Ann Voskamp said that when she has trouble finding things to write about it’s because she hasn’t been reading enough. When I heard that, I knew that was one of the reasons why I haven’t been writing much. As much as I know the writing is for my healing, my sanity, my introverted way of getting things off my chest, the truth is my days are full of laundry and refereeing boy-fights and pushing through checklists to get to naptime that I really don’t even want to think when the day is over. I usually do some chores in the evening and watch tv if I can stay awake. Reading feels like a luxury to me; being able to read would mean that I had some time left at the end of the day, that I didn’t fall asleep the minute I laid down on the bed at night. I keep thinking things will change–and they will as the children go older– but I don’t want the bad habits to take root and grow like a creeping vine over my soul.
I was reminded of how writing and reading are good for me (and at the same time unearthing many memories) while cleaning out old notes from college classes. I was amazed at some of the things that I read (and apparently comprehended) and wrote. I must have been a lot smarter back then.
Now I just like to watch crime shows. I asked The Man one night, what it is about crime shows that makes people want to watch them. There are so many of them on tv nowadays and they are highly addictive. He answered, easily, lucidly—“because people like the truth. In these shows, the truth always comes out in the end.” He was right; I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
While that may true and deep, the real reason I was watching tv that night was that I didn’t want to think about what an awful mother I had been that evening. I yelled, I jerked, I spanked the most sensitive of my three children. And I couldn’t take it back. All I could do was beg God’s forgiveness, and my son’s forgiveness and pray that God would help me change this horrible way of dealing with my children. No, I don’t want them to be disobedient…but what can I expect with the way I’ve been acting.
I told myself I should pray instead of watch tv that night. I didn’t. But I am trying to do it more now–I really need it. I have been trying to do nice things for the children to let them know I love them but somehow that is hard for me. I am much better at giving orders than I am at giving gifts. I am very demanding but not very endearing.
So I may not be writing much because I am not reading much. And I may not be loving much because I’m not praying much. My friend reminded me last week not to get too busy–that Satan uses that to keep Christians from living a fulfilled life in God. She’s right. Time to make space for the praying and the reading so that the loving and the writing will come.