Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Voice...

I'm a stay-at-home Mom and I love it. I'm thankful God has allowed me to be home with our children. I know this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing and there's peace in that, but one of the things I've been struggling with over the past few months is this little voice in my head. It's saying things like: "Am I doing enough with Amelia?" "Is she bored??" "She needs to be around other children on a regular basis." "Should I put her in MDO??" "What about Little Gym??" "Art classes would be good!!"

Bless Alex's heart, I'm sure he's tired of me talking about these things and he has been so patient with me as I have prayed and talked and talked and prayed and finally realized what God has been trying to tell me in all of this.

I'm a homebody and really enjoy just being here at the house with Amelia. We can go a full week without going anywhere. That's why a tank of gas will last over 2 weeks in my car. I have zero desire to fill up a calendar with social events for my 2 year old. I'm not huge on regular play dates, not that there's anything wrong with them, I just don't like to commit to being at play dates twice a week or even once a week. We have commitments to our church twice a week and she gets to play with other children at that time, but "the voice" came to a point of really getting on my nerves and I needed to take care of it.

I've looked into taking her to The Little Gym or to art classes or to ballet and everything I've looked into tells me she's too young. Three years old seems to be the age all that starts. Little Gym takes younger kiddos but the parent has to be right there and able to run and chase them.

I'm 8 weeks from having a baby - no one wants to see me chasing after my toddler right now.

After reading THIS BLOG, which has been such a blessing to me as a pastor's wife, I realized that there's nothing wrong with spending more time at home. There's nothing wrong with my child not being involved in numerous activities outside of the home. There's nothing wrong with just being still. Being quiet.

God's Word actually encourages it.

I say to Amelia a lot, "be still." I say this because I'm trying to get her to be still long enough for me to speak to her and her actually hear what I'm saying.

I've always said that I have my most meaningful conversations with my Heavenly Father when I'm in the car or in the shower...times that I have to be still. Those quiet moments where Dora the Explorer isn't in the background...Amelia isn't saying, "Mommy, I want jello!" phone isn't computer isn't in front of my face...and on and on and on.

It's so easy to look at others and feel like I'm not doing enough with my child. I'm not keeping her busy enough. Truth is, I don't want to keep her busy for the sake of saying our calendar is full, or to give myself a certain amount of "free-time" every day. She really needs time with me and her Daddy more than anyone else right now. The next 16-18 years are some important ones and though I do hope to see my little girls in a sweet tutu and ballet shoes someday, bi-weekly play dates, ballet classes, and mothers-day-out are not what will shape my children into what I pray they will be one day.

Young women who can be still.
Young women who can be quiet.
Young women who can hear God and truly KNOW WHO HE IS.
Young women who could care less what the world says is important.
Young women who are sold out for Jesus and make others want what they have in HIM.

That's what I pray over Amelia and Sydney.

And it's my and Alex's job to teach them these things - no one else's.

I have a hard enough time hearing others and being attentive in my relationships above all the noise that every day life brings. I sure can't hear my Heavenly Father if I'm always on the go. If I'm never in His Word. If I'm never still/quiet enough to know exactly what He's telling me to do - telling me what not to do - telling me what to say - telling me what NOT to say.

I love where she says:
"Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity, and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, “Be still and know that I am God,” and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence."

"Life is in the silence because God is there. If we will just listen."

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
-John 16:6

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
-Psalm 46:10

I don't ever want to get to a point of constant wishing for more hours in a day because I've filled mine to the max. God knew exactly how many hours I need in my day to accomplish what truly needs to be accomplished.

I'm thankful to say...the voice is gone.

Love to all,


Heather said...

Your posts always say exactly what I need to hear! I know that sounds really crazy, but we have been SO busy lately and I sometimes need to hear that it is 'okay' to be still and say NO! Thanks for being so openly honest in your posts!

I was awarded the Liebster award for mommy blogs! I have passed to you! I LOVE reading your blog!

Immeasurably More Mama said...

