Saturday, February 27, 2016

Reclaiming my life by laying it down

We could probably debate for hours about who has the most crazy busy schedule.

It's not like we're bragging, but it somehow seems to justify the impossible trench we have dug ourselves into. I realized this fall that I had just dug deeper than I could handle. The details aren't important, but you likely relate all too well to how it happens:

A simple "yes"
A renewed commitment to something you've "always" done
Can't say "no" to that
"Well, we could use the money"
Another thing that will only take an hour now and then
Overestimating the time saved in anticipated changes
Unavoidable disruptions
Sporadic Illness
Unexpected changes
Bumpy transitions
New parenting phases

and on, and on. Little by little, bit by bit, life piles on. And we let it.

I prayed through every decision, I thought. I sought my husband's counsel. I acted out of my family's best interests, and yet I found myself drowning. Struggling to even grab a single breath as I missed deadlines, delivered sub-par work, and neglected areas I thought were non-negotiables.

Almost every morning you would still find me crying out to God, often literally, to help me carry this. That I knew I couldn't do it on my own. That I needed His strength to help me carry all He called me to.

I. Couldn't. Do. It. Not on my own, not in God's strength, not in this lifetime. It was absolutely too much.

So God began to teach. In the midst of it all, he continually drew my thoughts back to Him. We walked through Job together, we spent hours in prayer together. We wrestled as I had never wrestled before. He taught by speaking gently through my own words to Him and continued as I read Scripture.

And so I begin to follow afresh. Some things need to be surrendered, rejected, let go. Pruning is hard, painful even. Tough decisions, more prayer. Calm assurance that it's ok to say 'no' and change a previous answer.

Only what God wants in my life should be left. Not a schedule packed to the gills.

Time for what's important. Snuggly reading times, giggly dance-parties, outdoor discoveries, talks with teens over lattes, adventures with littles in blanket forts. Living out my faith in the everydayness of motherhood.

Those things get squeezed out in the hustle and bustle. And they are some of the most important things in this season of life. Can't miss them. Not one more season.

These days will be gone so quickly. Nothing can bring them back or slow them down. Drawing the line, and looking ahead with anticipation.