Wow, now that I have to write only about mundane things, I have a lot more to say!!! Huh.
A couple years ago I went to a nursing conference in Phoenix with one of my friends from work. Every night as we relaxed in our hotel room we cracked up at the number of times this commercial came on for Pillow Pets. I can still sing the jingle. After three nights of listening to the Pillow Pets jingle and seeing the rapturous joy the Pillow Pets apparently impart (how's that for subtle alliteration), I was duly convinced that I needed one myself. I'm sure you've seen them. They're these stuffed animals who, when folded, have "legs" and when you unvelcro the "legs" - voila!! - they become a soft little pillow!!
Anyway, I bought Levi a giraffe Pillow Pet for Christmas. It's actually a Pillow Pet Pee-Wee - so a smaller version of one. It will fit perfectly in his mini crib. In our mini house. Anyway, I showed it to him when I found it at Meijer and he wanted to snuggle it (he coos and buries his face in stuffed animals), so we had a winner. And sadly, we won't wait till Christmas to give it to him. He's too little to know the difference, so he may as well enjoy it.
Well guess who's snuggling with the Pillow Pet now? Me. I really don't want to give it up. It's really, really, really soft and cozy. And to think that Nancy and I laughed and scoffed at the Pillow Pet commercial two years ago.
Anyway, about a month ago I had written in my little spiral notebook of randomness (prayers, thoughts, Bible verses, Bible study notes), What are my priorities and what is my purpose for today?? One thing that's really been challenging me over the past year is that tension - and I mean tension - of what's important, in what areas should we serve, in what places do we need to step down, how much is too much, how little is too little...and what it always comes down to for me is Proverbs 31:27 - How does this fit into looking well to the ways of my household?
One paradox of working in the Special Care Nursery at work is, from those who look in from the outside (proverbially, though we do have windows and people DO peer in from the outside), it often looks like we're doing nothing. From their point of view, we're sitting at our computers, actually DOING something with the baby every few hours, and then going back to our computers. What I always tell nursing students is that one of the best nursing interventions is to leave. the baby. alone. That is how a preemie is allowed to grow and develop. Me fussing with them to be busy and feel like I'm doing something is actually detrimental to the very person I'm trying to serve.
It applies at home too. The more Matt and I do, the busier we are, the more stuff we're involved in and the more we say 'yes' to people...the more our home suffers. There are weeks that we just spin...it happens about once a month or every other month...and then I get frustrated and shut the household down. It looks like we're doing nothing - the calendar squares are fairly empty, and saying no to people makes me feel guilty and silly, but in doing nothing we're doing something very significant, something that prompted us to make the decision to cut back my hours at work, to serve this very purpose: to allow the best environment for Levi to grow and develop and thrive. To keep a consistent nap routine. To follow his own quiet (or not so quiet at times) rhythm. It might seem a bit much but we have one little lamb and we're guarding the gate.
But still, guilt creeps in, and I have to keep reminding myself what our priorities are and what they're supposed to be...and what IS looking well to the way of my household? So I have to turn back to my page in my journal from a month ago and refresh:
1. To serve and glorify God, and tend to my relationship with Him. I NEED to carve out that time in the day - right when Levi goes down for his first nap, before I dive into housework.
2. To serve my husband and tend to my relationship with him. Whether or not Levi recites his letters or knows his colors before the other kids isn't the point; he needs to grow in a stable home where the marriage is a priority.
3. To serve Levi. Play with him, feed him, teach him, sing to him, read to him, provide structure and rest. He CAN play alone too. Teaching him to play alone and not need my constant attention is important too!!
4. Take care of my home. Things are washed, food is prepared, and things are reasonably in order and welcoming.
5. Tend to others. Encourage and serve them. But they cannot come before the other 3-4 things!
It looks easy on paper but is so hard to apply when you feel like it's better to do-do-do.
But sometimes NOT doing is what we SHOULD be doing.
It's still such a tension though, isn't it???