I'm with you on this one. Our boys are 4 and 2 (almost) and they don't participate in many activities outside our home. No MDO, preschool, sports, etc...and I'm okay with that. I like quiet, too. :)

Christi said...

Amen Jill.. I have three awesome children ages 11.5, 9 and 7. My oldest went to preschool at 4 solely because I thought it would help him with a speech issue to add tonwhat I was doing at home. At first we said no preschool. It did help his need. So of course his sisters went earlier just because they asked to. I wanted to scream no but they loved the 4 hours a weekly eventually. They re older now and the calendar fills up quickly with. 3 school aged kids even with limited activities so I am thankful for our Be still days...yesterday was one. It's one of my favorite verses and one we all need to remember. Amelia loves her time with you. I wish I could be more of a homebody but sometimes I Ned to leave these 4 walls.

Momx6 said...

I am proud to be your Momma. Keep listening....

Joannah said...

I feel the same way! I see how busy my students are, and I swear I am not going to fill up our time like that. There was space in my childhood - time to play at home and in the neighborhood. Busyness just makes me stressed.

oliviasmommy07 said...

I have been in this place and still struggle with it even though Olivia is getting older. I always felt guilty because I wasn't doing as much as the mom next to me. When we did go to playgroup it was more like 1x every other month and not weekly. Was I shorting her of experiences because I would rather spend time at home with her? Although she is in preschool now, I still need the reminder that "being still" is not only okay but GOOD! So thank you for this post and for this reminder!

Lauren said...

You are an amazing Mom and Amelia is SO lucky to have you!!!! :)

Faith said...

Love this. And, how precious was your Mom's comment - so sweet!!!

Sarah said...

Oh Jill i just loved this post!!! Seriously it could not have come at a better time. I have had so many family members and friends hounding me over my kids being home all the time but we love it. My kids, my oldest was born the same exact day as Amelia and I have a 4 month old, have a good time at home... we read, we play, we do projects, we sing, we dance, we have quality time with each other everyday.

Ashley said...

You are such an encouragement to me. I love every post you write-your sweet family and your heart for the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing! I need to remember this myself.

Cheryl said...

Love this post! With the arrival of baby #2, I will be staying home. I am thrilled but have already been thinking, what is the right balance of activities and enjoying my time at home with these precious girls. Pretty soon they will have to go to school and staying at home all day will not be an option. Your post helped me to realize it's ok to be a home body. They will learn all they need to know from their mommy and daddy. Thanks for sharing! Cheryl

Sara said...

This post is so true! Thank you for sharing. I was about to sign my son up for Tumblebus at daycare when my husband quickly reminded me he does enough everyday at school and does not need another activity. So true! There will be many years when our kiddos are older that will be busy with activities, hopefully ones that are truly passionate about and enjoy!

Ashley Ferguson said...

Thank you for this post, I constantly wonder if we are "doing" enough with our 10 month old, and your words were really what I needed to hear today.

Susy said...

I have been meaning to comment on this post since I first read I am. You always know just what to say. I struggle with getting out more and experiencing the city, but in my heart I know I'm a homebody and I enjoy the quiet days I spend with my husband relaxing at home. I think the same will be true when we have children. I'm not one for lots of activities and things that fill up our days. I'm content to do an art project at the kitchen table and cook dinner. Thank you for reminding me that is perfectly fine. We are all different, and there is no need to try to keep up with everyone else's schedules. Keep it up!

Mazzy said...

This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your heart. This is a TOUGH one for mommies and I agree that too much noise in life is just TOO MUCH! L is in MDO solely because of the fact I work about 15 hours a week from home and I need the time she's away to do that. But if I weren't? She'd be here with me, too. I think people forget small children only get 5 years before SCHOOL! SPORTS! FRIENDS! take over their lives. Five years is simply NOTHING at all in the grand scheme of things. Those are precious years mothers need to treasure and savor, especially if given the opportunity to be at home with them. They'll be little socialites for the rest of their lives!