Friday, January 30, 2009

Confession and Comments

Good afternoon!

Ok, I have a confession. After I posted this morning that I wasn't going to do any crafting until the littles were in bed, I spent my hour of quiet time crafting today.

{Emily isn't taking much of a nap anymore, so we've instituted quiet time each day for one hour. She plays quietly in her room and I set the timer, when it goes off - she may get up.}

I forgot that my mother-in-law was taking the ladies out for the morning so got myself in high gear and tidied and cleaned up and got things looking much better! After having a tidy living room, clear dining room table, laundry caught up, ironing done - I decided to spend a little over an hour doing something crafty this afternoon.

Right before we went to Colorado, my friend Kelly brought me this neat kit:

Immediately, I thought it would be great for bringing a little Valentine color into my home. And, now that it is done - I still think it does! Tulips made out of crepe paper - they don't look completely real - but aren't tacky either.

Thanks for so many great comments today. Obviously this is an area that lots of us are growing in! I will look forward to learning together.

To those who mentioned that I haven't seemed "real" - I apologize for giving that impression. I have always made every effort to be completely honest here on my blog and to be the same person on screen and off.

There is one comment that stands out to me today. It is from my friend, Angie:

Even though we've never met, you give me the impression (through your posts) that you are terribly hard on yourself. I don't doubt that you/I need to focus on discipline. As children of God, we all strive to be more like him, which requires discipline. However, I bet you are doing so much better in prioritizing your days than you think right now. You are very intentional in your roles as wife, mother, and child of God. Perhaps you need to restructure your day so that certain things get done. But I can't imagine how discouraged you would feel if you drastically curtailed your crafting and creating. It is in your personality to create, usually with the purpose of blessing someone. I'm sure your littles will recall all of the family fun you created for them and forget (or not even realize) that the pantry was out of order.
I will pray for God to give you a plan and peace in your heart.

David agreed with every word as I was telling him about it over the phone today. I have always been a firm believer in doing my crafts or my blog as a way of being re-energized for the tasks of home and mothering. Yes, sometimes I let them become an escape. But I'm talking as a general rule here.

I think it is important for us to have things we enjoy - God is the one who made us the way we are with the talents and gifts He has given us. To not use them is to dishonor the way He made us. A couple of you mentioned the idea of balance in your comments as well and I think this is key.

After a full week of being fully devoted to my home and chores - I have learned quickly that I need to be able to do some creative and crafty things.

Another thing is that I am consistently very hard on myself. Several of you know this about me and a few more of you have just picked up on it here on my blog. I don't know how not to be that way. It can be good and bad at times.

I've been enjoying studying the idea of living with discipline in my quiet times this week and will be sharing more in the days ahead.

Have a great weekend!


Michele said...

I'd love to get together to discuss this with you sometime.

Anonymous said...

Girl, you did a much better job on the flowers than I could have done! I have a whole other pack of roses that I gave up on;)

Elaine said...

Angie is very wise. As an older woman I look back at busyness and unproductive guilt over crafting desires and I look around today at my tidy empty nest and a somewhat quenched creativity. Monica,in the months I have been visiting here I have seen you striving for balance and intentionality in all that you do and I am frequently awed by the child training that you are working through. Your children's faces show contentment and joy. I'm glad you stopped to make a joyful bouquet.

Trish said...

I have read your posts today and hope your "quiet time" was able to re-energize you. I'm one step ahead of you in the ages of my 5 children (6-16), and I see myself in your posts. Hang in there friend! Growth and correction is never easy...but oh so profitable. I'll be praying that you are able to identify things and activities that are in balance with your responsibilities...and that you'll identify those things BEFORE you are overwhelmed. I was so tempted to join your "clean swap" but had to let it go...until next time. Thankfully, His mercies are new every morning... Isn't He so good to us?

Jenny said...


One of the things I've noticed about you is that you have a passion for making things beautiful! As far as perfection goes, here's a good quote for you. I found it on my friend's blog:

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." -Jill Churchhill


RT said...

This post--and the comments preceding mine--made me smile. Praise God for the community of believers who *encourage* one another.

Anonymous said...

Monica, you must of posted this as I was commenting on your last post. I was really thinking how much I agreed with Angie. and I even reread her comment twice b/c without knowing you myself I agreed with what she said. I'm glad one of God's blessings for you today were with refreshment in a craft that brought some valentines color to your home filled with Love. Smiles, Angelia in TX

Me said...

