I love learning something new. The challenge of the actual learning process is enough to give me a high for days on end. However, when the rush is over, I find myself left with scads of projects and not nearly enough time or gumption to complete any of them. This brings me to a desperate moment when I stash the projects and pretend they do not exist even though in the back of my head I know they are there and literally screaming at me to finish them.
But, I can’t.
I realized tonight as I surveyed all the unfinished projects in my sewing room, that no matter how hard I work from sun up until sun down, I will never complete all the things I have started.
I found a pair of gauchos that were cut out nearly a year ago and put into a ziplock bag. I found old dress shirts of my husbands that were on their way to becoming sun dresses for our 4 year old. There were matching blouses and short sets for the girls that were barely begun and a whole pile of fitted diapers that had most of their velcro ripped off in the hopes of someday having snaps added to them. There were wool sweaters in various stages of becoming diaper covers, longies, and shorties. There was newly washed fabric lying hopeful of being transformed into dresses for the girls, and other material already cut to size for skirts. And these are just the sewing projects I had amassed.
There are photos needing to be put into scrapbooks, there are household notebooks needing to be organized, there are online articles and sermons needing to be poured over and listened to, and a myriad of books needing to be read.
Projects aren’t bad things as long as they remain in their place and in manageable numbers. However, projects tend to breed projects that tend to breed more projects until you have a whole clan of projects living under your roof demanding your money and eating up your time. Even noble projects can easily become draining if not kept in check.
And yet, we mothers tend to be project princesses. And homeschool mothers are project queens! There is always another lap book to make, salt map to create, lesson plan to write out, schedule to try, conference to attend, or book to read, and since we are overachievers by nature, we think we can somehow do it all and still sleep somewhere within the 24 hours God has given us. Yet, this is utterly ridiculous! And somewhere, deep down, we know it!
It was this epiphany hitting the surface that I experienced tonight. As my head hurt from trying to figure out what project to do first, my heart cried out for freedom from all these projects. Yes, I said FREEDOM. I had allowed myself to become slave to these projects. I was willing to work day in and day out to complete them all and all the while, taking on more and more and more.
Had I stayed just a bit longer in that sewing room, I would have become an overwhelmed and discouraged mama. I would have sat there and beat myself up over all these project that were impossible to complete. I would tell myself how I should find the time to get them all done no matter the cost. I would find someone to compare myself to and end up wallowing in my own self-pity. However, the Lord opened my eyes and led me out of that sewing room and pointed me in the direction of freedom.
Those projects will never be satisfied. And as long as I chase after them, they will continue to have a grasp on my life, taking me away from what truly matters…my family. When I stand before my Lord giving an account of what I did in my lifetime with what He gave me, will He be more pleased that I completed every single project on my to do list or that I squeezed the goodie out of every moment I was granted with my children?
Projects don’t become followers of Christ. Projects don’t fill the emptiness of a heart that cries out for sustenance. I won’t be taking the projects with me to Heaven.
I have to tame the project beast. I have to choose 1 or 2 projects that are manageable and let the rest slide. If the beckoning of the ones left out becomes too loud, I’ll have to kick them out of my house. If someday I return to those extra projects and find I am not nearly as interested in them as I once was, I give myself permission to pitch them without guilt.
Ahhhhhh! How refreshing!