Monday, November 10, 2014

God's Time

So, I don't like to busy. Not anymore than anyone else, I'm sure. Actually - I probably like to be busy slightly LESS than the average person in my life. I'm content with slow-paced, hanging out at home, just chillin'. Well, as you probably imagined, that's not something I normally get. But this isn't a post about how busy I am. Or how much less busy I wish I were.

This is a post about all the posts I'm seeing on Facebook about how "sinful it is to be busy" or "how to stop being busy" or any of the posts claiming to know everything about how busy (or non-busy) each of us should be.

Blech.

I'm tired of the whole conversation.

Here's the conversation I've been having - and one I think all those online bloggers ought to be asking their readers to have too: "OK, Lord. Is our family honoring You through the use of our time? Are we finding the right balance for our household? Is what we're choosing to spend our time on wise? or should we modify it to be more pleasing to You?"

It's not about comparing our family's level of busy-ness to other families in order to gauge whether we're doing OK. It's about taking regular assessments as to whether our time management skills are pleasing to God.

Here's why I think this is such an important gauge: because if we value our "down-time" too much or our "go-time" too much...both of those extremes can become idolatry.

I know for a fact that we're busier than I ever wanted to be. But - we have three healthy, social, active kids. And - praise the Lord - we're in a place where financially, we don't always have to say "No!". Part of our busy-ness stems just from the fact that we're homeschoolers. That's not something I'm willing to give up. Then there's the music lessons. Those are a non-negotiable in my house. Then there's the sports/physical activities. I'm THRILLED that my kids are athletic and into sports! Hard to say no to that. Then there's family & church activities. Also important. Let's face it - we are just right in the throes of the busiest season of our lives as parents. One day (all too soon) we're going to look back on these busy years and miss them. For now - it's a constant reminder to myself to just hold on tight and enjoy the ride. :-)

When I feel like my world is spinning just a bit too fast for me - I've learned how to say "No!". Thankfully, I've gotten pretty good at this. I find that I stay grounded when I'm staying in the Word - and when I'm getting enough alone time (I'm an introvert, remember). When things get too busy for me and I'm not getting my down time - yes, I do sometimes have mini meltdowns and end up having to stay home from an activity in order to re-charge my batteries. But, praise God, I've learned over the years that this is OK! And there's no guilt involved.

So - if you see one of those posts online about making sure to stay away from busy...I hope you'll read them with fresh eyes. Busy exists. It's just whether or not you're keeping God in the middle of your busy, or leaving Him out. Keeping Him in it? Good for you.

Now - hold on tight...and enjoy the ride!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Real Truth

I'm no longer sharing my blog updates on Facebook. So - if you've stumbled across this...you must really be a true friend. :-) I hope to get on here more frequently to share my latest thoughts. But I really prefer that no one reads them. Unlike most bloggers, I just want to use this site as a means to save my ramblings for the future. Keeps them from getting lost in the piles on my desk, you know. 

Speaking of which...

I'm sitting here typing away at my cluttered desk on a gorgeous sunny fall Sunday afternoon. It's the "Fall Back" Sunday - so I'm remarkably refreshed (how can one little hour have that big of an effect?!). The washing machine and dryer are busy. The kids and Dave are each otherwise entertained. I have some rare moments of "down time". Well, not really. I have lots of other things to still be doing. But I'm proclaiming this moment as one worth sharing what's on my mind. 

If you were to ask me how I'm feeling lately - as is probably the case with everyone - my answer doesn't truly reflect what's on my mind. Wand to know how I truly am? Something like this:
I'm feeling overwhelmed with my homeschool Mom title right now. I'm pretty much convinced I'm screwing up the kids by being their teacher. But I don't want to send them to public school. And we can't afford Christian school. But I really want the twins to have a more school-like environment for high school. So, even though Dave tells me not to - I'm already thinking ahead to next year and trying to figure out which one-day homeschool program to have them in. Which, I think I have figured out. Which is good. But there's still this school year. And I already feel like it's a disaster because we can't stay on schedule and I'm tired of never getting everything done I say we're going to. So I'm already feeling defeated and that the kids are going to be screwed up because their Mom couldn't get her act together. Then, there's the fact that I not only don't seem to be doing this homeschool Mom thing very well, but I'm also completely angry with myself that I've gained back 30 of the pounds I lost and I can't seem to get myself back on the weight loss track. (Can we say "Emotional Eater"?!?!) So I have MAJOR self-loathing again, which I know is absolutely NO help. But no matter what I do I can't seem to string enough good days together to re-form a habit...so the calendar is just clicking away and I'm not losing weight and I HATE looking in the mirror and feeling how I feel. And then there's the fact that my Shaklee business requires more time of me than what I know how to give it. Because I already am spread too thin being a homeschooler and taxi cab driver for the kids. And my parents will be heading to Florida soon which always throws me for a loop. And the fact that they're aging and I don't know how much more time I have with them...but yet I can't seem to spend as much time with them as I want because I'm so busy all the time and not carrying my weight on everything I have to do at my house let alone trying to help them do more at their house - that weighs heavy on my mind every day! 

Can you relate?! When people ask me how I am, I'll obviously NEVER answer with this. But - depending on how crazy that day is feeling - that's probably what I'm really thinking. Of course - all anyone really wants to hear (or has time to hear) is that we're "good". That's part of why I wonder why that is the question we open with. Why are we asking something probably none of us really wants to know? I mean - if I'm rushing past you and saying hello to be friendly...when I throw on the "how are you" question, it's not that I actually have time to stop and hear how you REALLY are. Right? I know that. And, really, it's not that I'm not good. I am. I mean, I'm blessed beyond measure. And you probably are more "good" than anything too - right? This question and its expected answers - they're just part of social "niceness". Same with social media. That's all we really want to hear - everyone's funny stories and cute updates. Don't get too real. That's just a downer. And, really, who has time for that?! (Sarcasm intended.)

But what's really true in the middle of all of this? God knows. And He cares. And He wants to carry all our burdens & anxieties and give us a fresh start. He's 100% on our side. Loving us. Directing us. Rooting for us. He knows what's on our heart better than anyone. And He's also got every single detail of our crazy life all figured out.

Praise God! We don't have to know it all - we just have to know the One who does.

So, I know we have to keep asking each other how we are. (And, I also know "good" is really the only acceptable answer.)  But - if you and I schedule a coffee date  - I'll gladly hear how you really are. And then we'll share some laughter and encouragement too. 'Cuz you know - we're not supposed to go through this journey all alone. Let's get off Facebook...and meet each other at Biggby. :-)