Tuesday, August 10, 2010

routine, disappointment & maybe some accountability

for the first time that i can remember
i was not ready for my girls to head back to school

yesterday as they cheerfully headed out the door
i ran downtown to my staff meeting
washed & lined dried all the white slipcovers
and actually prepared a real meal, complete with all the colors
back in the routine

i'm sure as many of you
i feel the days are over & its on to the next one
while never really feeling caught up
much less with time to spare

while i am in my routine and i love a routine
the routine is usually all about me & my little world
i want something more
i want to give more

the realization that summer was over yesterday
brought with it a sense of disappointment
disappointment in myself
for not making happen what i had hoped would happen

back in the spring i really felt a conviction
followed by a desire to plug into some sort of ministry here in atlanta
something way out of my comfort zone
something i could do along with my oldest three

i contacted a few ministries & began to pray that the Lord would open whatever doors were needed
& give me direction

i had a vision in my heart of the girls and i
spending a day a week
working side by side
possibly in a home for unwed teenage moms
maybe a food kitchen

i also contacted a ministry
whose mission is to build relationships and provide hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry
they have a prevention program for at risk children living in extended stay hotels

i got the names
i emailed the folks
i prayed
but i didn't DO it
i didn't follow through


my little world needs to enlarge
i believe it's a disservice to my girls
if i raise them to be the best they can be
yet forget those in need

why do i share this?
i need some accountability
what good is an epiphany moment if it's not acted upon?

i'm not exactly sure what ministry i'm going to plug into
i blew it as far as summer time with the girls
they lead campus programs at their schools
they are involved in community service
& that's awesome!
but i would love to for us to get out there, together, see & touch someone who really needs help
needs to hear the gospel
& needs to see that they are loved

i might get brinkley certified to be a therapy dog
& he and i can head over to the children's hospital and love on some sick ones
savannah & i may head to peru or haiti
we may prepare a meal & take over to the home from unwed pregnant teens
may get plugged in & help serve the women in the sex industry
i don't know
but i do know one thing

i will give back because i have been given much

besides the fact that i failed the ministry plan for the summer
i also failed to get a handle on my growing photo files
somewhere in the 4000+ range
and that's just in the last 30 days
i'm not lying
hence the peonies i took back in april

& thank you
thank you for all your warm words regarding the death of Dan's daddy
& thank you for being a community
that encourages me & maybe can even hold me accountable

tuesdays unwrapped at cats


Kelli said...

Ok...time to bust a move. HE has spoken and given you this conviction and acting on that will be SUCH a blessing for you and for HIM. All of your ideas sound wonderful...especially the unwed teen moms. Keep us posted on what you choose...I can't wait to hear more. Good luck with your pictures. That's something on my To Do list as well.

emily freeman said...

Oh Paige - First, I'm so glad you found those gorgeous photos! Makes me dream of May days again :) More, though, I completely understand that feeling of disappointment that these long days of opportunity have closed in on you and led straight back to the front door of routine.

I'm taking a break this week from writing on the blog, but that is mainly because my creative brain is mush. And I'm seeing the end of summer mean the end of a lot of unmet expectation and I'm trying to reconcile that in my heart.

Great post. So glad you linked up.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Don't beat yourself up too bad Paige. Summer gets busy and spending time with your daughters is just as important as going out with them in ministry. You'll find the avenue and you'll get plugged in I'm sure of it. You're such a good momma.

Oh and those pics are gorgeous my dear. Just eye candy for me. Just so you know I had lofty plans too of taking the girls back to that Feed my Starving Children place. I've completely forgotten all about it. So I need to get my rear in gear too. Thanks for the reminder:)

Anonymous said...

and yet...God loves us sooooooo much no matter how disappointed we are in ourselves...or how we didn't measure up to our own expectations....he still has unending love for us however we judge ourselves to be less than we desire...he loves us...and nothing we can do or not do will change that...and beautiful PEONIES!!!!! OMGoodness sake those are some beauties!!!! (and i'm with you on the 4000 pics...i'm a pic hoarder)...blessings! i heart you.

jacqueline said...

