Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Don't Want It All

I had a conversation with a friend today. She is struggling with working in the office full time, home schooling her 3 older children, taking care of her youngest (which is a year old) and managing her home. She cried out of frustration and wished she could do something to change the situation.

I can totally relate. Even though I work out of my home, it still can be as demanding and time sucking as being in the office. So much so.....I had to quit.

This world tells you that you can have it all. You can have a career, family, wealth, whatever it is that you desire, if you work hard enough for it. I'm here to say..... I don't want it all. I want to be at home with my children and have them not compete with me while I am working at the computer.

All. the. time.

I want to be able to sit down and enjoy dinner with my family. I want to draw and color with my boys, sit with them on the couch and read to them (that's the only time my youngest is ever quiet *insert snicker*) It would be nice if I didn't have to fight managing the work calls whilst scrubbing the toilet. I have a colleague that gets a kick out of what I do when I talk to him on the phone.

There are things you desire that are truly good things. Time with my family would be a good. Managing my home well would be another. There are, however; things you shouldn't spend all your time chasing. Is it worth working all the extra hours for the income you are making? Is your income paying for things you absolutely need, or want out of convenience? Are you sacrificing time with your little ones to fulfill a desire that's self-centered or selfish?

I don't need all the newest and coolest clothes, gadgets and things I convince myself I "need". I don't have to have the nicest house and the best car... why are we all trying so hard to hold onto things that will burn in the end anyway? None of these things will ever satisfy. They may, for a season; but something else will come along that grabs your attention and you will justify why you need it.

Let's be honest with eachother. Even when we pursue having it all, most of the time we cannot manage things as well as we'd like. If you work outside the home, you may feel guilty that you don't get to spend time with your children enough. Your entire Saturday is dedicated to cleaning and making up for not being home. Laundry and dishes pile up and you feel overwhelmed. I am not telling anyone they shouldn't work outside the home, I understand people sometimes have no choice and depend on the extra income. I work as well, so I am not against it. When you work from your home, you could be frustrated that there are unfinished things around the house and yard that get neglected. You could feel the sting of guilt when your little ones are dropping books on your lap when you are in the middle of a conference call and you need to work. You could get overwhelmed at the amount of housework that needs to be done and you still have at least 3 more hours of work left for the day.

I told one of my friends I was stretched too thin and I couldn't handle it anymore, hence the quitting. Her response cracked me up! "Oh! I always WONDERED how you did it! I thought to myself, maybe she doesn't cook much!" I laughed with her... she hit the nail on the head. That's one of the first things that go when I work. I have no time to make meals from scratch when I am juggling my day. I prepare what I can, but don't have the time I wished I did. Each day is different, so there can be no schedule. My managers are available when they are available and I have to take the calls when they come in or I will end up on the phone with them past 9 pm.

My situation might be different than yours, as my struggles, but I feel there is a commonality with all situations.

Our eyes are not on eternity. They are on temporal things. We are tripping over ourselves to attain a lifestyle most of us cannot afford. What makes us think we deserve so much, anyway?

I for one, strive to live simply. I don't want to be a slave to what the culture tells me I need to be. My most important role is being a Christian. Then a wife, then a mother. I need to learn to die to the part of myself that convinces me I should sacrifice all that I hold dear for a material desire. My husband and I sat down and discussed what I as missing with the children and realized the extra income didn't help as much as it hindered. Not to mention the government wants me to pay a third of what I made back to them; so I didn't even make what I originally thought I did anyway.

I am sure you weighed the options as well and found may reasons why it was good to make the extra money. We also had the best intentions. We just didn't like where it put us as a family. You may have weighed it out and found it different. That's okay, I'm just wanting to be real to myself.

The only place I can honestly have it all....is with Jesus. He is all sufficient. He satisfies. If I am going to spend any time trying to get it all....it will be with Him. Because when He is the center of your universe, the things of this world grow strangely dim....... and your perspective is right, because it's His.

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