I do think we need to stop thinking in terms of ‘what can I handle’ and instead ‘how can I be stretched’. ~Octamom
My sister put out a request for good books to read, as she has challenged herself to read more in the coming year. I got to thinking how much I have enjoyed reading in the past, especially novels. Then about three years ago, I started noticing how while reading I would really zone out. It was getting dangerous to read while the children were about; even though I was in the same room with them, I wasn’t paying a lick of attention to what they were doing. Kim warned me about escaping into fiction; Nancy did, too. But it wasn’t until the day I looked up from my book to see 9 month old A Minor crawling down the sidewalk toward our street’s intersection that I was shocked to attention. Of course, there were other circumstances that led to her escaping the house unnoticed, but it still served as a wake up call to me- novels no more! I love to read. I love to spend my time doing that. But ever since I have become a mother, I have had to give up many things I love to do, because my children’s well-being is more important than brief moments of leisure.
I like how Octamom puts it:
“I would never have grown into the person I am were it not for the cradle crucible of self-sacrifice…”
I’m not saying reading novels is wrong. I just finished the last two books in the Mitford Series over Christmas, following Nancy’s advice of picking up a favorite book during vacation. And, I have discovered the joys to be had in reading non-fiction, in preparation for school lessons, homekeeping, and growing in wisdom. Reading, as with all other interests, is a pastime I have had to bring under submission to God’s will, not mine. Even little things, like giving up novels, serve to stretch me in ways I never imagined.