I just sat down and took a big ol’ gulp of air. And then exhaled.
I made a decision today to eliminate one day from my weekly schedule that has been completely draining me. (My schedule has been draining me, not necessarily that one day.) And I am anticipating getting back to all the important things that I know belong on my stovetop, but have lately gotten bumped aside or set on the backburner.
I do a lot of Things. And they are Good Things. But since taking on a part-time job last September, my margin has been slim, to-do lists, and chores overwhelming.
My job is amazing. You see, I get paid to help people. I am a social worker by trade. What could be better, right? I get to help people whom Jesus treasures and God the Father has commanded us to care for. I now understand why Jesus preferred the “least of these” over the elite. I see the beauty.
I also now know why Jesus frequently went into the wilderness to pray with his closest people, or just by Himself. #jesuswasanambivert
I used to believe that the term “self-care” was really just selfishness, wrapped up in a pretty bow, to help people feel better about looking out for Number One. I still struggle with it. Thus, I often land on some level of guilt about taking trips away with my husband, time away with friends, spending money for counseling, asking for help with my kids, and prioritizing exercise. While I do more than my share of self-centering, I have realized how badly life goes, when I don’t take care of myself in ways that keep me healthy and sane, ie., know my own limits. Jesus, having traded in his Glory in exchange for flesh, knew and fully felt the weight of being human. He knew what was important and how to manage his humanity. Perfectly so. Jesus knew when to take a break.
Whenever someone does that illustration with the sand and the rocks and the jars? I want to shout, “Just dump it all in there! It will be FINE! It’s just fine.”
A wise person once said, “Ladies, you can do anything you want. But you can’t do everything.” Being finite is one of the ways that we are not like God. And as much as I want to do all of the things, I have to keep reminding myself of the things right in front of me that God has clearly ordained for me in this season.
My husband and children, who are clearly at the top of my list of people who are right in front of me, they get the survival mode version of me. I am, by nature, disorganized and forgetful. So when I stretch myself too thin for my own capabilities, I find myself apologizing frequently for all the things that I forgot or have been slow to attend to. (Can we just have a moment of silence for my Yahoo inbox? It has hung onto life by a thread.) I am tired (but that’s been going on for about eight years, who am I kidding?). Where is the time to have coffee with a friend and catch up (face-to-face, and not in snippets of life on social media), or take a treat over to greet the new neighbor, or have lunch with my son at his school?
I want to get involved with every great cause I hear about, chase passions and dream big dreams, plan new things, and love everyone well. I forget that two of my greatest causes sleep under my roof every night.
I think I’ve mistaken my view from social media’s watchtower as a means to be a part of everyone’s life I’ve ever known. How exhausting. And inadequate for all those involved.
I find myself longing for the slowness of Kenya, for destinations that don’t have WiFi available, responsibilities to cover, or at least a clean slate.
So I lean into coffee and naps.
I hear my Father calling me to know Him and love Him, first. I pursue Him and his holiness, not my own. I beg to understand His love so that it can pour out of me onto all those around me. I begin a deliberate taking up my cross and carrying it, all the way. I take that big, deep breath.
“All the way home, Amy.”