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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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