Mommy-Boredom Busters Needed

I’ve fallen into the digital hobby vortex.

You know, the whole spend twenty minutes each hour perusing Pinterest to look at other people’s creativity.  Hoping over to Facebook for a good ten minutes, you know, just to break things up a bit…someone might have posted something vitally important since I checked an hour ago.  And then, heaven forbid I forget to hop back to Pinterest because my next meal could have just been pinned.

Yes.  It’s a problem.  One I’m working hard to wean myself from.

The problem comes in not having cheap and easily accessible hobbies at home.  Well, that and the digital world is a vortex anyway, but you get the idea.  So this brings me to my hobby hunt.  Which, amazingly, Pinterest had something to say about that…

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 7.39.51 PM

Ahem….anyways…I thought it was fairly decent wisdom.  I mean, if there was a hobby out there that made me money…why wouldn’t I want to do that??  Isn’t that what we all dream about?  Loving something so much and oh, hey, people will just give you loads of money to do it! Wow!  And an in shape hobby? Does eating candy in bed while watching a movie count???

Still, while I don’t quiet yet have the money-making hobby…I have an idea and am pursuing it.  It’ll be a long pursuit, but that is what life is for; daring to pursue and hunt for your niche.   And, I’m trying to do some healthy activity.  I’ve resumed my walks, which were on a multi-year hiatus because who has time for that with several young kids?  I’ve also added a very little yoga into my life, but when I do actually do it, I feel fabulous.

The creative hobby?  Well…that is just a mystery right now.  I can’t count reading, because that is not a hobby, but rather the very air I breathe.  I have no green thumb, I can’t sing, dance or cook (I do that for life, not for fun).  I’ve tried sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, and card making.  While I could do them, at least to some degree…I have found that my hobbies need a purpose.  Or, if the purpose is just the enjoyment, I need the ability to throw it away later without guilt.  I don’t keep things.  Ever.

So I’m on the hobby hunt.  Perhaps you’d be so good to offer a suggestion?  Otherwise, I might end up on Pinterest for hours.

Unicorns

Odd.  Intimidating.  Quiet.  Blunt.  Arrogant.  Rebellious.

These are common adjectives that have been used to describe me.  I started noticing a pattern when I was in college.  As a christian for a few years and suddenly given an amazing discipleship community on campus, it didn’t take long for these terms to come up.  In fact, some of my very best friends hated me when they first met me.

It frustrated me to no end until my Junior year of college.  During that year the (wise) woman discipling me asked me to take a test.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it…the Myers & Briggs Test.  She was a psychology major and had access to some pretty cool things.  I personally think she had a hunch.   She was, if I had to define her, empathy embodied.  She empathized every emotion I couldn’t voice, sat with me a I wrestled through every yard of tangled random thoughts just to verbalize my painfully logical conclusion, and prayed for me when my heart and soul wanted to buck conforming to some “ideal” christian standard of feminism.  So, I think she had a hunch already on what my personality type was, but taking the test confirmed my unicorn status.  INTJ.  Or, Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking and Judging.  Some surveys have put female INTJs as below 1% of the female population, on the scale of mythical creatures in society.   As she explained my personality to me…lots of things clicked into place for me.  But, a week later, she wasn’t done with me.  Because, for the christian….God isn’t done with us.

“Who do you most identify with in the Bible?” she asked.  I answered “Paul” without any hesitation.  After a few moments discussing whys and hows, she challenged me in a most life-changing way:

“What woman do you most identify with in the Bible?”

I believe I snorted.  Or just stared an gaped like a fish.  After a bit of floundering, I ranted about the question.  There weren’t any!!!  This was the whole point of my frustration…how do I model being a christian female when all the females I’ve read were villains (Delilah??), meek or emotional wrecks?  I believe this was one of the few times I got so worked up I was crying.  As always, she empathized.  But forcefully and lovingly said…”Find one.”

Months later, I did find my first example.  Abigail.  A few years after that…God revealed some INTJ traits in Lydia as well from the new testament.  There may be more that I have yet to discover, but it was a turning point for me.  And through it all, my counsel from my discipler was the same:  God has wired and redeemed your personality.  The “rough spots” will diminish as you yield to His love and grace in your life. You will become more well-rounded as the fruits of the Spirit develop in your life. You are precious and you are redeemed.

IMG_1001For kicks and giggles, I retook my test today.  This is a shortened version…I have a vague memory of some 100 questions the first time, but I remember 15 years ago (!!!) most of my scored were 90% or more dominant in each category.  There was very little “give” in my early christian nature.  So even though my personality type is among the lowest amongst women, and INTJs make some of the best villains (Khan, Magneto, Lex Luther),  God’s not finished with me yet.  Unicorn or not…I am redeemed and there is evidence of His grace in my life.  And while I can’t change who He’s made me…I can let Him have all of me for His glory and good purpose.

