Sunday, February 21, 2010

Balancing Life, God, Family and Art

Are you walking
the Tight Rope

Balance, how do you find it?
I hope you'll share...
I've been walking
this tight rope for
a few months
I have been praying for God
to show me his will
for my journey.
Here's the Story... I have been a stay at home mother forever. Even after my youngest was off to kindergarten, I stayed home. After Rachel had been in school a couple years, I started getting a little stir crazy. I had been doing murals and faux finishes by word of mouth only and I would get 2 or 3 jobs a year. Still I felt lonely, out of touch with adults and found I had too much time on my hands to worry about life and everything about it.
 Over the last 5 years I have taken on 3 different part time jobs. First 2 did not count, because they didn't last very long. I would get overwhelmed and be back at home. I have always had a sporadic income from my murals and artwork. Than I took on the job of  working as a  part time  school cook in our town of 600 people. It lasted almost 2 years until last Friday which was my last day. Once again I found my self overwhelmed with trying to balance my life.
How do other women do it all? 
And why can't I?
You could say that, once again had to much on my palette. Wife, mother, bus driver, maid, cook, inventory control and artist.  Well actually I didn't think I had taken on too much until, I got a job doing a mural of spider man on all four walls.  I was trying to start my Etsy store, I began blogging, I had a large faux finishing job that started at the end of summer and went into the school year. I found myself asking for days of from the school cook job to get my other jobs finished.  About 7 weeks ago I got a  request to do the Spider Man mural and I thought, no problem I can do both!
Getting up at 5:30 am to go cook at the school and getting off  there at 1:00 pm and racing down to work on the mural, two rounds of antibiotics for shingles and sinus infections. Taking time off for that, time off for the weather, time off to work on the mural and more time off for sick kids. 
About to fall off
the tight rope.
Photo by Deborah titled, "Balance" that is Rachel the youngest, fearless and balanced.
My Cowboy husband to the left.

So I find myself...

 Praying for discernment and direction, asking for a clear in your face answer.
Whats next God?

I trust you as my safety net...
I am falling into the pit of
self pity.
My palette looks like a muddy puddle!!!
Then I get the call to go to the principles office. Oh noooo!!! what did I do? She proceeds to tell me I need to make a choice, your requesting to much time off. All the while I thought I had that worked  it all out with the head cook. Always covering my hours with competent people.
So I took that as a clear in your face answer and put in my 2 weeks right then and there, mind you I was crying like a hormonal women.  The principle told me to go home and think about it! After talking and crying to my husband he said, "quit and focus on your art."  but, but, I use that extra income to fund my art and other stuff.
Follow your passion, purpose and use your gifts!
God wants us to prosper using the gifts he has given us.
So what am I passionate about you might ask?

photo by Deborah
This is my family...

"Also consider that since God has called you, He is completely able to reveal your purpose to you, and He will as you diligently seek Him." (Heb. 11:6)

1 Peter 4:10 (New International Version)
 "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

Tell me, how do you use your talents and gift to serve others?
Tell me, how do you find balance?
I can't wait to hear from you so please leave a comment and share!


Donatella said...

Your selection from 1 Peter is such a wonderful reminder, thank you. I love it. Finding balance through obedience; pursuit of His statutes. So sweet the photos of your fam too ; )

T's Daily Treasures said...

I don't know if there ever is any balance. It's all a juggling act. I would say if your husband is telling you to forget about the school job so that you can focus on your art, then that is definitely what you need to do. And let go of the guilt. Something will work out. When you open yourself up to opportunity, something special always finds its way to you. About 5 years ago, when I had too much on my plate, I broke out in hives that lasted 3 days. That's stress big time. Sounds like shingles found you. If you are stressed and getting sick, that means you are trying to do too much. Step back, let go, let God have control. Don't fret so much. Enjoy the gifts you are given and use your talents to create joy for others. You are where you are meant to be right now. Take care and many blessings, Tammy

Joy said...

Wow, Deborah. You really poured your heart out here. A million thoughts came to my mind while reading. First of all, thanks for becoming a Follower... Now, since you asked (and I know I won't remember all that you asked)... Was it how to find balance? You sound so much like me, not really knowing what you should be doing and feeling guilty about it! You put up some great verses, and I have expierenced them to be true. The way I have recently begun using my talents and gifts to serve others is through my other blog (Fresh Air Life). I started it last summer with the idea of 'shining a light' on people who get passed by, who aren't necessarily 'on the radar'. I have expierenced how if feels to not have your talents appreciated or noticed, so I thought, 'why not feature others and their talents?' It has been a tremendous blessing to use that blog to bless others. It lifts them up in recognition. It has led in interesting directions to this very day, more than I ever thought would happen when I first started it! Something else I do is crochet dishcloths and take them along with a small bottle of 'JOY' detergent to people who might be feeling down. I also attach a verse about 'joy' on the bottle of JOY. It's a practical gift. I think people appreciate it. You sounded pretty overwhelmed with all your jobs/directions. Art is what is really in your heart, I can tell. God gave you that talent for you to use to bless others. I think your husband is right. Go for the art, and by blessing others with it, God will open doors you never thought possible. Glad to have met you. These are just my thoughts. I've been distracted lately and haven't had time to comment on many blogs--but it's a GOOD distraction and definitely from God! Blessings!

Joy said...

Oh, and I don't think other women DO do it 'all'. It's impossible. Something has to be let go or not done well. And I've always thought, do we know any men who 'do it all'?? Do we know any men who cook, clean, take care of the children and home and work full time? Maybe some single dads, but I doubt if they cover everything like women expect themselves to do. I think we need to lighten up on ourselves.

Prudence said...

balance is hard, last fall I started a store in my garage with a new friend, and we drove to WA to do a vintage show. My oldest daughter was watching the baby all the time and I got sick and stressed and I just felt like God was saying focus on your family. So that is what I have been doing. I sew at home and sell what I can online. If God wants my sewing to support my family He will have to make a way. Aren't we blessed to have hubby's who tell us to stay home and be creative? I am so blessed. I think if you are stressed and getting sick God is saying no to what your doing. God bless. And I do take special requests on Lollibags. It all depends on what fabric I find. I don't have red or turquoise right now, but will keep my eye open.

Rhondi said...

Hi Deborah
You sound like me. Wives and mothers who are artists usually have a hard time devoting themslves totally to being artists because it feels too selfish. I read a great book, The Ceative Call by Janice Elsheimer. She is a Christian and she talks about how creativity is a gift from God and it pleases him to see you using your gift. You should read it. If your husband says quit and focus on your art, then as the Nike ad says, JUST DO IT .
We are all struggling on one level or another, that's what keeps us close to the Lord. No one has it all together.
Hugs, Rhondi

Edie said...

While I was here the picture of your daughter standing on the horse caught my attention in your linked in section under your most current post. So I clicked over here. I am sure it was directed by God that I read this.

Two years ago God told me it was time to quit my job. I had been there 11 years and had no other job lined up. I am also single and had no other source of income. I had been praying for a few years that God (as my husband) would allow me to stay home. I trusted Him and quit my job.

He has provided for me for the last two years while I work from home. I have been concerned about my finances a lot lately and praying about if I was going to have to go out and get a job again. blech! :)

Reading this tonight was encouraging. I wrote about the journey that He took me on that led to my graphics business.

I really need to update it but that's how it got started.

Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you to keep at it. He gives us the desire so that He can give is what our heart desires.

Do you live here in TX? Just asking because of the "cowboy" hubby remark under the picture.

Rich blessings!

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