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The Shoulds

I haven't blogged in over a month.  I thought about it.  I thought "I should blog."  But I didn't want to.  Well, I wanted to a little.  But mostly, I thought I should.

So, as you may have noticed, I didn't.

Grace was here for a visit (it's not her fault).  And at church one morning a friend of mine made a comment about school and homework.  You know what I said. . ."So why don't you home school?"  Her answer is the one I always hear.  "Oh, I could never do that.  I am not disciplined enough.  You have to be really self-disciplined to home school."  LOL.  Umm.  No, you don't.

So I turned to Grace, who knows me super well - and I asked her "Would you say that I am disciplined?"  She thought about it for a minute and then she said, "Paisley is very good at not doing anything she doesn't want to do."

I took it as the compliment that she meant it to be.

How often do the people around us (I'm talking grownups) complain about all they have to do in their lives that they don't want to do?  They are depressed and unhappy about what they "Should" do.  And, in effect, we have a belief as a society that this is at the core of what being a grownup is all about - doing the things we don't want to do because we believe we should do them.

School is very effective at teaching people to do what they Should do instead of what they Want to do.  And once we are thoroughly convinced that this is the job of all grownups to do the shoulds, we can go one of two ways:  regress into being a child forever (35 year olds that still live with their parents) or buck up and make ourselves do the things we think we should and be unhappy about it.

I am working out a third way for myself.  It is neither lacking in responsibility, nor is it characterized by unhappiness.

Passion is something that cannot be mustered.  But it can be encouraged.  I want to live out of my happiest, most passionate self.  I want to pursue joy and time with God.  I want to make my life a walk with my creator that invites others to meet Him, too.

So, I haven't been writing lately.  But I wanted to today.  Usually, I have a rule that I don't write on Sundays.  But today I am sick, and I felt like writing.  What a rebel!!

I am enjoying watching my kids learn about the world and about God and themselves because they want to learn.  They want to interact with the information.  They are excited about it.  They will remember it.  They will want to share it.

Are you doing life because you want to today?  Or because you think you should?  What would you do differently if you only did what you want?

I've been working on listening to God.  The other day I was stressing.  I have a friend, newly diagnosed with cancer whom I wanted to see.  I also was late for a homeschool event.  And I'd promised to take the kids to Target.  I could feel the stress in my neck and shoulders.  I took a moment and sat down to pray.  "God" I asked "What do you want me to do today?"

"Tend you garden."  Was what I heard.  I have a garden.  It is in need of tending.  But, really, with all that was on my list of things to do?  Drop everything and weed?

"But it's cold outside."  I complained.

Then I asked again.  "God, I am trusting that I will hear from you and no one else.  What do you want me to do today?"

"Rest."  He said.

Ugh!!  I thought.  But I promised the kids I'd go to Target.  And the homeschool group is expecting me, and. . . and. . ."  All shoulds.  Hmm.

So, I asked him again.  "Are you saying I should stay home today, and rest and weed?  Or are you saying that I should go with a restful spirit?"

"Whatever you do today, rest while you do it."  Aha!!  Rest while you do it.  There is a concept.

So off we went.  Slowly.  No rush.  Resting through the day.  Savoring it.  Enjoying it.

And there was a moment at a friend's house while I was sitting drinking Chai Tea where I saw though the kitchen window - she and her husband pulling weeds from their garden.  Chuckle.

The garden still needs weeding.  And I came down sick the next day.  Guess I really should have rested more.  The point is that I rested through the day and enjoyed it, instead of stressing.

Wish you were here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best articles I've read in a long time. Good Gravy Girl. You hold your tongue -to store up great posts! Oh how I wish I could let those moms know, really know, how great my life is. I love that line - "she very good at not doing anything she doesn't want to do." And then Let me live to Hear and Trust what God wants me to do. :)

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