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Losing & Finding Myself

I’ve tried to write this post many times.  It just seems to be a tough one to write.  One that could be misunderstood, but I kept coming back to it, so I’m just going for it.

I get a lot of e-mail.  Some people need help with paint or furniture or a room.  Some have comments or stories to share.  I love them all, but my very favorite are the e-mails from women who are sharing how their creativity has been “awakened” through reading my blog.

We are a society that defines someone by what they do.  When you’re a stay-at-home mom, what you do is laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, dropping kids off, picking kids up, picking toys up, putting kids in time-out, taking the trash out, filling the water dispenser, emptying the dishwasher…and on it goes.  Day after day.

Now, I will stop here to insert that I find great joy in homemaking and motherhood as a whole.  I guess I could do without the laundry and cleaning toilets, but I really love it and am blessed to have two fun little boys, a supportive husband and a great home to care for.  There came a time, though, when I was sitting on my sofa with a 4 month old and an almost two year old and I felt really lost.

Again, I am going to clarify that I wasn’t lost in who I was as a person, a wife and mom.  I just felt like I had pushed all of my hobbies and dreams and goals on the back burner and I was lost in a sea of laundry and dishes and diapers.  I know a lot of moms feel like this at some point.

When my family encouraged me to start my business almost three years ago, we all thought it would be a nice way to contribute to the family budget.  I had no idea it would awaken my creativity, resourcefulness and confidence.  I didn’t know it would give me something I really craved…work that could be finished.  I could paint a piece of furniture and stand back and look at it in its glorious doneness.  It’s hard to do that after you empty the dishwasher and put dirty ones from the sink right back in.

God used my business and this work to pull me up out of my wallowing-in-the-house-all-day-in-sweats-with-two-babies-funk.  I had a happy life, and now it’s even better.  I guess the best way I can say it is that I had a good cup of tea, but now it’s overflowing onto the saucer and spilling all over the floor.  Some days I feel like I could burst with excitement and ideas and possibilities.

I want to encourage all of you…those who are feeling isolated, tired and lost.  Those who once loved to do things, but now all you do  is “the routine.”  Stop churning and start doing.  If you love to cycle, buy one of those buggy things and haul your kids around town, so you can cycle.  Or join a gym with child care and take some spinning classes (which I think are total torture.)  If you love to decorate, don’t shut that down because the jump-a-roo is an obnoxious eyesore in your family room and you’re losing the battle with Cheerios and Goldfish.  Maybe claim just one room as your creative playground.

I really think that this isn’t about the superficial action of doing a hobby, it’s about using your God-given gifts and talents.  It’s about setting an example for your children and inspiring them to pursue their dreams and goals.

The funny thing is, even though I’m now a business owner, blogger, antique dealer, and writer, when people ask me what I do, I still say I’m a stay-at-home mom.  My title hasn’t changed, but what I do day in and day out has.

 







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Comments

  1. Now this is an oldie post but one that the Lord has lead me to..I wrote in my inspiration journal yesterday> “I felt the Lord say, share you desire Angela.

    To stay home full time. to be a blessing. Have my business Free Spirit Haven, “helping you make your house a home” be at home (for now) opening it up to the world (through internet, open houses, etc). Having work shops, open houses, ministering on the internet, you tube. Being on HGTV or TLC or OWN. Being able to help my family financially and bless everyone.”…..blessings dear sister and thank you for sharing your heart with us all.

  2. Oh boy, the angels are working tonight! I haven’t been to your blog in years (sorry!) and for some reason I decided to pull you up and saw this post. Forgot how similar we are (2 kiddos, in PA). I’m at the very place you write about: 7 years of staying home and I’m desperate to get out of the house and work. do I get a certificate in decorating/design/staging? do another house/home -related job; ditch my blog or step it up and make money? I think I have a good brand going but would like to expand to a broader market. What to do…. thanks for your honesty in your post and for letting me vent!