Thanks for sharing! These thoughts have been on my mind lately as well. Your expression of them has inspired me to get moving.

Kristy said...

beautiful pictures. i can't wait to hear where you go, who you will touch. i am sure of it, you will DO it!

mimi charmante said...

girlfriend - while I admire your desire to "do more" I also think that you are one of the best mothers I have ever known, and honestly, you are too hard on yourself. those girlies four are growing into incredible women, and when the right opportunity arrives for you to be a part of, you will jump on it. I think that the perfect place for you simply hasn't found you...
and on a side-note~ your photography is wonderful!
always in awe of you~

Susan said...

Hey Paige
I just love those flowers, they are beautiful. Are they fragrant?
Do y'all have a Habitat for Humanity in that area? Those things are usually done on a Saturday, so it might be an opportune time for your family to get together. I also love to volunteer during the Susan G. Komen events as well as others that are big in our community. It's a great way to meet people too.
There is always a little feeling of melancholy when the kiddos start back to school, but it soon fades with all the chaos. I hope your week improves.
Have agreat day now you hear?

Heather said...

well, you inspire me :)

i have just been asked to serve on the board of a pregnancy crisis center in the ATL - so, i know that they could always use you and the girls there :) - for a little lovin on women questioning what to do...

Prov starts tomorrow ... let's get a date on the books.

Christina said...

peonies are my favorite flower, pink is my favorite color. deep sigh for beauty.

you inspire me. i live in a community where people are in need... we raise our kids with all the love, we can give. but somehow when i walk out my door, i know our love can be spread up and down our very own block... we have this power and more than enough love. : ) i feel this deep in my heart. always.
i am more inspired than i was when i woke up this morning, and for that i am grateful, my friend.

Ellie said...

okay - I'm not trying to baby you - and I know you NEED to do this - however, it is so tough with four children. I have great intentions too. I've been thinking a lot lately about how spiritual it can be to discipline yourself to have good habits. Just getting something on the schedule gets the ball rolling. You can always change it later if you feel more called to another area of ministry. You inspire me - thanks :)

Jboo said...

You are just about the sweetest person I know. The right opportunity will come along at the right time, I'm sure. It's hard to fit everything in and raising your 4 beautiful girls take a lot of skill and effort.

Your photos are beautiful. Peonies are my fave flowers and so nice to be reminded of their delicate beauty during this heat wave of August!


Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

You will be wonderful in a ministry position helping others because you are such an encouragement and He will use you in such a big way girlfriend! Your peonies are beautiful too... I'm so sad my dog ate mine. (Lucy the bad dog!!!!)

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I look forward to you sharing one of your accomplishments with us.
I believe that you should consider making the move without trying to bring anyone else along.
Do what speaks to YOUR heart now, and others will follow when they see the joy in your heart and smile and it is their time to give of themselves.

You have put your desires into the universe and I wish you blessings and strength to follow your words.

Dayle said...

Lovely, honest, and stunning photographs.

It's easy to feel we aren't doing enough in this big world of ours, but don't be too hard on yourself. I can think of nothing more important than raising responsible children, who turn into responsible adults. It is giving back to your community, and to the world, in a very meaningful way.

I'd love to have you link up with me some Thursday for my Simple Pleasures series.

Kristin said...

Images beautiful and well girly your heart....I love it that God is tugging on you, that you are hearing his gentle whisper. God will find a place for you and or you and your girls too to be a blessing and serve your tender heart big. When you least expect it you will be in the midst of something ordained by His hand. And I will be there to cheer you on and well, would love to go and serve right beside you and your girls too.

Love you friend.

kpb said...

yummiest flowers ever- want some in every room :)

Jodee Leader said...

