Apparently the calendar and list of things to do and places to be and responsibilities at hand has trumped my ability to sit and write. It seems to have trumped a lot of things lately. And even though it’s part time, being a working girl has changed things for me in a huge way. It is wonderful – but even wonderful things require a time of adjustment. And so that’s where I’ve been … in the land of learning and organizing and adjusting.
I feel cheated somehow when I look at my time and everything is work and responsibilities, but little to no play. Can I get a date night with my husband?! Hello!?
In a conversation with a wonderful friend a few weeks back, I admitted – I don’t remember the last time I kissed my husband. I felt rude…I was lost in thought literally trying to remember. A kiss that lasted more than 1.3 seconds…it had been weeks. As in, “week plus an S“.
I could have just folded up and cried right there and then but I had too much left on my list of things to do that day. Are we not a happy, healthy couple? We are actually, so what’s the deal?
We live a very blessed and full life; more than I dreamed for. But “full” sometimes is a double-edged sword.
Much of the time, I feel like I’m just trying to stay afloat…. honor commitments, serve where there’s an opportunity, complete my work, wash the car? I wish! I’m doing my job the best I can. Some day’s it just doesn’t feel good enough. And some days, I realize, I’m a bit too hard on myself.
Wait, didn’t I just shave my legs? I don’t have TIME for that this morning too! Follow through, follow up, Oh fun! Another birthday party invitation. Change the laundry, Uhh..rewash the laundry. Study with the kids, start dinner. Dinner. Dinner! Hey! Let’s be social with our friends! Huh?
Nothing is a bad thing. There’s just a lot of it. Manual labor plus expectations. Yikes. I realize some people do it all with ease. And then there’s me. A work in progress, none too proud to say, I stink at all this.
I’ve created new systems for housework which includes upping the kids responsibilities and gone back to the good ole’ days of using a big time paper planner. No more week-at-a-glance… we’re up to two pages for each day now keeping everything straight. Wait, you’re gonna be gone another night a week and the lil one wants piano lessons? Are you serious? I’m thankful for the lawn man and our dry cleaner. Without them we would have bigger issues than we already have!
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I know I’m not.
Seems like every third conversation I have lately, someone is either in a hurry to run to some other commitment or just simply saying – “Too much! I can’t keep up! Life is too busy!”
And it is. Is it cultural? Is it where we live? Have we done this to ourselves?
Wednesday morning I found myself home alone for the first time in a long time. The windows were open and newly cooled air was was flowing through the screens along with the sunshine. I was curled up in my bedroom chair drinking coffee and just being still and quiet for a bit. I felt like I hadn’t done that in so long. The computer was off. The phone was set away. These very moments were an over-abundance just a year ago, and now are so rare and treasured. I reached over to take my devo book off the side table. I hadn’t read it in a few days and so I opened it to where the ribbon had marked my place. I kid you not….here is an excerpt from what it said:
Wait upon Me.
Let your life be as a deep, quiet pool.
Let your heart rest in My hand as a bird in a nest…
If you would only make yourself a place apart,
yes, removed from the pressure and turmoil,
and there I will meet you. Yes, I wait for your coming.
For I long to pour out My blessings upon you,
and I long to give you My fullness.
Only be still before Me.
Never let the toils and cares of the day
rob you of this sweet fellowship with Me.
For I know what you need, and I am concerned about your
duties and responsibilities.
You will find your cares vanish,
and your load is lightened by an unseen hand.
I would have you bring Me your love,
and even as you are bringing Me your love,
I shall in turn bring to you My power,
so that I work for you in a twofold measure.
I will give you the power to discharge your duties with greater
efficiency. I am actively engaged in working for you in ways you
cannot see, to make your path clear, and to bring about things
you could never accomplish, and which would otherwise absorb
your energies and wear out your patience.
So I say again … Rest in Me. Wait upon Me.
Come apart with Me. Seek My face. Seek My fellowship.
Excerpts from Come Away My Beloved, Frances J. Roberts, page 107-108.
The room was silent, but the tears rolling off my face and hitting my shirt, were so large and heavy, that they were audible. It was as if the Lord came and had coffee with me and said, “I already know all about what’s happening. I wanna tell you to just chill. Come and spend more time with Me, and I’ll help you get it done. We’ve got this. Oh, and I’m already working on some of it…I’m way ahead of you.”
It’s not that I can’t keep up with my list of things to do. It’s that I know there’s so much more to it than that. I don’t want to be mentally or emotionally absent from my dinner table. I want to have meaningful conversations and clarity of mind where other thoughts aren’t trying to break in like the wolf taking a wrecking ball to the door of the little pigs house. You know what I’m sayin?
But a day planner doesn’t help that, and I can’t do it on my own.
I get overwhelmed. I get tired and bitchy and even more selfish than I already am. Add in matters the heart, expectations and relational stuff and there’s potential there to feel like everything will fall apart at the seams at any given moment. And I have felt that way a lot lately.
Hangin on by a thread? Yes.
But then, NO, too… the Lord keeps showing me how present He is. How involved He wants to be with me – and how involved He IS, despite the fact that I don’t always pay great attention. Without question, He relentlessly pursues me. He whispers. He speaks. He guides.
I want my marriage to thrive. I want my kids and family to thrive. My friendships. My work… all of it. It all matters. But none of it will flourish one little bit until I get and stay quiet before the Lord. I am not afraid of looking weak or frail in front of Him. Remember that song we sang as kids? “I am weak, but He is strong… Yes, Jesus loves me…Yes, Jesus loves me…” It’s okay. It’s really okay.
The theme of my whole married life it seems has been “simplify”. Everytime i do, i find myself needing to do it more. And then more. And more. I’m like a glutton for simplification, and I really wasn’t thinking it could get much simpler.
But it has.
It comes down to me and Jesus. That’s it. Not me and Jesus and totes of fall clothes and spring clothes and Christmas decorations and Spring decorations and everything has its place. In fact, I don’t have to TELL you where to put it because if you walk out there, you’ll know. [Can you tell that’s how I want it to be?]
It’s not an empty garage or an organized calendar. it’s not Brian working one job rather than three or a system of how housework is done or by whom. These things are all fantastic… but they are nothing but bandaids to my heart and mind.
This simplifying had nothing to do with me or what processes I create to streamline our life. It’s “just” Jesus. I surrender. Nothing works without Him. Nothing.