Monday, July 30, 2012

A Mommy-Writer's Sparkly Distractions

Shiny things always distract. Always. Whether you are driving down the road, and a glint of light glimmers from the corner of your eye, or you see a shiny newborn squirming in a stroller down the aisle, you can't help but take a peek.
And it might be harmless. Just a little look to satisfy your curiosity. A simple stare to enjoy the shine. But then, if you look too long, you might crash into the car ahead, or risk that sweet little face scrunching up and screaming with terror.
As a mother of four, I am often enamored by the shiny theory. It really does trick me each time, and I always fall for the trap.
Any mom out there will tell you that one of the best things in the world, is when sleepy heads greet you with a snuggle first thing in the morning. They are warm, cuddly, and super sweet. I LOVE that first morning, "hi mommy". It is the best. And as for my baby girl, she may not talk, but her smile always does the trick.
If only that first shine stayed polished all day long.
A brother hits a brother, a t.v. gets turned off, the cereal gets soggy, and my shiny awakened child turns into that kid from yesterday who sat in time out five times and went to bed straight after dinner.

Even as I type this, I think, yeah, that's so normal. Yeah, I got distracted by the shine, so when the child begins to tarnish, I am foolishly unprepared to handle it with patience. How can my shiny little boy become THIS? Mommy guilt sets in...I did this wrong, said that wrong, forgot to instill this....
What I really need to do is delight in the few moments of the day when the son outshines the sun. ;) And most days I do. Some days though, I lose my patience and forget that the monster was once a lamb just hours before.

You are going to think I am absolutely bonkers, but I am going to tie this into something else very important to me--writing.

I have come to realize that these past five or six years, I have been distracted by the sparkle of publishing. Most days it distracts me when I should be writing (or mothering), and I strive to figure out what my next plan of attack, my next query, my next pitch should be to turn that sparkle into a brilliant shine.
The possibility of publishing has not just become something on the side of the road that distracts a little and catches my eye, it has become a giant polished Budah belly that pulls my focus off of everything else.
It is an idol.
Something that was once a goal, has become an obsession. Shiny things always distract. And if we let them, they can entrance us in an unhealthy way.
The cool thing is, that once I figured this out (just this morning during my Bible study), God gave me grace and freedom from that stronghold. I know that publishing isn't going to be Easy Street, and that it comes with its own hurdles, own screaming newborns, its own tantrums. But I kept my focus on the sparkle of it, and it made me miserable (can we say, major fenderbenders with my husband, spiritual health?)
While goals are amazing and often blessed by God, idols are not.
So, I have grabbed my cool, polarized shades and, while the goal of publishing remains, I won't be so distracted by its shine so that everything else around me appears dull and tarnished.

Do you have any shiny distractions in your life? Are you tending to them in a healthy way, or have they become an obsession?

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