I, too, failed to help anyone this summer and I need to find a way to make time to do so. Thanks for posting to remind me to get movin'! I hope you have a fun fall!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Those peonies are beautiful. I know what you mean about the accountability thing. Sometimes it's just too easy to push the good intentions to the back while you get through the everyday. I know you'll get to them though...because that's the kind of gal you are!

Jo Jo said...

I like the peonies! They are nice break from the hot days of summer her in New Mexico.

I also love that your dog's name is Brinkley. You've Got Mail is my all time favorite movie!

Deborah King said...

First, I love your pictures. You should sell them.
I can't believe your post today. Your words spoke to me exactly how I have been feeling for the past several months. God has given me a conviction for Ethiopia. I am sponsoring a child there and hoping to go in a year or two to help at the day center where the children will go to school (which should be a feat in itself since I'm not a fan of flying). Who knows what God has planned for me. I can't wait to hear what your journey brings. Thank you for being such a good inspiration to me.

Cathy Louise said...

All I can say my friend you are amazing and whatever you decide you will touch hearts as you have touched mine...Love ya c xxx

Between You and Me said...

oh my goodness, I love those peonies. Did you take a class or just figure your camera out on your own? I have to take a class. :)

You're a great mom...you were feeling that conviction and you're still feeling it..so I know you'll do something about it...
would it help to sit down with the girls and ask them to name 3 things they'd want to do with you? You could write them down and put them somewhere that you'll all see them every single day.

we made a summer list of things to do this summer, and we've accomplished all of them but 2...it would never have happened if the list hadn't been written down.

Hey...on another note...I noticed that you are friends with Megan Keys. We're from the same hometown..she's younger than me :) but we know each other...do you go to the same church? crazy small world. small, small world.

Lissa said...

1. the whole idea of freshening up the home and providing a yummy home cooked meal for the family's return is so heavenly!

2. I know that you will be involved in a ministry with your girls and it's a wonderful idea! It reminds me of the book "A same different kind as me."

3. these peony photos are so lovely. This whole photography thing is so overwhelming to me! Maybe you can keep me accountable to watch those tutorials and stuff. deal?

Privet and Holly said...

Dear friend.....
Don't be so hard
on yourself. You
are doing the Lord's
work in raising these
wonderful girls and
that is number one.
Something will reveal
itself to you when
the time is right.
I know that hollow
feeling when they
first go back....
Not happening here
for a few weeks!
Big hugs.
xx Suzanne

traci said...

Paige, I feel like I could have written this. I to desperately want to serve and have made a few calls but have not followed through either. You have just given me a little push. Thanks.

amanda said...

go easy on yourself. be patient with yourself. and the peonies...oh the photos are breathtaking. thanks for sharing!

ps: popping over from emily's

Tracey said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!

You will find the right ministry Paige, I'm sure of that! Sometimes it takes awhile to find where you really feel like you will fit in and be the most help...and I think that is all part of God's plan. So don't be too hard on yourself and just keep praying about it...

Hugs ~

:) T

Jen said...

Life is hard and busy!! If you haven't read "Same Kind of Different As Me", it will encourage you to follow through with your conviction. It is one of the best books I've read, and when my boys are old enough, it will be a must read for them. Right now at almost 3 and 5, they are a bit young! You will find your right spot and in the right time. JoyfullY!

Jeanneoli said...

That is what I love about the beginning of the school year...I get a do over. We sit down and reevaluate what we want for our family and the children and each other. I know you will find the right ministry for each of you.

hometown girl said...

don't be so hard on yourself, some people never even think about giving back. you will do it and you'll find what it's supposed to be. i love all your gorgeous photos, they are fantastic! did you really take 4000 photos in the last month? have a beautiful day! susan

patricia e said...

I love that you shared this with us. I too have been contemplating the options of serving on something big. Don't know if it's the right timing yet for me, but want to do something of meaning and purpose. You will know when and where to go when the time comes.

Laura said...

I know we have never met, but as the mother of 3 adult daughters, I understand how you feel but this is what comes to mind.

