Featuring Guest Blogger: Meghan Green with Purposed Life
iPhone. Check. iMac opened up to etsy, facebook and an email window simultaneously. Check. Amazing media outlets that help me spread the word about my business. Check. Wow! This 21st century stuff sure is cool. I’ve got my gadgets all around me giving me the status of how my creations are selling online. My phone buzzes in my hand as I walk carrying a new pack of wipes into my son’s room to change his diaper. As I’m putting his pants back on him I see that I’ve sold something on my website. Happy dance. But unfulfilled.
In starting my business Purposed Life I knew that I wanted to be creatively fulfilled. I mean, my art is everywhere around me: my walls all feature different colors from another room in the house, each room has at least 6 quilts that I’ve made with my fabric obsession, my kid’s wardrobes are half handmade with cool fabrics repurposed somehow, etc. So, I decided to start a business where I could do my art full time (well, sort of full time. You know, stay at home mom of 3- nothing but kids can really be full time). I’ve found an amazing creative outlet for me but it’s so easy to get swept up in the fulfillment that I feel. It’s easy to tape the phone or computer in front of my face so I can constantly check how my little business venture is doing online.
It’s easy but is it right? Am I really fulfilling God’s purpose for me or my kiddos by be so tuned in to my nifty electronics that I’m tuning out the precious little beings running around, giggling, and yapping my ear off. (Yep! My middle one always runs around- seriously, non-stop. My youngest baby just smiles and giggles to get my attention. My oldest darling is always singing to me and telling me a different story.) Why would I want to miss that? I don’t.
So, I put down my phone. I close my laptop. I leave my iPad on my nightstand. We go outside. Outside, I am not tempted to check my website shop. Outside, I can’t hop on Facebook and see how popular I am . Being outside is about being with my three babies. Being outside is about teaching my kiddos that there are way more important things than the television and video games. Being outside is about teaching my darlings to look at the world around them, the beautiful world that our Creator made for us.
We spend at least an hour outside everyday. We get dirty. We get covered in mud and it’s good. The boys have helped me plant a garden. They help me water it and pick the ripe fruit and veggies. I talk to them all the time about God creating this beautiful earth and that we are supposed to take care of it and cultivate the ground to create something beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of Arizona landscape. I would take the mountains or the beach over this dry, desert climate any day but I can honestly say that our backyard is my most favorite piece of nature. I have fallen in love with it. My kids have fallen in love with it (or they always have been. Boys- I’m sure they’d love being outside no matter what). We’ve put so much time and attention into our little earth that we are attached. Not only have I committed to spending at least an hour outside with the kids everyday, we also take at least one day out of the week and spend almost the whole day outside. Sometimes they complain but it’s our day to be outside as a family and they will grow up knowing that our time together away from computers, televisions, and phones matter.
We don’t only get dirty outside. We get messy. We get covered in paint, markers, play dough, and glue. We do art together- outdoors. I am an artist. I love seeing the different creative traits shining through my boys and can’t wait to see how my baby girl approaches it in her own unique way. Kids are natural artists. They haven’t been taught which side of the brain they prefer to use or that they are good at this but not good at that. They love to work with their hands and it’s good. I encourage their imagination and creativity. I encourage the mess! (When we are outside.)
Getting outside is about taking the time to BE- to be WITH your kids and to be with them on purpose. It’s about making the conscious and continued decision that technology and work can wait. My kids can’t wait. They don’t want to wait for mommy’s attention and most of the time they shouldn’t have to (I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be polite and patient). So, technology and work will wait- at least until 2pm at which point all three of my little ones take naps and I bust my tushie until dinner.
Being outside in the mornings with my kids is how I make being a work at home mom work. I can get what I need to get done during the afternoons knowing that my babies are fulfilled in spending time with their mom and getting out in creation.
Everyone’s story and schedule is different. Find what works for you but I do encourage you to get outside with your kids, if not everyday then at least a few times a week. They need it.
Meghan Green is the mom to Blake, Jax, and Brynn, and wife to Justin. She owns Purposed Life (www.purposedlife.etsy.com), a mini fashion line designed to give back and a way to spread her love for art and handmade clothes around. She loves gardening, photography, fashion, and Harry Potter (among other things).