A Little Perspective Improves the View

Perspective can keep you moving in the right direction.  It’s kind of like a compass and if you aren’t worried about getting lost, it’s much easier to enjoy the view.

Abraham Lincoln said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

Roses and thorns word art watermark

Ouch!  That one pricks a little.  Actually it pricks alot…right to the heart of the matter.

If you have kids & you care anything about being a good parent, you know what a huge chunk of time parenting takes.  Feeding, washing faces and hands, changing diapers, teaching to share, teaching not to hit, teaching to trust God…and themselves, it’s all just a little overwhelming.  Add to that the desire to be a good wife and a good teacher, a successful business owner, a good friend, a faithful servant…you get the idea.  We all probably have a million things pulling us in a million different directions and it can get the best of you, you know?

I was at my breaking point a couple of weeks ago.  I work at home and homeschool my 4 kiddos, so they are always with me.  ALWAYS.  As of 10 days ago, I had not been away from my children for more than an hour or two in almost two years!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my little ones and we have so much fun together!  But no matter how well you raise them, kids are just inherently selfish and demanding…especially toddlers, which I have two of.

So, when my Sweet Hubby told me that we were going away for a long weekend last weekend to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, I was more than a little excited!  And, if I’m honest, just a little scared!  What if the grandparents didn’t watch the kids well enough and they got hurt; what if Hubby and I didn’t have anything to talk about…you get the idea.  But I made up my mind to go and relax and enjoy some much needed time away.  And that’s what we did!

Cabin WM15th Anniversary Pic B&W WM

And the kids were fine and Hubby and I realized that we do still like each other!  🙂  It was so good to remember what peace and quiet sounded like.  We sat on the porch swing of our little cabin and had morning coffee and listened to the birds sing.

Cups Swing

We walked the adorably quaint streets of Blowing Rock, visited a craft fair, and just enjoyed spending time with each other.  I came home feeling refreshed and with a new fire in my belly to be creative and really focus on making my little business all it could be.

Barn Climbing Us

And then we picked up the kids…and honestly, the noise that met us at the door was a little too much to handle!  I didn’t realize the chaos that is daily life until I was away from it for a few days and then coming back to it wasn’t easy.  It took me two full days to get used to the constant chatter of 4 children again.  Perspective.  Were they the roses on my thorn bushes or the thorns on my rose bushes?

I hate to admit it, but there are some days when I don’t get as much done as I had planned and it is just really hard to keep serving them with a joyful heart.  Again, they are my heart and I love each of them with all that I am, but I am human and I get tired.  I know you understand me here, don’t you mom?

Your frustration may come from never-ending laundry, or not enough time with friends, or constant crumbs and toys on the carpet, but mine comes from not enough time to work.  You see, it’s not work for me, it’s my passion.  I have BIG dreams for each of my businesses, but there are never enough hours in the day.  So I do what I can and make plans for a time when the kids are older and I am not so needed.  I feel guilty even as I type that.  Aren’t our kids supposed to be our whole world…the very reason we get out of bed in the morning when we would rather pull the covers up and block out the world?  I used to think so.  But I have realized that they will grow up and have their own lives all too soon, and remembering who I am as a person is good for everybody.  I am more than their mother.  But in the same breath they will grow up and move on all too soon, so I should cherish them while they are little.  It’s a two edged sword.  Are they your roses or your thorns? Some days, both.

Bottom line…it’s all in where you place your focus.  When I see my job as a wife, mother, and homeschool teacher in its true light as a high and worthy calling, I can feel fulfilled and know that I am making a difference in our world by raising the next generation.  When I place my focus on the other boutique owners and compare my business, products, followers, fans, sales, etc. to theirs, it is easy for the green eyed monster to rear its ugly head and to become jealous of their success.  It is frustrating to feel like I could be so much more “successful & productive” if only I had more time.  I don’t like saying that, but I think most of us struggle with wanting something that someone else has, whether it be their handbag or their house, or even their children.  I really have to remind myself often that most other people running a business from home do not have four kiddos underfoot and if they do, most are not homeschooling them, so they are able to work while they go off to school.  When I remember this, I am able to be a little easier on myself and enjoy life more.

My reality?  In the last 10 days we have celebrated our anniversary, our daughter’s 9th birthday, traveled to Blowing Rock & Greenville, NC, and Williamsburg, VA, dealt with 2 bloody noses in the car in the pouring rain, babysat for 2 kids not my own, taken my 2-year-old for an emergency hair cut after she cut her own hair with my scissors, completed 9 graphic design jobs, shipped 16 supply orders, researched homeschool curriculum for this school year, and my 8-year-old van finally died and left us stranded beside the road!

