Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You Use PAPER Plates??

It was going to be a busy week. I knew it when I went to the store. There they were at the end of the aisle. It literally seemed as if a beam of light from heaven was shining downward onto them and angels had emerged en masse and were singing Hallelujahs all around. Paper plates. I picked those bad boys up and threw them in the cart with probably more force than was necessary. I was going to need them. Yes, I have a dishwasher. Yes, I have functional dishes that I generally use. This week, though? This week was going to be busy. I also bought disinfectant wipes, a rotisserie chicken, and (gasp!) some highly unhealthy frozen pizzas.

Some days, weeks, even months are just a little more difficult than others. Scrambling to get from one thing to another; juggling family, friends, commitments, and jobs. Those moments when I do indulge and buy paper plates or ready made foods I more often than not feel a twinge of guilt. I get the sense that I've failed because I'm not eating food I grew from my garden, froze in my freezer, made from scratch, and ate off of my Correlle dishes.

I've come to realize the longer I've been raising little people that the time I get to spend with them and my husband trumps everything else. That includes Correlle dishes and homemade poultry. As much as I believe that a beautifully set table and a home cooked meal are incredibly enjoyable I much prefer to have pancakes for dinner with lots of laughter and fun.

It's ok to cut ourselves some slack. We're not supposed to be superheroes. We're all just normal, every day people who are living out our lives in the best way we know how. If paper plates during a busy week help me to be more available to my children, rather than spending that extra time washing up dishes than by all means I'm going to buy some paper plates. I'm not going to feel guilty about it anymore!

 These self-imposed rules we stress that hold us to a standard that someone else lives by are unfair.We're all so different and unique. I like to clean my house. Actually, that's an understatement. I love to clean my house. However, I don't expect other people to enjoy cleaning their houses too, or even keep a clean house for that matter. On the other hand, I absolutely stink at keeping the laundry folded and put away. I know people who are marathon folders, have 10+ children and manage to get all of it put away at the end of every day. Cooking? Hit or miss... I kind of have my staple dishes and I don't deviate from them that often. I know a family that makes a different meal every.single.day. I think that's awesome! I'm not going to do it.

There is no formulated way of cooking your meals, keeping your house, schooling your kids, being a friend, or loving your spouse. Hey! That rhymed! Burdening ourselves by not allowing for wiggle room only serves as a hindrance in the long run. All it does is cause us to have those feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and defeat.

Realize that you're doing a good job. Yes, you. Instead of focusing on all the things you don't do, keep your mind and heart on the things you do, do. God wants you to be gentle with yourself - to love yourself just as He loves you. Buying paper plates is not a good reason to get down on yourself and neither are those things that you feel guilty about, whether they're your inability to put folded laundry away, your organizational skills, your later than normal showers, the fact that you haven't made a home cooked meal in almost a week - whatever! Love yourself, because you're special! Love yourself because you have been created to be the one and only you.

   "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

P.S. Later this week I'm going to be doing my first giveaway. I'm so excited! So, keep your eyes open for the giveaway post!

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