The last few years have been difficult for me. My hormones seemed to be doing the Hokey Poky non stop. I longed to get out of the city and get a little farm somewhere. The longing was so great that there were days driving through huge concrete construction zones seemed more than I could bear. And I spend a lot of time everyday doing just that. Raging hormones triggered anxiety which then kicked into overdrive while driving my school bus. After all, I am driving many precious children in a very expensive piece of machinery all of which are my responsibility. And I am not mechanically inclined! Prayers have become a tumultuous river as I daily (or often enough, minute by minute) ask for all that I need to live each day joyfully. But, joy has been elusive. Guilt has not. After all, God has been raining down blessings on us, so how can I possibly not be filled with joy every minute of the day?! A lovely home, great family, good friends, a job, a place to garden, a greenhouse, the ability to go out for dinner once in a while, or to visit my sisters, honestly, the list just goes on and on and when I think of how many people in the world are suffering, I feel ashamed that I have been struggling the way I have. None the less, I have been struggling and the time has come to make some real changes around here.
I’m starting with a mission statement for me. There have been lots of posts around blog land on coming up with a mission statement for your family. I thought long and hard about this, but I just couldn’t seem to come up with anything that worked.
The I reread this text: Philippians 4 verses 4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Now I have been trying to memorize verse 8 and 9 off and on for the past year and somehow it just wouldn’t stick but when I reread it again it hit me that there couldn’t be a better mission statement for me.
Then I happened across this blog post and it really made sense to me as a way to go forward this year.
Do fewer things. Do them better.
Some of you may know this will be easier said than done for me! I tend to think big. It isn’t always a good thing. . .
So these are the few things. . . Growing food and flowers. Cooking and preserving as much local food as possible. Read. Have adventures. Love my family and friends.
This year I am going to be where God places me and doing the things he sets before me, focusing on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
So here’s the first step. . . I’m retiring as a bus driver at the end of the year. As Jesse is graduating in June we will no longer have tuition payments and that gives me the ability to retire. I will likely find some type of paid part time work (so Henry and I can continue to enjoy our hobbies and have the odd adventure together) and at the moment I’m leaning towards waitressing a few nights a week. I’ve done it before and I rather enjoy it. If I can find work in a good restaurant I may also pick up some new recipes which would fit right into my goals for the year.
* When I was telling the boys about the plan, Morgan exclaimed that waitressing was a great idea! He felt I should try Denny’s or Albert’s. What?! Those are pancake restaurants! I was thinking more along the lines of Joey’s or Moxies. He looked at me with pity, shook his head and said ” Mom you’re old! You have to be hot to work there! You could try though. . . .” Thankfully the girls had a different opinion! We’ll have to see who’s right. . .
Now I’m off to bed. Tomorrow my friend Nicole is coming over and we’re going to celebrate her birthday. My first adventure. . .