Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reality Check

Question: Do you ever read blogs and wonder "How in the world do they get all that done AND manage a family and/or career?"

"Duck Family"
B.E. Interiors Photography
 I don't know about you, but I am very driven and self-motivated. I'm one of those people who could have easily been a hard-core, tunnel vision, work-aholic career woman. I had my eyes set on big goals and was determined to make them happen. Then reality slapped me in the face. I spent a ton of money and time headed toward making all my career dreams come true figuring somehow I would fit a family in with it, because I wanted that as well.

Everyone has different limitations. The key is knowing what they are and paying attention to them! I loved my career and did a good job balancing it and marriage. Then came kids. After one year of trying to balance a career with being a Godly mother/wife, I realized I had to pay heed to my limitations or I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I simply couldn't bring myself to do anything half-hearted and being a perfectionist meant I went way above the call of duty. That all equals extreme stress. There weren't enough hours in the day for me to do my job the way I wanted to and be the mommy and wife I wanted to be. So, something had to give. I kicked the career to the curb and hung up my dress clothes to become a stay-at-home mommy/wife. I've never looked back. It's the best thing I ever did, although it took a while to adjust. Now, I'm not saying you can't have a career and be a good mom/wife. I just couldn't have MY career and be the mommy and wife God wanted me to be. I wouldn't trade the years I've had at home with my boys for the world!
"Magnolia Center"
B.E. Interiors Photography
What you don't realize when you first become a mom is how fast that time flies by. Seems like just yesterday my oldest was laying in my arms in the hospital and I was staring at this little bundle of joy trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I was actually a MOMMY!! I blinked my eyes and he's playing sports (really playing), becoming interested in girls and starting to ask questions that my standard response for is, "Ask Daddy. He's a guy. I think he's probably better qualified to answer that!".

That leads to where I am today. I've started this new chapter of blogging and using my God-given skills to make an income of sorts. Just because you take time off to raise a family, doesn't mean you have to give up your goals and dreams. They just may change or need to wait a little while, like mine have. I've got my eyes on totally different things now and I'm excitedly pursuing them, but with a lot of prayer.

So, how do "they" get all that done? Trust me, I don't care what anyone says, it's a tough balance, but worth it if you enjoy what you're doing. I sit and read other blogs and start to get all down on myself about how long it takes me to do things compared to...who?! An imaginary ideal that is easy to believe lives in Blog Land? I KNOW I'm not alone in this. I've been down the working mom path, and was blessed enough to be able to give it up... for a reason. God is opening new doors, ones that will work better with a family, but I still have to keep my priorities straight.

"Magnolia Center 2"
B. E. Interiors Photography

Sometimes, the grass can seem greener on the other side. What I mean by that is, when you read a blog, you only see the good. NO one wants to tell you what kind of headaches they deal with or how crunched they are for time. It's all Rosy. Truth be told, that's what we like to read. But, don't loose perspective and beat yourself up if you're not living up to this "ideal". No one is really. Something gives, one way or another.

God really laid this conviction on me and the need to share it as I had my quiet time today. I read about how God was upset with Eli, even though he'd devoted his whole life to God and his service, because he'd neglected his own household. Here is the verse I read and what my Bible had in the comment section below:

"For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them." 1 Samuel 3:13

Comment on 3:13 (NIV Life Application Bible):
"Eli had spent his entire life in the service to God. His responsibility was to oversee all the worship in Israel. But in pursuing this great mission he neglected the responsibilities in his own home. Don't let your desire to do God's work [using your skills and talents] cause you to neglect your family. If you do, your mission may degenerate into a quest for personal importance, and your family will suffer the consequences of your neglect."

My paraphrase: If you put God and your family first, you will be successful and prosperous (God's version of success - the kind that brings happiness, joy and peace...not necessarily earthly recognition) and your family will be blessed beyond measure!

"Magnolia Beauty"
B.E. Interiors Photography

My challenge to you and myself is this:
Use your skills and enjoy your blogging/hobbies/job/career/etc., but keep God and your family the center of your life (in that order). They are too precious to make second priority or rush through. Take time for your spouse and enjoy their company. Cherish every minute of the time you have with your children, because it'll be gone before you know it. God made you with a purpose...with skills and talents. Put them to use and enjoy them, but don't lose perspective of what truly matters.


  1. You have shared your heart and touched mine . . . thank you!

  2. Thanks for sharing that. It is easy to take things for granted some days. I've had to remind myself, almost physically at times, how much I always wanted children and to enjoy these years, if not hectic, because they do go by faster than we can blink. When the kids holler, "Come tuck me in" or "Will you read me a story", etc. I try and drop what I am doing and go and do just that. After all, when they are 9, 7, and almost 6, they won't be asking much longer and then I'll wish they did. :-) Having a family is truly a blessing and putting God and that family first is essential to a happy life.

    "Thank you Lord Jesus for all the blessings you've given me. For my children, family and life. May I use it for your glory and daily give You the praise you deserve."


  3. Great post and photos. I don't think I could have been a blogger when I was working and raising kids. I have more time now being an empty nester. This keeps me from getting bored like I use to.

  4. Beautifully said!! May blessings continue to rain down upon you.

  5. You have hit the nail square on the head with this post. It is one I have mulled over too. I am an empty nester -of sorts- but I work in a large hospital in a stressful job. My hubby works there too. When I am NOT with my grandkids and/or cleaning or crafting I have been blogging. That being said, it does have its place in my life though.

    I think there are many women who BECOME their blog-it is how they identify themselves. It gives them a sense of purpose and keeps them connected to a world that is beyond their back door.

    I hope that I am always able to keep blogging in its place. I don't want to paint a chair five times just so I have something to show...not that there is anything wrong with that-but it just isn't me. I like to connect to PEOPLE...and not so much to ITEMS, if that makes sense.

    I like you, kiddo- you are a voice of reality in the sometimes convoluted world of blogging! Amen! Diana

    ps..enjoy your kids while you can-they will be dumping grandkids off on your doorstep before you know it (and you will love THAT too-I promise)...

  6. Can I just readers are amazing! I get nervous when God says, "Do a post on this", but I'm learning not to argue with "the man upstairs"! You all are just continuous encouragement and more confirmation that I'm still heading in the direction He wants me to go in:) Blessings to you all.

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