I would like to say how impressed I am with all of the women who responded on the previous blog. All of you, including you Monica, are so faithful in wanting to be more Christ-like. I just know that He is smiling down upon you all. :)

And, to the lady (sorry, don’t remember your name) who works over 50 hours a week…You humbled me. I feel sorry for myself because I don’t “have time” to cook dinner much because I work out of the home. I get upset with myself because I don’t clean more, and I dislike how dirty my house is. I always seem to think, “Well, if I didn’t work out of the home like before, then I would be able to get (insert a myriad of things here) done. I don’t work nearly the amount of hours you have to work, so I have it easy and need to discipline myself. Thank you so much!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are doing a great job with your family. I read your blogs regularly through a reader.

I wish that I would be able to start crafting again. It has been on the backburner for a long time. It is on my goal list for this year though. Lately I have felt that my blog has been my only outlet.

Mary Ann said...

I agree with Angie. Very wise words. I've noticed too that you are very hard on yourself. I have that same problem, much to my husband's dismay.

I thought about this post while I was doing housework yesterday. I thought mostly about discipline but also about doing things that refresh us and relax us. It is good to have down time. I know by nap time I am exhausted and frazzled. So now I usually sit down and read a bit or do something that relaxes me. My husband has to encourage me to take down time as I feel guilty not working all the time. It needs to be kept in balance, of course, but for you at this stage of life, spending nap time a couple of times a week doing a craft may be just what you need to keep you going.

You mentioned that Emily no longer naps. My sister-in-law had three kids in just under 4 years. By the time the younger two were 1 and 2 or so, her oldest daughter no longer napped. She used nap time as a time for her and her daughter to spend time together. Some days they did crafts or just cooked dinner or baked a treat together. The house was still quiet and her daughter spent some of the time quietly reading or resting but most days she helped her mom with something,too. My sister-in-law loves to stamp and make cards and that's something her daughter would do along side her.

Just thought I'd share my two cents worth. :-)

Mom2Drew said...

Oh, that is awesome! What a beautiful craft and where did you get the fabric that's underneath? i love that.

Karen said...

I don't have any great words of wisdome but I want to thank you for sharing your life with us, Monica. I love reading your blog (and looking at the great pictures) and you also inspire me to challenge myself and seek what God would have me to do.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My daughter fights perfectionism all the time and she is quite hard on herself. I remember one of her teachers in elementary school saying Stephanie needs to learn that anything worth doing is worth doing BADLY at times. I had to think on that one for awhile. :)

I truly believe we need to create because we are made in the image of a Creative God. Some are just more obvious about their creativity but everyone has it, or at least they should.

Every time you create something, you are showing worship to the Creator of all things.

Jessica said...

Just wanted to send you a hug and some smiles!

becka said...

Dear Monica,
I don't have much to add that is nearly as eloquent as some of the previous commenters. I truly enjoy reading your blog and can tell from your posts that you desire to honor the Lord in your marriage, child rearing, and homemaking.
As some have commented previously, this is not the season of your life for too much perfectionism. One thing that I read years ago that has helped me was to evaluate the situation. For example if there is a spot on the kitchen floor I tend to think I must mop the entire kitchen. If I stop to evaluate--does the entire kitchen need mopping, or could I just wipe up the spot with a damp cloth? Sometimes we place burdens on ourselves because of our perfectionistic tendancies.
One of my favorite books is The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. She reminds us that God created us to enjoy beauty and to enjoy creating things and we can express our creativity through and in our homes in the every day tasks of life such as cooking, sewing, decorating, story telling, etc. This book has blessed me and I have given several copies to others as gifts.
I think your creativity is a great gift from the Lord and hope you will continue to develop it.

Amrita said...

Just love the tulips made with crepe paer. they are so unique

Anonymous said...

Wow I missed a whole bunch by not checking over the weekend. Well you know where I stand on this issue! the commenter was right on. LOVE the tulips and I think they def. bring some vday cheer.

A Dusty Frame said...

I'm glad that you figured this out:)
When I read that, I felt badly for you. I love to create too and I think there are certain people who NEED to be creative.

I never thought you portrayed yourself as "able to do it all", but thank you for being honest:)


Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide said...

The flowers are so lovely. i am sure it gave you great
pleasure creating them. We all must allow ourselves a little time as often as possible for some creativity.

~Babychaser~ said...

I appreciate your words here, as I too am quite hard on myself. Something that has encouraged me in recent weeks came from a sermon my pastor gave at the beginning of January that hit me. The passage was in Romans and says that we are not condemned who are in Christ Jesus. So often I condemn myself, making it impossible for me to see/feel/experience the grace given to my by my Lord and my husband (who constantly tries to remind me that he doesn't think badly of me.) I hope this encouraged you as well!

GranthamLynn said...

I have been away because I don't have internet but I was touched by the comment you posted and I wanted to let you know I agree. I come over and visit you a lot and I am always Blessed by your blog. You Bless many including those right there with you. BTW the flowers are lovely and I love what you said about them.
Thanks for sharing your heart.