The Blackburn Fun Fair was going on this past weekend and Saturday night they had fireworks! I love fireworks. We are perfectly poised in our apartment to watch them.
We are all managing well with the looming move. We have boxes, friends are coming to our rescue with packing material and more boxes (thank you!) and I started packing books this past week. It’s a lot of organising that we need to do.
Sunday night (of course, the night we were recording our podcast Hot Cup of Ministry) Spencer had a really rough night. I witnessed a hard little white tooth at the back on his right…looks like it may be his first molar, though it’s hard to tell. Between the teething and some really nasty gas pains to which he would be uncontrollably screaming from (though we didn’t realise what was going on until he’d pass gas and be fine for awhile…thank goodness for oval!), none of us had much sleep. Boo. We managed fairly well today, surprisingly.
Challenges. I was talking with a friend of mine, Corinne, today about life. Corinne is one of the people I’ve met who has changed the way I look at motherhood. For the first number of months after Spencer was born it felt very much like I was hanging onto strands to survive. The first 3 months, nearly all mothers seem to say, are the hardest adjustment. Even after that I was finding it hard to be intentional about motherhood. While there are many things that come naturally, I was starting to feel that being a mother was like having another chore to do. I imagine I probably would have continued this attitude for who knows how long, but Corinne invited me to a mom’s group she was starting the fall after Spencer arrived, which contributed to a change in attitude for me.
It was through this group and through watching Corinne interact with her children and how she described her approach to motherhood that I saw something in her approach that was more life-giving than how I was experiencing it. It was more than doing just what was needed. It was being creative on the journey and finding new expressions of oneself in the role of a mother. This is how I’ve started to try to view this role; I am calling it intentional motherhood. It may not sound right in this image, but just as in marriage where it is a continual choice to love your spouse, it’s the same with children. It is continually my choice how I express that love and in what ways it can be expressed. Some days it’s all I can do not to yell and get angry. Some days it’s going dog hunting. Some days it’s in the playfulness of bouncing on the bed. Some days it’s handing Spencer to Andy and saying, ‘It’s your turn.’ One way or another, it is intentional.
This slow and gradual learning has shaped the way in which I want to make our home. It has changed (and is still changing) my convenience attitude. The way I experience a ‘convenience attitude’ is when I grocery shop and don’t look at labels. When I purchase many items when one will do. When I don’t plan my time appropriately and need to have ‘instant’ meals. Ultimately at the root of this attitude is materialism. I have started to notice trends in my behaviour that embody materialism to those around me. The way in which items are so disposable to me is shameful, so I have been working to alter myself slowly so that I can provide a better home in which to raise my child.
I want to work at making a home. I could use the term home-making, but I feel that term has gathered about it negative stereotypes. It is, essentially, what intentionality is about. Some of you know of my ventures into this already – I’m experimenting with sewing, I’ve taken up knitting again, we make our food (primarily) from scratch, I make our own laundry detergent. My next step is making my own body care products (soap, shampoo, conditioner, baby bum cream, lotions, etc).
I feel as if I’ve found a goal that I want to work towards and while the end result is a bit terrifying to imagine at this point in our lives, all these small steps are leading us, my family, towards intentionally making our home a healthy place. I had not realised how much materialism had seeped into my life and how much it can take away from the values that I want to embody, especially to Spencer. A popular term that describes what we’re working towards is ‘living simply.’ Choosing a simple life. Choosing simplicity is one of the biggest challenges that my family and I face today, and I’m realising I’m not up to snuff on practicing this choice intentionally.
On my list of eventual things to do is grow much of our own produce, buy from local farmers, buy organic, and buy local. To imagine doing this in all parts of our lives right now is overwhelming. I’m glad that I have people like Corinne to look at an be inspired to live one intentional step at a time. To thrive in intentional motherhood.
What goal are you working towards intentionally, one day at a time?
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Very unhappy he couldn’t reach his truck.
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