I Am No Longer A Machine

I realized something today as I was standing in front of my oven, carefully placing eight dinosaur chicken nuggets in a row on a pan.   Both my children were at the kitchen table, happily playing with crayons and blocks.  It was almost noon on a Monday.  It was at this moment it dawned on me that I am no longer a machine.

See as I was standing there, joy in my heart, gazing over their work – encouraging them, helping them, laughing with them – I felt a pang in my stomach.  A knot of anxiety jabbed me deep in my gut.  I knew what it was telling me, why it had graced me with it’s disgusting presence.  I wasn’t producing anything for it.  I wasn’t doing anything that could be formulated into a spreadsheet to display my progress or lack thereof.

At a previous corporate position I held, we had “Our Numbers”.  Or at least, that is what we called them in our department.  I’m certain this report had an official name, something like quarterly summery progress report, I suppose.  To the people in my department though, it was the still small voice in the part of our brains – not stemming from the Spirit – but stemming from Corporate America.  It was the voice that reminded us time is money.  It reminded us that we were nothing more than the production we put out.  It reminded us that in order to get a raise, which on a good year would equal half of the cost of living increase, was determined by the outcome of “Our Numbers”.

There is joy in hard work, company loyalty, and work ethic – all of which I like to think I possess.  There is also a time for simply living in the moment.  We were not built to be machines.  We were built to create, procreate, and honor the earth we were given.

I spent almost 45 minutes with Isaac this morning doing two things; trying to get him to say “shoe” and playfully helping him pull his shoe on his foot.  I spent 45 minutes with my child in which the worth of my time could not be determined.  I spent 45 minutes in which I did not produce and no client could be billed for my time.  Isaac will likely not be putting shoes on by himself anytime soon. And when he does say “shoe”, it could have been the exact same day he would have learned this word if I had not spent those 45 minutes working with him on it.

My worth is no longer determined by my production.  It is not determined by numbers, graphs, or progress reports.  My worth, in my home, with my children, is the level at which I am able to love them … a worth that cannot be broken down and analyzed.  The deep longing I have always had to stay at home with my children, is to be given the opportunity to simply love on them more hours of the day.  I am here to love them.  Nothing I do, or don’t do, short of loving them is going to change that.

I am no longer a machine … and this will take some getting used to.

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I gave up writing for Lent

Well, that’s a lie.  I didn’t give up writing for lent, and although it hasn’t been a full 40 days of blogging silence, I do feel like it’s been too long.  I feel like I’m breaking some sort of silence.  I’m on a type of journey; undergoing the change from working 9-5, to now being a stay at home mom with two young children.  I have always worked a 9-5 type job, and this life change has brought on waves of emotions I wasn’t expecting.  At times, I’m overjoyed.  At other times, I’m depressed.  I haven’t been writing.  I haven’t been writing because I feel confused about what it is I should be doing.  It’s as if I got lost somewhere between 2 months ago and today; like I was on a path, going in a direction, thinking this change was part of the plan, and now that I’m here I feel like I’m lost.

This sense of being lost is scary.  The challenges of being a stay at home mom are …. intense.  I keep having flash backs of conversations I’ve had over the years with stay at home moms – conversations about their day to day lives, about the difficulty of the job.  During these conversations, at best, I was unable to relate; at worst, I just plain did not understand.  But here I am, understanding completely.  I’m starving for a conversation that doesn’t include the topics of mac n cheese, SpongeBob, or bathroom humor.  I feel isolated, and yet I feel like I’m constantly running circles … the to-do list that is constantly growing, a child in need of something else, or a mess that needs to be cleaned.  I can’t seem to find one moment to pick up the phone to talk to a friend.  I feel guilty for not talking to my friends more.  I love the opportunity to be home with my kids, but love it or not, I’m struggling.

It so much more than the busy, the isolation, and the challenges.  I’m also struggling to change the way I view myself.  I can’t seem to lay a finger on my new role and this bothers me.  I like to have a clear vision for my goals, my tasks, and my responsibilities.  And I am still working through how each of these things should now look.

Then there is the silence in my writing.  So many things have contributed to this … sadly, none of the reasons are a lack of things to say.  I just feel lost here as well.  Writing with two small children, who are always in need of something, is near impossible for me.  Is blogging still helping me?  Am I still connecting with others?  Is it part of this new role for me?  Does it matter either way … does anyone care but me?  Probably not.  I do still believe that God cares though.  I am not doubting His plan for me, or that He has one.  I am not doubting that the plan has always been there, and is still in progress.  But there are times in your life where you can see so clearly, and you feel confidence in knowing where He is taking you.  There are also times that you are just moving forward.  Right now, I am just moving forward.

I feel lost without the clarity I possessed throughout the last year.  I feel too often like I’m letting others down, doing too little of the right things, and too many of the wrong things.  These emotional tugs drag me through depression, and that has never been a fun place for me.  I have been praying for clarity to return, and I will continue to seek Him.  I’m going to push through my fears of anxious blogging, and keep writing.  I’m going to remember back a year ago, and take my own advice to show myself grace.  I’m not going to give up.  I’m going to move forward.  I’m going to seek peace.