Sit with me
Do y'all ever hit a brick wall? When life piles up and you are like "Oh yea, I have a book coming out in a month!" while simultaneously deciding you are going to double your hours at work, launch a private health challenge support group on Facebook, and basically try to parent and survive at the same time?
My eye's just bulged reading that.
Here's the thing. It's easy for me to believe that these stresses are exclusive to me. Truth is, they aren't. All of us have to-do lists that are miles long and can overwhelm us if we try to do it all.
Here's my secret. I don't try to do all, and I don't consider myself lazy for choosing the path I do. I refused to let my work overwhelm the quality of my life.
...Yup. I just said what so many Americans refuse to value and do. You can chalk it up to the Millennial in me, but really I think it comes down to the fact that I've experienced the quality of my life dwindle in my attempt to be everything a woman is supposed to be while struggling to balance two careers, three kids, and other's expectations of me.
So, for thirty-one days, I put a goal of mine (this blog) temporarily off to the side. This isn't the first time I've seemingly "checked out." Quite often I'll take a step back from social media (much to my PR agent's dismay) simply because time is too precious to me.
Doing this isn't easy though. There are thousand's of different ways to hear, "where have you been?" and I've heard them all. When it happens, a dark cloud of judgment passes over me, silver lined with guilt.
Ladies, I dread this feeling like no other. Raised a people pleaser, there is something in me that has a visceral reaction when I believe I've let others down, and it tricks me into believing I've let myself down.
When this happens, my mind can easily spin into thousand’s of business ideas and “I should try this, and this, and apply for this job,” which would allow me to do this and then they won't think xyz and... etc.
Whenever my mind starts to spin, I have to ground myself and simply say "Okay, it's time to slow down."
The more I do, the more I feel God’s grace and goodness pulling me closer to Him.
And that judgement of others? My shoulders may as well be slathered in oil with how easy I can shrug it off when I'm in the process of being intentional about my stresses, health, to-do list, responsibilities, and time.
Getting here was a process, and to tell you the truth, I haven’t fully arrived. It seems far too often I have to learn lessons over and over in order to get things right.
The other day I was reading Matthew (Yep, we are about to preach a bit, but I am a worship pastor’s wife so have a little grace with me) and the account of Jesus turning a few loafs of bread into enough to feed over five thousand caught my heart.
I don’t know about you ladies but if I was at an all day outdoor speaking event, by sundown my mind would be on one thing only; getting food.
Jesus’s disciples pointed this out in Matthew 14:15.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Ladies, these disciples get me! Bring me to the nearest Chipotle, STAT!
Then Jesus responds in such a way that is so simple it’s frustrating.
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
The disciples probably shifted their feet, not exactly knowing how to break it to Jesus that their lunch basket wasn’t exactly stocked like Cost-co.
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
Then Jesus responds…
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.
This is the part that made me pause. Ladies, I hate to admit it but far too often I’d probably would have thought “This guy wants me to sit here? I haven’t eaten all day and I’m covered in dry sweat. You want me to sit when I could take a twenty minute walk and be scarfing down a burrito bowl with a side of lemonade?”
Stuck in my own mind and assessment of needs and things to accomplish, I probably would have packed up my little family and left, resulting in me and my family missing one of Jesus’s greatest miracles yet.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
This is where I always get choked up. Because of what I deem immediate wants, like completing me entire to-do list, making my living room a place where I’d feel comfortable welcoming Joanna Gaines, or applying for jobs that would make my bank account plush yet stress out my family and my health beyond belief, I would miss out on one of Jesus’s greatest miracles.
A promise of abundant provision, not just for me, but also for my community.
So this is why I “sit” more.
I wait on wisdom and try to achieve balance, even when it runs counter to our culture of constantly attacking the grind and wanting more. Doing more. Meeting others expectations.
So today, I sit and blog. The time has come to shift this sweet little space back into my primary view and I'm thrilled. The wait was hard, but it was worth it.
So, all that to say this, I'm back. New posts coming soon!