Sometimes I let our family business drag me down - both when it is really busy or when it is really slow - I have nothing left to give because of being stretched too thin - my own health needs and meeting my children's needs (oh yes, I have a husband too) - don't get the energy they deserve. It is this lacking that has weighed me down these last months.
Is this business really what God wants me to be doing NOW (Oh dear God I pray did you forget how I love being a homemaker and homesteader and creative crafter/artist?) Can I really keep going trying to do it all but none of it as well as I could.
Perhaps I just put too much pressure on myself. When the business is slow I worry about ways to get more business. When the business is busy, I simply can't be the mother or wife I want to be as I spend hours wood burning, packaging and on the computer interacting with customers.
On the other hand, the business has provided us with a good income. Living up here in northern Vermont, even being college educated (which really is pretty useless up here unless you are in the education or medical fields) means that if my husband was to find a job outside our home, he would probably only earn $8 - 12/hour. So, I have to remind myself that I am contributing to our family's living.
Perhaps it is because it is winter, I find myself feeling more isolated than ever. Yes, I love our home, and don't need to get out all that much, but I crave more interaction with other people. I find myself becoming discontent with our little rustic cottage four miles down a dirt road. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to walk to the store, the library, the post office? Actually see other human beings in addition to my own sweet family? How does God want us to live? How can I live my life radically for Christ when I so rarely come into contact with others? (maybe blogging is one avenue I can count for this?)
Then, I remind myself that our children are the future and that by presenting them with God's love through me (which is sometimes not one I want them to emulate - me that is - as I fail repeatedly, but I want our children to know that through the grace of God I am forgiven and they too will be) yet I strive to live with Jesus in me - this is most important.
Right now I have a lot of roles to tackle in one day and how I handle the added responsibilities is also what matters. Do I do it gracefully? Or do I complain? Am I grateful for the business or do I grumble? They are watching me and learning from me (for better or worse) each and every second. Am I an example of God's love, working on dyeing to myself each and every minute - or am I presenting myself as selfish and discontent?
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes -
"Christ says, 'Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out.' "