Do you have fun? ever?
I keep getting asked a lot when I paint. How I find the time. The truth is, I haven't found much of anything when I go looking for time. Time slipped out the door quietly when I had Anna Ruth and hasn't been seen around these parts since. I have been painting though by the way. I have two new canvases sitting in the craft room, ready to show you. I just haven't had the....time. That word again. But I'm painting canvases, enough to fill a shop "someday". I'm reading through the e-course on creative businesses and learning. So much learning right now. I'm painting and learning and will open an Etsy shop (most likely) to sell original canvases and prints in the future. Possibly adding other painted items (like bookmarks) later on.
It's struck me as odd several times lately though how backwards society seems to view this motherhood thing. For me, I generally write about rosy things because that's my thing....focusing on the "rosy in the routine". That's a great gig to play but what about when the gig's up, the fun's over? I've noticed when I'm real and transparent on Instagram people do one of two things-they either greatly appreciate my transparency or tend to think I'm complaining. Clearly I stink at showing real life through a humorous voice. That's what we have Jen Hatmaker and BooMama for!
I keep my mouth shut about the honesties of life a good portion of the time. I'm clearly lucky to have two beautiful, healthy girls. I live on a dream farm. I have family who loves me. But after reading Momastery's book and blog I'm feeling a bit freed up to let the captivity of being "fine" go.
The truth is, anxiety has become a very close, annoying friend that won't go away lately. My girls are one and two, 17 months apart. And YES, we "planned" it that way. At this particular stage though Betsy Grace is on the move, constantly. She's climbing on top of the table, or stepping in paint, or getting on top of the open dishwasher. All day long. My life looks like you pressed the fast forward button, day in and day out. And then we press rewind and it starts over. So, I feel like I'm constantly darting my eyes around to make sure both girls are safe, learning, loved, challenged, and getting along (sorta). And already just admitting that I hear my working mom friends telling me how lucky I should act to get to stay home. And I am friends, I truly am.
(no source, link takes me to Facebook?)
I feel though, that if I let the daily grind of having two toddlers take over it will TAKE OVER, all the way. If I'm running ragged, why not give myself a break, a breather? Why not have some fun? Do you have fun? Ever?
You should. We should. The truth is, life in general is sad and anxious sometimes. It's hard, hard work. But I just can't get on board with the thought that in an effort to serve our families and communities we work until we're bone dry, our hearts parched and imaginations wiped clean. Shouldn't we have FUN every now and then? I think so. And that is why I paint. I paint to add some light to my life. What most people don't understand is that I'm not painting to "do it all". I'm painting and creating and taking photos to slay the dragon of guilt, anxiety, and exhaustion. Painting is my creative expression of life and light, that chases darkness away.
I think of two things-
One, the part in the notebook where Noah (I think?) asks Allie what she does for fun, just for her. She lists off a whole bunch of things she does for other people and then he asks her again...what she does just for her. And she admits she likes to paint.
I also think of the bible verse where Jesus tells the man to get up, pick up his mat, and walk.
I believe in a God who wants us to work hard, serve even harder, and love no matter the cost, but also live. To get up and walk! I believe in:
bubble baths "just because it's fun",
cheese and cracker date nights,
watching a movie with popcorn on a weeknight just because you can,
cheerful books and magazines,
funny t.v. shows (I can't WAIT for America's Got Talent to come back on!),
getting our hands dirty in the garden,
drinking coffee with two hands (a term borrowed from Under the Sycamore),
running or exercising and breathing deep,
funny texts to friends,
online classes (think: art, photography, cooking, etc.),
a new haircut,
IG and blog friends,
sleeping under cozy quilts,
and being honest.
My friends, Satan and life are nipping at our heels all day long. Satan will use the tool of anxiety and guilt and even cause us to think we're bad mamas if we take a timeout for ourselves. He's done it to me more than enough times. When I commune with God and pray while I paint, I come away with my eyes sparkly and ready to play with my girls. They are my girls in every sense. They have my heart in a way no one else does. I love my girls and they need me, desperately. Brett is my partner, my best friend, the one I trust with my everything. He's also a lot of fun. We're not doing anybody any favors by starving our souls of fun, working our fingers to the bone but never put anything back in.
Let's have fun today. Let's find something that makes us laugh, grab our husbands hand when the kids are in bed, and belly laugh together. Let's kick anxiety to the curb.
Let's have some fun. Our kids and husbands and community and the rest of the tired, worn out world will thank us.