Stephanie and I were chatting this past week and she was sharing her attempts to organize her home so it is not such a mess. However, with two busy adults, five children to homeschool, and a new puppy it seems messes are inevitable.
I told her I'm surprised (although I shouldn't be) at the change in my days which occurred with her brother getting married. Each person in the home takes attention, time and work, even when the last child at home is an adult.
Now, suddenly... I have far less laundry to do! There is less picking up, less cleaning up, less cooking. Which results in more discretionary hours.
I've been thinking and praying and pondering about how to use this newly found pleasant gift of free time. I'm on a quest for new goals and challenges, those which all can be achieved within the fence line of my property and within the walls of my home.
Life's challenges may have made small my world as I find it impossible to do much traveling (so visiting Jerusalem or Tuscany is nixed) and I get tired too easily to hike the Appalachian Trail. I can't do anything which requires a major financial investment.
However, for the first time since I can remember... I have time to do stuff... time to think and ponder... time to create.
One would think when you have extra hours for the first time since you left your teens (I married ten days after turning twenty) then a chorus of ideas would be singing in your brain, having waited all these years to be birthed.
Instead what I feel is... hesitation, fear, apprehension, memories of failure, and replays of voices telling me I can't. Even annoyance with myself is manifested for "giving up" or "setting aside" because I'd be really good at... "fill in the blanks" by now if I hadn't.
So what am I doing about it? Being a pondering type of person, I've been doing a lot of thinking and making of lists and praying. Some things I've already set aside (I gave a friend the knitting needles I've been collecting from thrift stores) and others I've decided to take up again after all these years (I bought a few crochet hooks cheap at WalMart).
I want to ignite former passions, those I gave up due to the voices I listened to at the time (mine and others).
I gave up crochet before I became really good at it as a teenager and replaced it with counted cross stitch and needlepoint because both came easily to me. I gave up painting long before graduating from high school due to an evil art teacher (I shudder when I think of her all these years later).
I gave up quilting and making folk art when we entered years of trials resulting in one move after another, deciding not to unpack my supplies... or even my sewing machine... for a decade. I just became too spiritually and emotionally exhausted and concentrated on becoming creative in the kitchen with a tight budget. After all, we had to eat.
Now with the hands-on child rearing and homeschooling years behind me (how fast that happened!), I want to revisit those choices and dust off some old skills... even if it means standing up to fear and apprehension.
My prayer for you today is to do the same, whether you are fifteen or thirty or fifty or seventy or ninety or one hundred years old. Look at that which you've been putting off, either taking up for the first time or that which you set aside at one time in your life.
Pray about it and if God gives you peace to go forward... enter with full abandonment and the knowledge that the only way you fail is if you never do it at all.