Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Orange Cutie Birdfeeders

My California cuties were getting wrinkled and dry.

And our Christmas pine cone birdfeeders were empty,
some laying on the grass.

Yesterday, a friend asked how I get so much done.

My first thought was, "I don't."

I almost laughed because in my mind and as I look around
I think,
"Why can't I get everything done?"
"Why can't I take care of what is important?"
"Why is my house such a MESS?"
"What is the matter with me?"

We talked about the internet culture.
How some of us share so much of our lives online
through social networking and blogging
that we feel like we really know people,
yet we've never met them.
Or we know much about them,
but they don't have a clue who we are,
even though we are "followers".

Hmmm . . . and I thought about what I share online.
I share this fun birdfeeder project with my girl.
And it looks like I'm getting so much done with her.
But how long have those old pinecones laid in my yard?
4 months.

I don't share the photos of the pinecones
that are lying in the grass
with outdated Christmas ribbon attached.
Or photos of my moments that I am feeling so inadequate.
Or that I was so busy getting ready for an art booth
that I never even looked at the school calendar that told me
my daughter was preschool leader for the day
and I was supposed to bring snacks and help the teacher for the day.
And all the way there, after her call,
I called myself horrible names and shamed myself for being so irresponsible and inconsiderate.
Thinking my daughter was going to be upset
that we didn't prepare special snacks and select a book for her teacher to read.What a horrible mom I am!
I am so irresponsible.
Tears are threatening.

I don't take pictures of the crumbs that build up on the step of my kitchen floor.
Or the grease that builds up on the stovetop.
Or the dust-bunnies in the corner.
Or the carpet that hasn't been cleaned for . . . . .
Or the corners that are stacked with papers and books and clothes that need sorted, thrown away.
Or the holes in the skirting of our mobile home
from the hail that came through a few years ago.
Interesting how I am careful not to have any of that in the background of my photos.

People see this fun birdfeeder project
and think I have all the time in the world.
But I don't.
I let something else go.
Something else doesn't get done.
Building a business.
Making money.
Ironing? Ha! That's never done.

And some days I am frantic trying
to pay bills and make it all work
and create more art
and find a way to promote my work
and work on ideas for the future
and my daughter watches television while I pursue my own stuff.

I fight in my head either way.
If I am working on art business
I am feeling guilty about not spending enough time with my girl.
If I am doing a project with her
I'm beating myself up for being luxurious and playing.
If I'm doing Bible study,
I'm thinking I should be cleaning my house.

There is always something else calling to me to take care of it.

The guilt gremlin never ceases.
But I have to silence it.
I have to choose to be present to the moment.
I have to own my choice in the moment.
My choice is different than everyone else's.

And I choose to enjoy it, savor it, work hard at it.
Or indulge the guilty feelings.

It is a concious choice.
A battle.

I spent my morning with my daughter today.
Making birdfeeders.
I loved it.

I did not work on new art projects.
I did not work on my online business class work.
I did not scrub my very dirty kitchen floor.
I have a load of unfolded laundry on my couch.
I'm wondering if I should get a "real" job.
I did not do a morning quiet time of prayer and Bible study this morning.

Life is not perfect.
Not easy.

But it is good.
And when it is good,
I grab that moment and enjoy it.

Moments with my girl are fleeting.
She will go to kindergarten in the fall.
Five days a week, all day.

One foot in front of the other,
I do what I can.

Making memories.
And sometimes working
while she watches tv.

Grateful for grace.
God's grace.
I will never be enough or do enough.
But because Jesus is more than enough.
He makes me enough and do enough.
And if His grace is good enough for me.
It is good enough for my girl.
It is good enough for each one
who would reach out
and take the gift

My life is real.
My moments are real.
There is good woven in with the bad.
Beauty in the mess.
Joy in the midst of unfulfilled goals and plans.
Fulfilment and satisfaction in simplicity and chaos.
Moments of sacred-ness in the midst of frustration and fury.
Journeying toward what we believe and hope for.
Things that didn't turn out the way I'd hoped,
but that turned out so much better than I could have planned.


  1. Amazing post!! I mean you just spoke to 99% of your readers I think...at least you spoke to me. That is me to a tee. I don't show all the stuff that doesn't get done...maybe that is a post I will write in the future.


  2. Oh I do love this post. It's so true - the follower thing. I'll probably never meet these amazing friends I have made through blogging. The people that really inspire me, have so many of the same feelings, same dreams. Friends that live near me don't know me how my blogger followers do!

    The only time I have shown the inside of my house is on Wednesdays. Yep, in all it's messiness. My craft space, which is my dining room table.

    Your daughter is such a little cutie pie. I can see through her eyes and smile that you are the perfect mom for her. Perfect. In. Every. Sense. Of. The. Word. Yep, that's you!

    Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I'm sure the birds love it that you chose to make them a treat rather than fold clothes, sweep the floor, etc.


  3. What a beautiful, honest and real post! I loved reading (and even tearing up some ;) every bit of it. Thank you, xoxo

  4. Good for you Jodi!
    I wish I would have spent more time with my kids when they were young. I was always working or worrying about how clean my house was instead of letting some things go while I "played" with them.

    My two boys are grown and have their own families now and I live in a different country way too far away.

    What I would give to have that time back....

  5. Amen to beauty in the mess, Jodene! I was just thinking today that my whole house, every nook and cranny hasn't been clean at the same time since my son was born - and he is almost twelve! I think God has been teaching me (and I have been slowly learning)what is really important (like making bird feeders with my kiddos) and what can be let go (cleaning like Martha). This life is short and time with my kids even shorter. Best to do the things we love with the people we love, wouldn't you agree?! Wish you lived closer so I could have you over to my not-very-clean house for coffee and a nice long chat :)

  6. WOW! This has touched me deeply and in ways that have made me feel real. You feel real to me, Jodene. Thank you for sharing from your heart. This truly is life! These words, along with the last sentences on "grace" brought it all home:
    "The guilt gremlin never ceases.
    But I have to silence it.
    I have to choose to be present to the moment.
    I have to own my choice in the moment.
    My choice is different than everyone else's."

    I am in your SDG small group and am so glad to meet you, too. I also look forward to getting to know you a bit more each time I visit.
    May your day be filled with the moments of the now, time with your daughter, time with the Lord, with the beauty of the day.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  7. Oh please don't feel guilty! I think you are superwoman, I can't imagine how you do everything you do! I have a helper who does everything at home, and that is why i have the time to make art, and work at our business the whole day, and not have to think of what my son needs (some of the time anyway)! Beauty in the mess, I like that! Because in spite of my having someone to help me, I am still a mess, but God knows there's a diamond underneath and I want to believe Him! Blessings! Patsy from

  8. You just described my own life so perfectly! I thought I was alone in my constant guilt. You described my house (I even live in a mobile home), my guilt over my lack of time with my daughter, my hopes and dreams, the "maybe I should get a real job" thing, wow. I'm so grateful to know that I'm not alone in this daily struggle. Thank you so much for sharing this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


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