I need to turn off the TV, put the book down, keep the computer off, and get off my lazy butt. Really, that's what it all boils down to. I am just choosing to be lazy. I am "eating the bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27).

As I sit here, I can feel my new baby kicking the waistband of my jeans. And it occurs to: I am going to have three children in five short months. And what am I doing to prepare myself mentally for this? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I have done nothing in the last three months to streamline my household, I haven't done nearly enough in the last 3-5 years to train my children, and I haven't done a darn thing to show my husband that I am ready for the extra work that is coming.

I just finished reading another Amish story. I told you that so that this next sentence would make sense to you. Sometimes I wish I were Amish. I know their lives aren't perfect. I know that they struggle with all the same emotions, desires, and sins that we do. The thing is, they grow up without the outside distractions. Without TV, without the internet, without the "convenience" of a car. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a car isn't convenient. But how often do we go somewhere we don't really need to go, just because we can? How often do we spend money we don't need to spend, just because we can get there (I just did it tonight!)? The Amish rely on family for their entertainment. They rely on work to keep them busy. They don't numb their brains (or their children's brains) in front of a glowing screen every night. Instead they fill it with conversation, with Bible reading, with games and family time. I wish I could convince my husband to go for 30 days with no TV, maybe even no internet. How much money would we save if we weren't paying for cable, or for a high-speed connection? How much more time would we spend together?

The other thing about the Amish I admire is their absolute devotion to God. I know there are some who practice the faith without actually living or believing it. It is that way in all walks of life, and in every religion. Our pastor mentioned this Sunday the tradgedy that happened several months ago in an Amish community, where a man went into a school house and killed several young girls. Do you know what the Amish families did? They forgave him. Publically. How much strength, and faith in God, does it take to do that? It blows my mind. And I so admire that.

Anyway. Sorry that got kind of off topic. The other thing about being Amish. It's kind of forced on you, all the non-electronic stuff. You don't really have the choice, 'cause it's just not there. Here, it is so easy to turn on the TV, or the computer. And it's so HARD to NOT turn them on. I really wish I could just get rid of them, and then I wouldn't have any choice.

Don't get me wrong. I love the internet. I love chatting with my sisters, looking at and buying stuff, emailing, reading blogs, checking my bank balance. And I love TV. Zoning out, laughing at cartoons with the kids, thinking about someone else's life and problems and forgetting about my own for a while. And I wonder if I could really give all that up. Is there some kind of middle ground? Is there some sort of compromise where I can have it ALL?

Anyway. There are my Eleven O'Clock ramblings for the night. Any thoughts on the matter?


ScrapFairy said...

Of course there is a middle ground. You pick certain shows to watch and watch only those. You dont just have the tv on to be on, like I do. ( I just like the sound never really watch it, ok except my night time shows)
You can be the kind of mom you want to be and have your things to. You just have to learn to even things out.
That is funny you wrote about that cause I have been thinking about the same thing. Not being Amish at all (no thanks I like my electronic things). But chores,meals, playing with the kids, hubby time, family time, me time, and doing it all.
But in my many years of being a mommy and having small children I have learned if you don't do things for ourself your family DOES suffer. We need to rejuvinate too. I'm not saying sit at the computer for hours, but do take time to talk to your sisters (hehe me)read those blogs you really enjoy, just dont sit and look at stuff you don't need to.
Ok now I will stop rambling.

MrsWndr said...

I read this a few days ago but I wanted to think about it before I posted. I can totally feel where you're coming from. And I too (like ScrapFairy) had been thinking about it before you posted. I think she's right on the middle ground thing. I know I'm too for myself right now. I need to give more to my daughter and husband and mostly my apartment (that is what is being neglected the most right now.) =) Our TV is on most of the time and WonderKid only watches it half the time, it's the noise she likes, so I need to start turning it off and turn on some good music instead. I'm hoping I can turn some stuff around with this move. Maybe only have basic cable in HI, though you can't have DVR with just basic, huh? Ah, dilemmas...
I'll be praying for you. That you can find your balance with this. I guess I'll be praying for me too.