Friday, October 30, 2009

wants vs. needs or pearls gone wild

School Life this past week was long. Sickness, geometry, dinners, emails, lists, biology, laundry, dishes...I'm not saying it was all bad...just long. Some weeks are like that. The other day, Maggie and I were finishing up conferencing at 4:00pm. She wanted to go do some free stuff on the computer but still had some other things that needed to be done. It was one of those moments where she came face to face with the frustration of knowing what needed to be done, but not wanting to do it. In all my motherly wisdom, I said something like, "Sometimes the things you want to do have to be set aside for the things you need to do. That's what life is like. Don't let it steal your joy, there'll be time for the wants after the needs are checked off." As soon as I finished dropping my pearls of wisdom, I felt like someone had hit me on the back of my head with that very strand of pearls. You see I'd been pouting on and off all week when I hadn't gotten to the things I wanted to do. I wanted to finish my quilt top, but geometry took longer than expected. I wanted to call a friend and chat, but my little guy needed a snuggle on the couch. I wanted to sit and have a cup of coffee and knit, but Kenzie had a paper that needed editing. And each time I didn't get to my stuff I got a little more frustrated and irritated. Here's where lesson one hit home (almost as hard as those pearls hit me!). Lesson #1: I must not allow my joy to be stolen when my wants are set aside for needs...those needs that I'm meeting can't be done in love when I'm sulking over my stuff.
["If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1] Then yesterday, John Samuel's lesson suggested a nature walk. ughhh. I really didn't want to take a nature walk...you see the reality was that taking a nature walk would only make our day longer...it would mean I wouldn't be able to get to my stuff. (turn away if you must, I know it's ugly) But thankfully, by the grace of God, I was able to recognize that he and I both needed to take that walk. And that's when I learned lesson #2 from my week: Sometimes meeting needs means getting away from the to do list and taking care of ourselves. ["Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12] We needed to get out of the house and enjoy the beauty of the season and refresh our souls. We needed the fresh air and the exercise. We needed to get away for a bit. The lists will always be there. But the memories we made on our walk and the time we spent together are so much more valuable. I'm so glad we took that nature hike. It was just what we needed. I'm positive I'll have more lessons to learn and more opportunities to practice these lessons I'm learning Oh, and ..I'll be on the watching out for renegade pearls.

20 comments:

Kristyn Knits said...

I love how you share your thoughts with us!
you put on (virtual) paper what I've been battling for several weeks. I feel like I'm learning and re-learning the same lesson. It's hard to see any growth right now. and what do you do when the list of "need to" is so long it prevents you from getting to the "want to" list. that's were I really need to be quiet and listen closely as to what's the next step.

Anonymous said...

That is awesome!!! =) Thank you for the encouragment!!! =) Love you miss Lisa!!!
Emily

Green Acres in the City said...

Thank you for those words of encouragement. Sometimes we just have to stop and listen.

Stephanie said...

Great life lessons here! I too have a hard time staying positive when I have a lot of need to do things on my list verses the want to do. Sometimes a walk and fresh air can make everything seem better!

Designs on 47th Street said...

Precious, precious thoughts on this lovely post.

You are a very neat lady, Lisa.

Donna

Tracy said...

What good lessons today... for all creatures great and small! Sometimes a tiny break from need-to and want-to clears the mind so we can pick up the pieces better later. Sometimes our plates are so full of need-to we wonder when there will be time for want-to...LOL!... Always tricky finding that balance. Thank you for sharing your rich family experience with us. I learn so much when I visit here. Happy Weekend to you all... and hope you'll all be keeping well too! :o) ((HUGS))

Ruth said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been struggling with the same issues. It is a disheartening moment when selfish rears it's ugly head and we allow it to continue. I keep reminding myself that many times I can change the atmosphere in our home by my attitude towards things. It's not just the kids who need to respond correctly to the situations they struggle through.

I needed to read this today.

Ruth

Anonymous said...

Mom,

Thanks for putting all your wants aside to help me with school. You are alwasy showing me new ways to be a servant. Thanks again for being such a great mom and teacher.

~Maggie #22

Adrie said...

Lovely. Good reminders for us all.

Debi said...

Isn't it nice when what you "need" turns out to be exactly what we "wanted"? Thanks for the lesson...

The Jolly Bee said...

I'm sorry you had a long, tough week. Sometimes a good walk clears the mind and everything else falls into place. And spending that precious time with your son is priceless.

Journeying Five said...

can't add a single word to what you said. your post and pictures were beautiful, even though it meant be honest...your love for family and God is evident, as well as your willingness to grow. keep going, you are doing a great job!

larissa said...

oh, my pearls have surely gone wild this week. I always tell my kiddos about the importance of volunteering so we may give to others and exercising to take care of oneself. however this week I've been doing all these things with my mind on all the 'wants' that i am missing out on. Reading this has totally made me realize that I reaped the benefits of watching my kiddos celebrate the fall holidays at school (plus i brought fruit to balance all the candy) and I'm able to stay off cholesterol lowering meds because i took the time to run this week. Thanks for once again reminding me that great things come from satisfying needs too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend - and i hope you get to squeeze a bit of 'want' in there somewhere.

From All Stitched Up said...

I love the "don't let it steal your joy", I've spent the day painting and regreting no pictures, no blogging and I did loose my joy for awhile. Tomorrow I will finish my needs and maybe have sometime for wants all with joy,

Shirley Ann said...

Hear, Hear. Well said! I think any busy homeschooling momma goes through this! We have to often put aside our wants to meet the needs. What a lovely encouraging post to keep our minds and hearts on what is important without getting sulky.
Many blessings in Christ
Shirley

mark said...

what an easy trap to be ensnared in. and how often God uses our children, and their needs to put things right again. great walk, and thanks for sharing it.

Heather said...

So beautifully put. I struggle with wants versus needs every single day, and it is so nice to hear someone express it with such grace and honesty.

Naturalearthfarm said...

Oh, this was another thoughtful and wonderful post that I can relate to. It is that constant striving to let go of our selfishness and give ourselves over to God. He gave us these amazing children, husbands, homes, etc., etc.....I am working so very hard to push my wants behind when I know I should be attentive to others needs.
Many thanks and warm wishes.

Christina said...

Thank you. That was just what I needed today.

dodi said...

wow... I think you may be reading my mind! And obviously the mind(s) of so many others! I needed this reminder that I am "normal."

And to all the scripture references -- AMEN!