  3. I was in a bit of a funk since my Dad passed-away two years ago… and the anticipation/anxiety that next Fall I’ll become an ‘empty nester’ with my two young adult kids both in college! I had my epiphany about a month ago – and your most recent post [writing a book] and following your dream has also provided the encouragement that ALL is possible with hard work and desire! Thank you and continued best wishes!

  4. Thank you for this encouraging post. I’m older than you, different stage of life but am in process of change. Major change as Dave, my husband, passed away. God is now my protector and provider and, I truly believe, He’s using all manners to encourage me in my new life. Including your blog which will now come by e-mail.
    TMI but here goes anyway -smile-…I’m away from home and the farm, taking the first year anniversary of Dave’s death to ponder, consider, pray for direction, guidance, encouragement. God is faithful and has provided, time and time again.
    When I return home, it’s with the knowledge the direction I’m going in is His will. Again, thank you so much for this post of encouragement; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

  5. Joanie Ellis says:

    Hi, Just wanted to say, I loved your post (and your website and blog) I am older and in a different part of my life, but have been praying for direction and since reading your blog on being lost and finding yourself, I feel like God led me here for a reason. I do work full time, but have been pondering with my creative talents and yearn so much to do more and share more about things I create. In reading your blog I realize, that I should go forward and not backwards (and squash my creative talents) and that even if it is only a small start, because of lack of time, to do what I can when I can. Thank you for story, you have no idea how much this has meant to me.
    An answer to prayer……………………blessings to you and your family……..

  6. Melanie says:

    Thank you so much for this piece.

    I have been drowning in the dreaded state of “funk” intermittently for some time.

    Reading your “about losing and finding myself” this morning .. was the tonic I needed.

    Kudos and gratitude!

  7. Emily says:

    Thank you for this post. I recently found your website via Pinterest. The Lord lead me to this post. I was crying to my husband about exactly when you wrote about the previous morning. He was not understanding the problem. I read this and it brought tears to my eyes and uplifted my soul. You wrote so perfectly what I was feeling but unable to express. Thank you for sharing your heart

  8. Theresa says:

    I just came across this through a link you posted today 7-13-13. First of all, I felt like you were talking directly to ME. Especially the part where you said it was something you could Finish. My babies are almost grown now, 18, 16 & 14, but the job is still not finished … I doubt it will ever be! And in the mundane day in day out of raising them, I swallowed the creative urges and did for my family. Reading your blog and Kristen’s Blue Egg Brown Nest has made me come alive. I honestly feel reborn. I felt blessed being able to raise my girls and be a stay at home mom, but being able to still be there for my girls, do something that I LOVE and bring in a little money on the side is more than I ever hoped for.

    So THANK YOU MMS for giving us moms the courage and the confidence to say … sure! I can do that!! And for giving us inspiration on your blogs and through your words. I’ve only sold 2 pieces so far, I work out of my garage, but its something. If it grows, great! If it doesn’t, thats fine too. I know I can take someones give away and make it beautiful and I Know this because of you. <3

  9. Kathy says:

    …….”I want to encourage all of you…those who are feeling isolated, tired and lost. Those who once loved to do things, but now all you do is “the routine.” Stop churning and start doing.” By reading the replies I think this post was universal. It crosses over to any woman no matter her age or stage of life. The replies are heartfelt and sincere, and stir an awaking in the crossroads of life. Bravo MMS!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I received some amazing e-mails a couple of days ago in response to my “Overwhelmed” post.  Women wanted to share their stories with me and while all of the stories are different, the idea was the same.  They were churning through life and finally got tired of it.  (I shared my own tired-of-churning experience in my post about losing & finding myself.) [...]

  2. [...] Miss Mustard Seed’s Losing & Finding Myself. [...]

  3. [...]  I just focused on my blog, freelance and retail work.  In August 2011, I wrote a post about losing & finding myself.  It had nothing to do with the possible book.  I just wanted to share what was on my heart and [...]

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