"You are not a Victim.
To your children.
To your home.
I wrote that in my journal two years ago, because sometimes it feels like I am.
When the house is falling apart, and the kids are popcorn whining, and baby stole every drop of sleep from my eyes.
I start to wonder if my husband's quietness is bent on making me hopelessly consumed with what's going on inside his head.
I haven't worked out for two weeks, and I have a dozen thank you notes to write, and I truly feel like all I do is pick up the same toys and make the same meals all. day. long.
That's the truth. But only part of it.
Because you see, I am not a victim.
To my environment.
To my work.
To my family.
The problem with being victimized, is that it drives us away from an attitude of thankfulness.
We feel victimized by our BLESSINGS, the good things God gave us.
You know the Israelites? The people that are always whining and complaining when God took them out of SLAVERY? The ones he FED, and PROTECTED, and led to the PROMISED LAND? He gave them the very things they asked for, and yet they complained about them.
How humbling it is to see that same hypocrisy in my own life--to realize I am complaining about the things I once asked God for.
Some of this can stem from what we subconsciously believe about these blessings.
Maybe, instead of seeing our children as God's REWARD to us. (Psalm 127:3), we have been immersed in a culture that says they are a burden to be relieved of only after they turn 18.
Yet Psalm 113 lists a woman keeping her house and birthing babies in a powerful list of gracious and marvelous works the Lord has done!
Maybe, like our sister Eve, we have started listening to the convincing lies of the deceiver. Skewing our perspective of the man in our lives to think he is someone that adds to our work. One of the children. Just another mouth you have to feed, and clean up after and goodness, even share a bed with.
Instead of treasuring our marriage as the gift of a teammate and lover and best friend.
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4)
There are times our environments are straight up hard. There's a time to cry out to the Lord in desperation, to cast our cares on him.
But are these seasons of desperation and grieving, or are they the pattern of our life?
There is a straight up practical side to this. And I do love the practical.
Mrs. Proverbs 31 was praised because she created an environment where her children could thrive, her husband was respected, and her community was blessed.
Her environment was restful and productive. She didn't throw in the towel to overwhelm, she was faithful to grow in the work God called her to.
Practical Tip Time.
What is your prime mover?
The Prime Mover in your life is something that has the biggest impact in exchange for the least amount of effort.
Think a rudder on a ship. It's relatively a small piece to that gigantic ol' boat. But we adjust it just a little bit, and over time we will end up on a drastically different course.
When we were living in a 27 foot fifth wheel with three kids in the pouring rain, I was morning sick nauseous, throwing up in those janky little toilets every day and could NOT keep any aspect of my life together.
My Prime Mover was spending time with God.
Now, as a believer in Christ, the overarching Prime Mover of my life is Jesus. If my focus on him diminishes, or my mind gets distracted from the Giver of Life, every thing else falls apart.
But in this season, it was my singular focus. All I could muster up was sitting in the yard or the trailer during the rains, and straight up read God's Word for 2-3 hours while my children played or ate the Cherrios I threw at them.
Was I Miss P.31 during that time? Meals on the table, cupboards organized, schedule flowing smoothly? No. And no, again.
But that was the ONE thing that kept me from sinking below the mental waves. The one thing that kept me loving my husband and children, and my only goal each day.
(Yes. I still felt victimized by the rain. I still do, two years later.)
If you are in a season of more bandwidth, I like to go a step further and break down my Prime Mover's into categories.
My Current Prime Movers (they give 80% of the impact with 20% of the effort).
Marriage: Physical Intimacy, Love languages
Restful Home: In hard seasons I can't do everything at once, so I asked my husband to identify one thing that makes our home feel restful. He said the laundry being done. For me, it's the living room.
Children: Eye contact. No technology in the room.
Take ONE area.
1. Identify the pain points
2. Create a system or method for creating momentum and peace in that area
3. Get REALLY GOOD at it.
For instance, when I determined my living room was always going to be clean and restful, I stopped keeping toys in that space, I only have two throw pillows, and the children and I tidy after every meal.
For everything we feel victimized by (yes, I suppose even living in the rain)
there is someone out there doing it well.
We can be the architects of our environments!
Our goal in identifying our Prime Movers and working towards them, is not so we can be wonder woman (although let's be real, that would be fantastic.)
But because God calls us to spirits of joy. Thankfulness. And hearts of gratitude.
He placed a woman at the heart of a home for a reason, and it's a beautiful responsibility we get to live into -- a beautiful role we get to grow into.
A lot of things we do as mothers are not going to be praised by the world's empty standards. But I have tasted what incredible, rich, fulfillment and blessing comes when we lean into the work God has placed before us, and there is nothing sweeter.
If you feel like a victim, I have been there too. Let's start by thanking God for the abundant gifts he has poured out in our lives.
Learning with you,
If you are looking to create more systems that simplify your home, check out Katie's Free Masterclass to learn her top three tips for creating a peacefully productive home!
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