Maybe the reason it didn't happen is that it wasn't supposed to happen in the ways you had imagines-
I remember once long ago when a friend with young children withdrew from a ladies group we were part of- she said,
"I have my own community to serve."

I think there are seasons.
Opportunities will occur-
just keep doing the next right thing with your sweet family.

White Spray Paint

Seizing My Day said...

I have a heart for therapy dog work!! =) I hope to do that one day with my pup... who seems like he will never grow up and obey enough to do it!! =) We choose his breed in hopes that we could do therapy dog work one day.. we shall see! anyway... God's timing is perfect and the right ministry will present itself at just the right time... especially if your heart is desiring it... and you are praying... perhaps this summer wasn't the right time!?! =) Raising beautiful daughters is a beautiful ministry in and of itself! =)

Mrs.B said...

Love the photos~beautiful! ...and the words...yeah, I KNOW!!! Me too! We must just get out there and actually DO what's in our hearts!
"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."
Mother Teresa

Martha said...

oh your pictures are just beautiful...I know you would like accountability for yourself but don't be so hard on yourself at the same time....you are doing wonderful with what you are doing now and I bet the perfect opportunity will be waiting for you at the right time.

Anne Marie said...

Hi Paige.....helping others is so vital - and if you have the time to do it, even better!!

did you know you don't have to get your dog therapy trained? we had a tibetan mastiff, and we could have take him to the hospitals....nursing homes....and no paperwork necessary!

LuLu said...

You are amazing and I just know the right thing will open up for you and your girls. Time goes by so fast it's hard to grasp... i'm making myself accountable as well. Your pictures are beautiful,

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

I am so impressed with you....the sort of mama you are, the sort of woman and blogger you are, the sort of Christian you are...and I just wanted to let you know that.


Fräulein Klein said...

Hello! I just found your beautiful blog!
Great photos!
Have a nice weekend,

Suzanne said...

Sweet Paige, where do I start? I am so sorry I didn't know about your loss. If I hadn't been so wrapped up in my own little world... Please know that I will keep all of you in my heart and prayers as always.

As far as school starting, doesn't time go so fast? We are so alike...I think of these same things too...mission trips, volunteering with my girls, getting Maui certified as a therapy dog...yet I have not done it either. This has to change:)

Back to school time is so emotional and melancholy, isn't it? I feel sad for those who can't wait to get their kids out of the house and out of their lives. Maybe we're just really blessed.

Lastly, thank you for those gorgeous photos. Pink peonies are my favorite, so you really, really made my day!

Big hugs and blessings!!!!!

theUngourmet said...

Just stumbled onto your blog by way of Bottom of the Ironing Basket. Beautiful place you have here.

My first thought reading this was...you feel you have blown it but...maybe our timing is not God's timing. Maybe your hesitation was not a mistake but in reality...God's perfect timing.

Leslie said...

I can relate to this post in so many ways!
Go easy on yourself, you have had so much going on!
And don't discount the fact at how you minister to all of us, you are such a source of inspiration, whether through your good or your bad, you are a faithful servant and remind us that life is not always perfect but to make the most of it. Just look at all of the people you reach, it really is something Paige! And you have such a story to tell, we are all captivated by you!
Take the time to stop and smell the peonies,which are gorgeous by the way, you sweet thing!!!

Ramona said...

Blessings to you Paige ~

You are such a wonderful mother...wife...human being...God bless you for your honest and heart felt words. Takes a brave woman...thank you for such a wonderful example.

Have a wonderful week....fall is coming!

Smiles ~ Ramona

LLH Designs said...

A beautiful post all the way around. May the Lord create a burning fire in your heart for all things HIM.

Iphigenia said...

Back to school time also makes me feel sad, knowing that my children are growing..on high speed!! I wish you all the best!!

Jen Kershner said...

I always love your book recommendations. I am finally, FINALLY reading The Help!

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