Wednesday, May 13, 2009

so where's the gray in your life?


No cute pictures of my kids again.

It's just me.

But I just kind of had to post about something I've been reminded of lately as I"ve read some other blog posts and thought through some circumstances in my own life.

Do you ever find yourselves amongst the land of "all or nothing?"

You know.

There's no way I can get the whole house cleaned up, so why bother with just the family room.

I already ate way too much this morning, the rest of the day is ruined.

I only have 15 minutes before the kids are up, what's the point of even trying to exercise.

There's no way I have time to do "real devotions," 5 minutes aren't enough.

Yes, such is a bad habit of mine.

The good news?

It's gotten much better.

Long ago in my "much younger years" ( : ) ), that used to be the basis of all my decision making.

If I couldn't accomplish a task or goal in the entire duration, intensity or way I wanted to, there was zero validity in doing even a little bit.

Life is depressing living that way (probably why I was depressed : ) ) and leaves little room for growth, grace or learning.


You're constantly in a state of failure.

You try to not get depressed while failing all the time. It isn't easy I tell you!

I think if anyone ever asked me what is the "Big" lesson God taught me through some very rough years, it is that even He created life to hold a little gray (although He probably would use the word "grace.").

So why bring this all up?

Because I find myself at a stage in life where I am constantly having to choose the "gray."

And that isn't always fun.

Lack of sleep, constancy of children and an endless list of things that should be done have all become things that stand in the way of devotions, eating well , going places, and exercise.

God bless Ryan.

When I call him on the phone at work lamenting a shortened time frame or encountered obstacle to accomplish a desired goal I had that day, he is gracious at constantly trying to come up with a new way to make it happen in some shape or form.

My problem?

I find myself sliding back into an "all or nothing" mindset too often as I shoot down suggestion after suggestion he offers me.

God love the man. . . and his patience.

The truth is?

Some is always better than none.

Mornings do not need to define an entire day.

The girls' bad nights do not have to ruin tomorrow.

Just because I"ve found I can't cut back much on my food intake because of nursing two, doesn't mean I have to eat junk all day long.

And even when I only have 10 minutes . . . I still have 10 minutes.

So I'm working on soaking in the 5 minutes of reading I can embrace.

I'm trying to feel accomplished in the 10 minute workout segment I managed to get in despite the girls' waking up early to nurse.

I'm learning to celebrate that the kitchen sink has been emptied of dirty dishes even if it's the only clean surface in my entire first floor. : )

I'm relearning the simplicity of the gray.

Lots of 5 minute drinks turn into refreshment.

3 ten minute segments becomes 30 minutes.

Emptied sinks, wiped up counters and folded laundry turns into a mostly clean kitchen.

And you know?

Since my morning doesn't have to define my afternoon?

I'm going to oh so enjoy my ghiradelli's caramel filled milk chocolate square (or two).

I'll start again this afternoon and maybe start with an apple. : )

And no worries - my parents leave for Japan tomorrow.

More pictures will return soon.


Brooke said...

How timely, Amber, because I just sat down with a Ghirardelli milk chocolate/caramel square because I couldn't possibly make any progress on laundry before my daughter wakes up. Great minds think alike!

This is very convicting, because as my energy continues to wane, I keep choosing the "nothing"! Funny that yesterday I got dishes done (not even put away) and the counter semi-cleaned off, and what do you know? Andy comes home and comments on how nice the kitchen looks, even though it was not ALL DONE.

Thank you- I'm heading off to get a START on some laundry. And I might grab one more Ghirardelli. Love you!

Jamie Bahr said...

I love you AMber!!!! YOu are a girl after my own heart! I can't tell you how many times I have tried to understand myself (and try to explain to my husband!) and why I am just the way you described! THanks for the reminder to slow down and get rid of that all or nothing attitude! When are you going to write a book? Oops...maybe I shouldn't have asked that...don't put that on your plate right now, but I would love to read it 10 years from now when you find some free time and counter space to work;)

Amber said...

Maybe that's why I always liked YOU Jamie! : )

And do I remember right - Happy Birthday?!?!?!?! : )

Luke & Andria said...


Minders said...

Wonderful post Amber! I can so relate even though you know that I'm on the "All only" spectrum. Per my post of facebook you know I continue to struggle with this. Michael had to sit me down and write out an incredibly sweet letter to me on Mother's Day to remind me that I'm too hard on myself and I need to make time to rest. We are blessed to have such wonderful patient husbands!

Love you my friend... you're never far from my thoughts and prayers. :)

kasey said...

Amber, you have just perfectly expressed my struggle with this new stage in my life. I'm having to learn to accept the "new me" as mommy that is a little less organized, a little less productive, and so on. I can get so frustrated too and just want to throw up my hands. But you have reminded me that its okay to continue to just make the most of the little moments that God gives me right now. I love you Amb and even though we are far apart (and you have 3 kids and I only have 1), we are in this together!!!

Anonymous said...

As I scurry around this morning trying to get 'everything' done before we leave in a few hours for Japan....I am blessed and relieved to know that if only part of my list gets done - it is OK! (It is amazing how much will WAIT to get done 'alittle later' - even if it is 2 weeks later!) I remind myself often that 'people are more important than things', so that has adjusted my 'to do list' more than once! Take special care of yourself and all the angels under your roof. We are so blessed to connect with you in Japan with your blog.....our love, hugs and prayers will be with you all across the many miles. love forever, mom
Phil 4:19

Jamie Bahr said...

You were was my b-day..i'm one year away from departing the twenties..somehow that already makes me feel a little old!

Q and H said...

You amaze me! There are times when I read your blog, that I am convinced that you can read my mind here in Quincy! :) Who would have ever thought I would receive so many words of wisdom and encouragment from my little cousin? ;) I am loving it! Thanks for your thoughts.

Amy Cherise said...

amber leigh: i always have loved you and i love you more each day!! i love your heart. vulnerable, honest, brave and beautiful.
keep embracing the many colors of gray. grays are a gift from god. please learn from me - for the first 30 years of my life I always tried to live in black and white until I realized there are only a FEW black and white things in life - the major point in my life and the all of the minor points are suppose to STAY GRAY!!! have a faithful husband, 3 darling angels, a sister always believing in you and a Creator blessing you with buckets of grace and unconditonal love each new morning.
Chin up hon - 10 mins of clean up, exercise, laudry make for an awesome day when you have husband and girls adoring you.xoxox

Haley said...

I love this! Great thoughts :)