10/9/08

Weaving Dreams with Conscious Decisions

Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious... yet they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. -Annas Nin



For dreams to be actualized, there needs to be proactivity in setting goals and laboring towards them. There also needs to be realization that we may never get to see the work of our hands accomplished. I suppose this becomes okay if we know there is more going on than what our eyes can see.


I did some dreaming while I was recovering and that was a good thing. God had some healing to do of sorts - body, mind, soul. Life had become so busy and loud and chaotic that I forgot what direction I was going in. Old Thoreau invited us to, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; to live the life you've imagined."

(On a side note, I confess that living the life I had imagined never involved so much stinkin' laundry. Nor a couple hours of cooking something barely edible. Nor cleaning up after a child who can effectively avalanche my plastic containers, pull a chair down on top of himself, and rub blueberry jelly into the carpet while I try to use the bathroom. )

But I diverge. Living the life I imagined also never involved so much laughter and so much content.

Anyway, now that I've stirred up the dreams, I've got some goals to identify, some work to do. I've got to put grit on vague notions. I've got to make conscious decisions every day so that I'm walking towards these dreams, living the life that God has written on my soul.

Some of this planning is a coming to grips. Like realizing that things aren't as they should be, that I am weak, and I am more than prone to leaving the path that God has set before me. The planning also hinges on the counsel of wise sages that I trust. And the companionship of good friends to push me higher or sometimes just bring me down a few notches. I need talks and tears and climbing walls and coffee shops. I need grace.

The following list is an incomplete slew of random conscious decisions that I am implementing. I've got to change some stuff round these parts. These choices are absurd and petty (and like, she struggles with that?) but I've got to write these somewhere and here's as good of a place as any. It's my way of tugging some dreams down into tangible pieces. Once these conscious decisions become habitual, I can focus on other stuff. Cause God knows, I got lots:).

1. Limit TV. I usually keep the Today's Show on in the morning, along with Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. Though the programs aren't bad in and of themselves, I've found that there is considerably more communication, creativity, spontaneity, and fun without the drone of the TV even on. Plus, I don't want the kids (or me) soaking up the advertisements.

2. Computer off at night. When the kids go to bed, I find myself relaxing by checking into a million things online. Most of it is unnecessary and steals away time with Paul. That's pretty lame, cause Paul jams and I'm sorry that I'm missing out on us together.

3. Zero use of credit card. We are climbing out of debt right now and have put a complete stop on the plastic. The little rewards they offer are so alluring. Ours was a US Airways credit card that earned us free tickets every now and again. The problem is that we couldn't control our impulse buying and we didn't live within our means. The bills that used to be paid in full started to soar. And we've realized that there is no freedom in debt when we are called to be free.


So that means we're cutting back and selling stuff and paying with cash only to get those bills down. It's becoming quite a fun game to see how much money I can make on Craig's List and to see how much I can whittle down our grocery bill. When I go to the grocery store with only $80 to spend, I only spend $80. How bout that. It's what we should've been doing all along but it feels good to have learned a lesson and to not let the want of more stranglehold us.


4. Limit on Starbucks drive-thru. Coffees are important to me, like really important. So I find it easy to justify $1.64 quite frequently and I often feel like I've earned it. I read a great article about entitlement recently and it hit me so hard, I just can't justify this expense any more (at least not when I could easily go home and brew a nice cup!) Now when I've got to hype things up at Gymboree for hours on end, it may be a different story.

5. Going to bed by 11:00. Right now I'm pushing 12 or 1 most nights and that sleep never gets made up. (Plus 7 hours is a gamble at night with Adden up indiscriminately!) I'm a better mom when I'm healthy and rested and fun.

6. Waking up before the kids. For years, I woke up at 4 to hang with God, exercise, and do housework. Since kids have come onto the scene, I can't get up before 8. They wake up running and I wake up dragging. The first thing they see is a groggy, "I can't believe you're up so early" disaster. It's so not a good thing.

7. Living a love for the word of God in front of our kids. I've always spent time with God while kids were napping since I need my solitude. While that's all well and good, I also want them to know how much I value the word of God. And they won't know that unless they see it. (Something I've heard reiterated at MOPS.) Inevitably, Selah will sit next to me and "translate" the Bible for herself ("God says ride in Daddy's car.") And Adden will destroy the house until he slams his hand in a drawer. Then he'll sit crying in my lap:) But, anything is worth a try...


8. Encouraging our students. While I was sick, I realized how much I loved youth ministry. I found myself shooting off emails and facebook stuff all over the place. And when I asked questions, the students answered. Some of them were so honest and forthright that I was humbled to be that transparent too. I confess that I hadn't been praying for them specifically by name before. Now I think about them constantly and know that I need to focus my efforts here. (Which means taking a break from other stuff.)

Well, these are the conscious decisions I'll be working on for the next 6 weeks. Is that how long it takes to make stuff a habit? I have no idea, but if you aren't hearing from me for a while, you'll know why.

Got any conscious decisions you're hammering out?

3 comments:

Marsha Marsha Marsha said...

Loved your list of decisions! I often have great ideas-- but if I don't act on them, they don't really make a difference do they?

I definitely need to work on going to bed sooner and getting up earlier! I always feel so productive when I get up before the kids, have my quiet time, actually eat breakfast and get my daily e-mail's out of the way.

Anonymous said...

You continue to inspire me...your list is my list pretty much to a tee! Why is it so hard to get up before the kids???? Maybe I'll try going to bed earlier...for starters! Great seeing you on Wed. Your kids were wonderful during the meeting! Hope you're feeling better! Kristin

hkudla said...

Now that I have read this....
I see that all my dreams start with the list that yours does...
A couple of the big ones... go to bed sooner... i.e. with my husband... 11pm at the latest when he is working the next morning (he does shift work) and 11pm whether he stays up or not...
Otherwise I won't be able to get up before the kids in the morning to spend my initial time with God...
Another thing... stay off the computer (except for getting music playing in the background) while the kids are up... it becomes... mom with back to the room, and kids getting into stuff or playing on their own while I am oblivious... if i don't put a nix on the computer except for certain times of the day... (to be scheduled, right now I don't know when... and once my hubby is in bed isn't right either!!!!)
That's the big stuff for me...
Time with God, off the computer more, into and out of bed earlier... then I will be more able to minister to my kids, and more able to hear from God when He is guiding me through things...
Thank you so much for sharing your life like you have...
God bless,
Heather

 

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