Curious about famous female INTJs?  I was too.

Jane Austin

Ayn Rand

Abigail Adams

Spinning wheels

For a while100_6980 now, I have been racing along, but not really going anywhere.  Like a wheel on a treadmill…or a hamster in a cage.  It’s the common routine of life for me:  what errands to run, what school work to teach, what meals to make, and which book shall I read today.  Because I’m not wanting to focus on things.  It’s soooo much easier to let the routine run me.  I am a creature of habit and so many of the habits I’m in are GOOD ones…when they take me somewhere.  Like connecting with my kids.  Or quality time with my hubby.  Discipleship over coffee and biscotti.  The deep conversations that draw you closer to the person God is calling you to be.  But I often forget the goal of my tasks…

As a naturally task-oriented, predominately introverted individual, it’s very easy for me to find comfort and security amongst my To-Do list.  I mean, there’s no pressure.  Evaluation of success is a simple “yes” or “no”.  There is little heart involvement.  Minimal risks for miscommunication, misrepresentation and general mistakes.  And then, when the final task it checked off, I can freely reward myself with my drug of choice…which is some mystical book about a land in a galaxy far, far away.  Usually with some amazing heroine that conquers all her foes and leads the kind of fearless life I long to live, but gets lost in the whole mother of 3, homeschooling, bill paying, schedule making thing.  

I yearn to stop the wheel.  To get off and have an adventure of epic proportions.  It’s a common problem for bookworms….we all have illusions of grandeur issues.  But the thing that is sticking to me like a burr…is why motherhood and general living isn’t the grandiose adventure?  So many people in my life share the same day in and day out to the same rhythm that only ever varies on weekends…are we missing the boat?  Did we give up on doing something brave or fearless?  Is there greener grass somewhere? Or perhaps, we are the secret dreamers and wisher that speak those grandiose adventures into the next generation?  Perhaps, we need to rekindle a fire for life…real life.  The responsible non-swashbuckeling life.  Reminding ourselves that each routine, each rhythm can bring us somewhere significant.  We may never even know it was significant.  Maybe, it’s significance was for someone else?  Or maybe it’s significance is layers upon layers of mundane, patience, self-sacrifice and grace…so that when adventure comes knocking…we don’t become the villain or the damsel in distress.  But instead, we can follow in the footsteps of a Hero.

Perspective

It’s 9:30 in the morning on a Tuesday.

I’m knee deep in the stay at home mommy shuffle.  I’m orchestrating the symphony cacophony of laundry, unloading the dishwasher (yes son, it is your turn to do it), fielding long division questions and telling my other son that no, drawing trains is not a part of his school work today.  The phone rings….

For more than 10 years I’ve waited for this call.  Dreaded.  But after so many high risk skin cancer conversations by every dermatologist I’ve ever seen, the odds were never in my favor.  Between the blessing of genetics and the curse of the intense Florida sun, I knew it was just a matter of time. So, that morning, I sat amongst the flurry of my normal day spinning around me and listened to the nurse on the other end of the phone inform me that yes, this time the results were positive for carcinoma.

I hung up.  It was only 9:33.  But it felt like an eternity passed.  Amidst the math work (bring down your remainder, honey), the reading lessons and the grocery list (ground beef is how much this week?), I took inventory.  Surprised?  No…not surprised.  Scared?  Manageable.  Both a long time of knowing skin cancer facts and my faith help here.  Thankful?  Yes.

YES!

Unlike so many with so many illnesses and diseases, I’m blessed with one that is treatable.  Preventable.  Detectable.  Routine biopsies, minor skin surgeries, what are these in light of what it could be?  I live in a time, a place and have the financial means to deal with this.  I can buy cute sporty swim tights and rash guards with sunblock woven in the the very fabric!!  How nice to know afternoons at the beach are not off my list of family activities!

I’m not going to lie to you.  Cancer, in any form, stinks!  And as I stare at the bandage covering my new battle wound, I’m not excited about knowing that there could be more, lurking somewhere else on my body and not yet detected.  And yes, there’s cute sporty swim tights and rash guards out there, but it kinda excludes me from the cute tankinis.  And while I’ve had years to prepare myself for it, it’s still a different path than one I’d willingly choose.

But that call reminded me of all the preciousness that is in each day.  The mundane days.  The normal days.  We all have days of great joy and days of great sorrow.  But so many of our days are routine and we lose sight of what is precious in each of them.  Listening to my child read to me.  Slaving through laundry and dishes.  Yes, even explaining long division for the 100th time.  Precious.  Every second I’m allowed is one I want to be thankful for.