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Saturday, April 14, 2012

I make strangers feel bad about themselves

Two friends of mine (K and A) were telling another friend of theirs (whom I've never met) about me and our farm and our kids.  They told her all the things I do and share here and on facebook.  And how she should meet me or at the very least, read this here blog.

Do you want to know what she said?  "I don't want to know her, she'll make me feel bad about myself!"

K told me this as a joke and at first I thought it was funny.  But the more I thought about it, the more it bugged me.  I certainly would NOT want that to happen and I'D feel bad if it did.

Then I gave a seminar on canning and one of the women raised her hand and asked if I slept at night.  Again, "ha ha ha".  But putting these two events together has given me some food for thought (and apparently an intense desire to cook with tortillas...)

So to those of you who think that I do too much or wonder how I sleep or whatever it is that you wonder, I'd like to share why strangers should not feel bad about themselves:

1.  I am not successful.  There you have it.  Whatever projections you have put on what you think my life is like, it is very much a work in progress.  God is gracious with me as I figure it out.

2.  My house, most days, is a disaster.  I love a clean, orderly home.  I crave it.  It brings order to my mind when I have order in my world.  I used to have it.  When I was single.  Then I married someone who does not crave "a place for everything and everything in its place".  He's more of a "leave it out so I can see it" kind of guy.  If you think this may have caused some strife, you would be correct.  And then we had three children in three years who managed to inherit this gene from their father.  So I live with a desire for neatness and order and four humans who live to work against me.  {insert sigh and head in hands here}  And then there comes a point when I can't take it anymore...But (and here's a grace part) I'm married to a man who knows when I've reached my limit on chaos and spent the entire day while I was at work yesterday cleaning the house with three children age three and under.  (Which, if you've ever attempted that feat, is second only to the parting of the Red Sea under the heading of "Miracles God has Wrought".)  Even the bathroom!  You cannot know the joy of walking into my picked-up house, I almost wept.

3.  I don't watch TV.  That will be hard for 99% of Americans to believe, but I don't.  When we got married (and then quickly pregnant) and decided that I would stay at home with the kids, one of the ways we cut expenses was to not have TV.  As someone who was a faithful TV watcher back in my wild single day (and all the other non-wild ones), this seemed a bit extreme.  But guess what?  After a month, I didn't miss it a bit!  And now, after almost 5 years, I really can't stand TV.  When I travel and flip on the hotel TV, there isn't anything that interests me except maybe the History channel or the Food Network.  You would be amazed at the money you save and time you have to do all the those things you've always wanted to do.  I've had people tell me, "Well, I don't watch that much TV.  Just a couple of shows."  Well, then that's a colossal waste of money for just a couple of shows.  And if you're watching enough TV to justify the expense, then that's a colossal waste of time.  That will be hard for 99% of Americans to swallow.  But the most often comment I get is:  "I don't know how you have the time to do all that you do!"  There it is.  That's the secret!
One of my favorite quotes is from H. Jackson Brown Jr.:

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

I can guarantee THEY weren't sitting in front of the television or playing on their iPad.

4.  As to the question of whether I sleep at night, you bet I do!  The only insomnia I have is a tiny red-haired person who sleeps in the next room and needs to eat every night at 2am.  Most evenings I don't do much.  I'm a morning person, so I get up and go and then crash after supper to read to the kids, play a game, snuggle on the couch before they go to bed.  Then I come downstairs and work on the computer for a while, blogging or farm bookwork or responding to emails.  I'm usually in bed by 10, read with Hubby for a bit, sharing good passages with each other.

5.  I love our farm!  I love gardening.  I love livestock.  I love cooking and baking.  I'm doing WHAT I love every day with the PEOPLE that I love.  If you can't say that, then change what you're doing and start doing what you love with the right people.  You can get a lot more accomplished in a day when you're motivations are right.  Just "puttin' in your time" and "cashin' checks" isn't the way to spend your life.

6.  When I come to the end of my life, I don't want to look back and say "I was always waiting for that big day".  EVERY DAY is a BIG DAY.  It's the only one I've got.  Ann Voskamp says, "Who am I to deserve another?"  Think about that for a minute.  That one will set you back on your heels and curb the "if onlys".  What if this is all you have?  Was the world a better place today because you were in it? I'm all for setting goals and having dreams and plans.  But we can't get so wrapped up in the future that we forget to live today, right here, right now.

7.  I'm married to my teammate and my best friend.  We work well together.  God certainly knew what He was doing when he brought us together.  If you don't feel that way about your mate, work on that.  Charles Stanley says, "If you're married, you're married to the right person."  Is it all sunshine and roses here on the farm?  Nope.  But as Hubby says, "There's no one I'd rather argue with than you!"

Well, there you have it.  Seven reasons why strangers shouldn't feel bad about themselves.


  1. I agree, I get the same question all the time... how do you do all this stuff? I wish I had the time... I always tell them, I make time to do what I love to do, just don't go in my bathroom.

    1. Yup! When people say "I don't have the time" or "I don't have the money", I just mentally add "for that" to the end. Life is a choice!


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