I hope that I can express myself in a coherent manner here. Please note that if I pose questions to you, that really, I am posing them to myself! However, if you have any answers that you would like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
What makes you feel valued, good about yourself, appreciated? Where do you go to be affirmed? Here is another question: are you nicer to people outside your household, or the ones who live with you 24/7? Okay, I bet I know the answer to that last one...everyone I know, if they were honest, would admit that they are nicer and more polite to outsiders. Not that you are mean and unkind to your loved ones, just that we don't put forth that extra effort to be pleasant like we do with others. Why is that? Let me extend that train of thought. Why do you... okay nevermind, why do I care about what other people think of me, some of them, people I do not even know??? Why do I feel happy and affirmed when people come to my blog and leave comments? Why does it make me feel valuable and appreciated when someone admires or buys something that I make?? Why do I give a Saturday of my life to go to an artisan's market and sell my creations instead of being home with my hubby?
I wonder, how much time have I spent on outside friends that I should have devoted to my family and/or God? I am not saying that friends are bad or wrong. No way! I just wonder if I have substituted "good" for "best." TV is not a big issue in this house. We did not even have one until a few months ago, but how much time have I blown piddling on the internet when my children needed my attention?
I wonder which one pleases God more? Does He look down at me and say to Himself "Wow! Look at those hair sticks Michele made?" Or is he more pleased when I set it all aside to read that same book for the 687th time to my four-year-old? When I stand before Him one day, will He show me all the times that I said, "Not now, I'm busy!" And will He show me that what I was really saying was "Not now, I am selfish."
How do you strike a balance? How do you "find time for yourself" without neglecting the others who need you? My seven kids are only here for a limited time. Why would I want to spend one single precious moment of it doing things that are not going to matter in the end? And really, why is it not enough? Why can I not feel as eager and excited about doing a history lesson with one of my children, washing the dishes or cooking a meal for my family as I can about starting a new knitting project or chatting with an online friend? Being "mom" is not glamorous. Often it is not fun, and usually it is a thankless job. I wish that I could get the warm fuzzies from housework and disciplining children. It might make it all easier.
I truly do have creative urges. Are they something put there by God, or something I need to control so that I can focus on what is TRULY important. Are my outside interests legit and something that makes me a more complete person, or just a distraction from what I should be doing? What is the balance?