Lately, life has been getting to me. There's always so much to do, and as soon as I do it it seems to be un-done. It's the life of a wife and mom... bellies get fed and then hungry just hours later. Dishes get washed and then dirtied. Floors get swept and then covered in crumbs in what seems like minutes. Clothes get washed and hung and ironed... and then dirty and wrinkled. It's easy to feel like you're never getting anywhere.
I guess that's why I feel the drive to create. To scrapbook, to sew, to make things that last. Sure, nothing is forever. Everything in this world will one day be destroyed, so we're to focus on treasure in heaven ultimately. But, sometimes it helps to be able to point to something and say, "I made that!" Maybe it's why I take so many pictures... to capture the fleeting moments, to help them last.
So a few weeks ago I decided it would be project week. Ryan was great with it (he encourages my creativity) and so we planned no dinner guests and I let the dust remain just a little longer and planned simpler meals. But Saturday rolled around, and I'd never even touched the sewing machine a friend is letting me borrow. Instead, Hadassah started to walk and I spent days preventing tumbles and calming tears when they did happen. And you know? It's worth it. I may not have anything concrete to show for it, but I'm seeing a little one grow from helpless to walking in the course of a year. It's pretty amazing. But that itch to create something beautiful that lasts? It's always present.
Don't get me wrong. I love being a wife and mom and I truly often enjoy the more "mundane" housework and cooking. I want to focus on finding joy in that. So one morning as I was chopping vegetables for soup, wanting to get through it so I could maybe move on to more creative stuff, it struck me:
It's beautiful. Sure, it won't last. It got all stirred together, the color faded, and it filled our bellies nicely. But, there are moments like these in the everyday work if I just take a minute to notice. It was a great reminder.
But... I still have a million ideas for projects I want to do. I'm realizing that creative drive will always be a part of me, though there are seasons (such as this one) where I can't follow through on many of them.
My husband, though, didn't let me be a mommy martyr and sigh that I just couldn't do them right now. He listened to me, brainstormed with me, and offered a solution: Monday evenings.
We'd go out to dinner. I balked at this. I like everything to be homemade, as it's healthier, cheaper, and I DO like to cook! But, it takes time. Not only to prepare, but it makes lots of dishes to do, often after Hadassah's in bed. But Ryan convinced me this was worth it. And... it was. :)
This hole-in-the-wall, no fuss place, though? They know what they're doing!
Hadassah approves of the noodles, of course. ;)
As do we! They're freshly made there, thick and delicious, and the longest I've ever seen!
The owners are Muslim, from the north of China, and I've decided I really like their type of food! People often ask the difference between Chinese food in America and the stuff here, and one of the differences is that most places, the staple meat is pork. Here, because it's Muslim, there isn't any pork, just delicious beef, chicken, and lamb!
This is only our first week to try the Monday night thing, but it was such a blessing. It gave me motivation to do chores in the morning, and Hadassah had a long afternoon nap to allow me to work on a project then, as well as after supper while Ryan took her on a walk, read her stories, and gave her a bath. He is blessing me so much. And in the process, blessing others, as often the projects I work on are gifts for others.
So, I'm learning. Learning I really can't do it all, learning when I need to ask for help, and to allow others to help me. Eating out, though not my first choice (though delicious!), makes me a better wife and mom in the long run. Do I NEED this time? No. We can all learn through dying to self and our desires. But, when we're able to make it work, it does help. Being creative in this way does something to my brain that makes me just more uplifted and joyful. Time away from the never ending duties gives me new energy to tackle them again.
Thank you, Lord, for creativity. Continue to show me how to use it well, to bless others for Your glory. And where time for projects doesn't exist, help me still be joyful and find beauty in the everyday.