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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

In My Burrow:

One of my recent watercolour paintings.
@mjsymesart
I haven’t written a blog post in around two months and recently I began to ponder as to why…

You see I love connecting with others via this blog but I also don’t want to just write for the sake of posting, and well, I just haven’t been inspired to write. This has been somewhat different for me, as for around five years I don’t think there’s been a month go by without a post.

But since the beginning of this year I’ve been in a season of ‘being in my burrow’.

A season of laying low, recharging, and focusing upon caring for my kits, and for this I make no apology…I’ve come to realise I’ve really needed it, and that’s okay.

After our wedding a year ago, I found I was quite run-down and by the end of last year I was really exhausted. You see, although I had been a single parent of three children for five years, technically I had really been single parenting for over a decade, as my ex-husband worked far away.

Fifteen years of parenting, caring, cooking, cleaning, disciplining, teaching, along with obtaining a degree and working in ministry full-time for two years while single takes a lot from someone…

But throughout the difficult journey of single parenting The Lord had promised me through scripture a new, permanent and beautiful home, where we could rest, and He has done just that!

Although I knew I needed rest when I resigned from chaplaincy at the end of last year to home-school the boys, it’s only now, feeling more recharged that I’m able to see more fully what The Lord was providing me. When you’re used to being quite active it can be difficult to comprehend ‘enforced rest’. Being a ‘doer’ it’s sometimes really hard to let go, rest, and relax, but sometimes circumstances and seasons force us to for our own good.

So since the beginning of this year I’ve been home schooling the boys again, and working at helping us all gel as a family, and to be completely honest, this has pretty much all I’ve been able to handle…even with the terrific help from hubby.

Blending people into a new family takes love, boundaries, patience and time. Even for myself. Simply accepting my new hubby’s loving help, although readily welcomed, actually took an adjustment, as I was so used to doing it alone and therefore struggled with some false guilt.

Over the last six months I’ve been able to recharge, safely and securely in the comfort of my own burrow. My kits have been able to feel security and comfort in a new and permanent way.

Our new home has been a sanctuary The Lord has provided us with for our wellbeing.

Praise Him.

There’s still been many challenges but we’ve been able to deal with them better as we haven’t been so ‘stretched and thin’ – If you know what I mean.

It seems so often that people today are ‘stretched and thin’ in their lives, and I’m contemplating that it’s not only the adult who suffers…the children often suffer too.

Like the mother who is so run down her breast milk is no longer sufficient for her child, so our children suffer when we run ourselves thin trying to ‘have it all’.

Why do so many of us women feel guilty today when we stay home and mother our children when they’re over the age of say ten? I think we know the answer, yet this is not intended to be a blaming blog so I won’t go there.

I just want to say I am so thankful to The Lord for the rest He’s enabled.

I am seeing the benefits and this is wonderful confirmation to combat the negative, self-doubting thoughts I’ve had, just as we all can have.

All of us here are now more settled than we’ve ever been, and our stress levels are much, much, lower, and although money has sometimes been challenging, these benefit are something money can’t buy!

In my burrow I’ve found myself away from much of what’s going on outside my door…So sometimes I’ve felt guilty. Yet the refreshment of less pressure and also less drama has been a welcomed change.

Yet there’s been plenty of times where I felt I should be doing more for others. Serving more. Giving more. Just more, more, more.

I have found in life, oftentimes, less haste, selfishness, drama and consumerism always produces a better quality of life for everyone. So I just continue to let go of the negative thoughts.

In reality we were in need, and The Lord provided. Our change in circumstances led to an ‘enforced rest’ where I’ve been able to focus solely on taking care of us and I’m beginning to really feel the benefits.

Now it’s not like I wasn’t taking care of us before…it’s just that I needed to slow right down and do only this for a season.

Sometimes in life we feel so much pressure to ‘have it all’ and we often foolishly compare our lives to others who seem to have it so. We beat ourselves up on the inside for feeling ‘less than’. We run ourselves thin and can become angry and this can result in us becoming bitter towards others, as we are so exhausted and in need.

But if only we gave ourselves permission to be deemed ‘lazy’ or ‘needy’ in the eyes of those who don’t know…maybe then both us and our families would be much better off.

More money and new activities aren’t always the right answer.

A home cooked meal is more comforting than an expensive take-away one.

A clean home is more comforting and nurturing than a constantly untidy one.

An available parent is more comforting and helpful than Kids-help-line.

A peaceful and loving wife is more god-honouring than an exhausted and stressed one.

I know some couples who seem to be a ‘power-house’ from what they post online…And honestly there have been times when I’ve compared myself and felt inadequate. I have felt my family wasn’t ‘as good’. But this is a tactic from the enemy to keep us from loving better. Busyness is a problem today…striving for worldly stuff is not the answer…loving Jesus and others (including ourselves) as He does, is.

Jesus was the most selfless, humble, unassuming person to ever live here on earth but he also practiced good self-care by often spending time alone and recharging. He went away from the crowds and prayed. He also said of Mary, compared to her busy and stressed-out sister Martha that she had chosen better.

Yet what we don’t always think about is how doing this benefits others. Jesus practiced self-care so that He was able to continuing ministering to others. Mary wasn’t the one who was ‘snappy’, it was her busy-busy sister, Martha. We need to take care of ourselves so we can be healthy for our families.

We NEED rest and worship.

Rest and worship can take different forms for different people.

Over the past six months I have been spending time in my burrow loving my kids but also painting.

Painting for me is calming and relaxing and also produces much thankfulness in my heart towards The Lord.

So this is what I’ve been doing and why I haven’t posted for a while…

Less drama, less stress, less activity, less haste…Less is more…

More peace, more love, more time, more joy…Less is more.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you for my burrow and your love for us.