Bella 1st Haircut Grey Bday

And I beat myself up because the new style of boutique bow I started on almost 2 weeks ago isn’t finished and ready for listing in the shop yet.  Seriously?  In the grand scheme of things, how important is that bow laying on my worktable waiting for the finishing touches and perfect photo?

DSC_281 wm

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do and when I am making a new accessory, I am so excited to be doing what I love.  But, with a little perspective, it’s easy to see that the precious ones I have been entrusted with are to be one of my primary responsibilities, second only to serving God and being a helpmate for my Sweet Hubby.

Great Wolf

For me, perspective is the difference between joy and frustration.  Contentment and jealousy.  Thanksgiving and rebellion.  Oh, I’ll keep making bows, shopping for craft supplies for BuddyBelle, and helping fellow business owners with their graphic design because I LOVE doing those things and I am driven to be creative like a moth to a flame.  It’s who I am.  But I think I’m learning to go a little easier on myself when life gets a little crazy.  And thanks to some perspective, I am choosing to see my precious ones as really beautiful roses among the thorns.  They are a blessing directly from the Lord, and I am so blessed to be entrusted with them even if it feels like I am not as “productive” as I could be.  And productivity…well, that depends on what you are measuring it by.  My sweet ones are happy, healthy, and being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, so maybe I’m pretty productive after all!  😉

What about you?  What challenges do you tend to focus on as obstacles when, with a little change in perspective, they just might become huge blessings?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Now, here’s your Freebie!  Print your own copy of the Abe Lincoln word art above as a sweet reminder to keep everything in perspective!  🙂  Roses and thorns word art

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4 thoughts on “A Little Perspective Improves the View

  1. Christy, thanks so much for your writings. You are so right about perspective. I find myself having to regroup in this area constantly. I am a very focused person. To the point I can let things unconsciously pass by in a day that should have been taken care of. For instance, I’ll know its time for me to send out a birthday card or call a family member or friend and yet I get so focused on work that this day and the next day and the next gets away from me and before I know it, it’s to late for the birthday card and I fill to bad about letting that family member or friend down that I don’t even call. (That also can be the ostrich sticking his head in the ground and ignoring the issue). Anyway, I have to pull myself back into perspective and say that work will be there tomorrow and the next day. (Get my perspective in line and stop being so focused on something that someday will not even know my name let alone what I did.
    Thank you so much for your reminder that perspective should be a daily awareness and not when we realize we have gotten off on the wrong path.

    Until you write again,
    Mom

    • Thanks, Mom! It is hard to keep everything in perspective because sometimes the squeakiest wheel is not necessarily the thing that deserves the most attention. And with so many things vying for our attention, keeping the proper perspective is a daily challenge. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  2. I’ve been doing this for 9 years now…making plans for when the kids are older and they don’t NEED me so much. “So I do what I can and make plans for a time when the kids are older and I am not so needed.”
    I remember when I was at home with my daughter and you were still working. Knowing how badly you wanted to be home with your girls made me feel so ashamed at taking my opportunity for granted! On the other hand, it was so hard! So hard and yet I couldn’t explain to you how hard it was!
    Thank you for these words!
    A very smart friend of mine told me years ago that life is about balance but it’s the most difficult kind of balance because something is always shifting; what’s in balance today may be completely off balance tomorrow with the same effort.
    Life is a balance and sometimes we fall down.
    But as you said, perspective is a wonderful thing; in looking back on falls, we often realize what wonderful learning experiences they were and perhaps we weren’t as far of course as we thought at the time.
    I know you and I know you are a wonderful, patient Wife and Mother. Wonderful and patient in a way that I aspire to be.
    Go easy on yourself remembering that everyday His mercies are new 🙂
    ~Leslie~

    • Oh, Leslie, you brought tears to my eyes with your words. Thank you for your encouragement. And thank God that His mercies are new every morning!
      I love what you said about balance and that it is so hard because something is always shifting. That is a perfect way to describe it! About the time I think I have the balance figured out, something tilts and falls. I think all we really can do is learn from our mistakes and look to Him for guidance. And I know that one day we will have way too much time on our hands and will wish for those little demanding voices to come to us with their needs just one more time. The challenge is to live in the moment and enjoy the time…and that is something I am still learning to do. 🙂

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