Friday, April 2, 2010
Labours Of Love...
It is time... I sit and prepare my tools: paper, scissors, xacto knife, glue, cutting mat, cutting board, pencil, ruler... I breathe and gather my thoughts, ready to concentrate on the task at hand. Seat pulled in to the approprate distance from the table, my hand picks up the pencil and sketches out an image. When satisfied, I begin to cut, carefully, as precisely as possible. My eyes, thoughts, and hands work together to create.
As the forms become more pronounced, my heart leaps with joy, ready to see the birthed images that have come from my concentrated hand. Bit by bit, lines become firm figures, that, when completed, will wait for one more step. Color. As, they glance nakedly and hollowly, their form pleases my eyes because they are mine, but... they are not ready.
Again, one section of space at a time, I select the ideal colors to shroud the bareness. Pushing myself to be patient, I go on, anxious heart beating in anticipation.
A slide of glue to hold the snips in place, layers overlapping layers, and tediously I persevere. Every so often, I take a peak at the object as a whole, hoping it is coming as I envisioned in my mind. Breathing again, I resume my work.
After what seems like a long daydream, I pick up the multi-colored square and scan its every inch. Success!!
There is such pleasure and joy in watching a work of art take form and to see the completed work as a whole... It is even more wonderful to be satisfied that it is perfect for its own existence. Meaning... each piece of original art, is just that, original. It is perfect by its own standards. It requires a clean slate, different from the mentalities that were required for other works. Otherwise it will not be so original.
In the end it is a labour of love, effort, and creative interest.
I have been dwelling on this recently... in regards to my children.
My kids are each individual works of art. They are created, just as we all are, in the image of God, but with a specific purpose that is all their own on this earth.
Sometimes, I lump each of them into one pile and try to train them, nurture them, discipline them in the same way. I am noticing that that is not working so well.
I am seeing that some of my little ones require extra hugs to keep them content, or some extra creative time, or an extra bit of understimulated quiet time. Each requires just a slightly different mixture of care, firmness, and space to be creative to blossom. Some of them would prefer stacking blocks to reading a book, painting to working with playdoh, listening to music to watching tv. Some relish studying mathematics and other dread it and prefer languages. They are an odd combination, and sometimes it is very challenging to get myself in tune with their needs. But... it is not impossible.
I am trying my hardest. There are days when I am just too tired, a bit discouraged, or restless. On these days, this work of being mommy just seems too complicated and rather heavy for me to bear. But then there are days when my kids themselves fill me with just that extra bit of loving care to make me KNOW that everything will be alright. It is when I am having my Quiet Time with Jesus, that does not always come first in my days, that I actually feel so confident that I CAN do it all. It is when I rededicate every moment to my faithful Jesus, that I see that I am NOT alone, that He is faithful to fill me with His strength, hope, creativity, and wisdom.
It is a work that I am very willing to take on, because I love my family. I am grateful to have my five chickadees. And I am blessed to be called their mom. If I focus only on the hard moments, I will miss out on their childhood. If I only have my pity parties and dwell only how how little energy I have, then I will only take my days for the little I feel that they are worth in that moment.
I want to Relax and Enjoy my family... before my little ones are old enough NOT to want me to cuddle with them, read to them, or help them with their homework. I want to love on them and cherish them before they move on to working in jobs, having girlfriends, or so many other things that will naturally become distraction to my time with them.
The days sometimes drag along, especially during desert challenge days, but... looking at the grand picture, TIME IS FLYING BY. I miss my days. My babies are no longer babies. They are miniature men and a petite little lady learning to be themselves.
I want to take pleasure in them for who they are. They are the color of my days. What inspiration will I have for my art once they are gone? For they have soaked into so much of who I am and what I do.
All I know.. is that I want them to remember my efforts, my time, my love for them, with pleasure and joy. I want to be remembered as their mommy who loved to add spice to their days, who tried her best to just love them the best I possibly could.
Being a mommy is a labour of love... Sometimes these little works of art, hurt me, make me feel underappreciated, or sometimes not appreciated at all. Sometimes I feel that way about my whole world, but... I am learning this: my responsibility is to nurture, teach, create, love, care, hold, hug, kiss, play, etc... with all my heart. I literally am helping to form a new piece of art. I am not their creator, but I am here to teach these created about their Creator. I am here to direct their little hearts to the One who will fill their days with color and lead them on their journey into life.
I am to take each day, and the moments scattered within, and glue them together with memories that I hope will last for the rest of their lives. I am to help to cut out that behaviour that can harmful to them and encourage them to do right. I am to take them by the hand, lead them through childhood; into tween-hood, teenage-hood and then, finally, to release them into adulthood.
They are works of art, my labours of love.