Do your days flow together like a story without chapters?
The separate chapters are unfolding whether we feel the pause between the last sentence of one and the title of another. Busyness is the new black.
For me, the difference in this season is the lack of overwhelm. It isn’t the companion it used to be. I'd even say it has been replaced by joy, joy in the little things, in the feeling of helping children grow, expand, thrive.
This part of my story is being re-written in my life. It can for you too.
The Spirit has been reminding me that I only get what I need for today. Tomorrow will have enough when it comes around.
In the past, the worries of how I will get it all done, all the things that are filling the other chapters I haven’t come to yet used to lock me down in overwhelm. My first emotion was anger, directed mostly at whomever was nearest. My husband used to tell me to list what I need to do in order of importance to get them all done. How practical...and frustrating. I just wanted him to listen, empathize, perhaps even appreciate all the things I do for our family. I realize the strangeness of that, now.
For me, these days of a son getting engaged, wedding plans, selling of a business and training the new owners, getting 4 sons off to college, an ending of a chapter for another son, and all the things daily life holds, come at a pace that seems doable.
And I’m realizing it is more about heart posture than anything else. That joy and peace can be found in the full days, even the emotionally tiring ones.
Years ago, during a time of oppressive overwhelm and busyness, a friend asked me to write down the things that brought me joy. That list was filled with wonderful things that had NOT been on my to do list in years. Although they did fill a space in my chapters, they were done almost as afterthoughts, more out of obligation than intentional acts. My life consisted more of putting out fires than doing the things that brought me joy.
My list looked like this:
• feeding my family good healthy food
• gathering with friends
• allowing space to be available to kids when they need things, practical or just some listening ears
• going for walks to clear my head and listen
These were all good things, the best things really. They were the exact things that made me feel grateful, the things I knew I was meant to do. They were my sweet spot, my purpose.
But, I had filled my life with lesser things.
Do you have things in your life that when you do them, bring you joy, make you feel like you were meant for this? Are you actually doing them?
My encouragement for you is to take each day as it comes and embrace what today holds. Be present with those you should be present with. Do that well.
For me, today looked like moving our oldest son into his apartment for his last year of college. When he asked me if we can grocery shop together on the way (I REALLY do not like grocery shopping), I say "yes" because that is what is needed for today. The task at hand is to love him well, to make him feel like he is the only thing that matters today. So, I do have time for him. Time is an expensive commodity and he is so worth spending time on.
This fills me right up. The fact that I GET to be there for him is a gift. I do not need to worry about tomorrow because I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet. I just need to do today well.
Are you a busy mom with 1 or 12 kids bouncing around?
Do you live life in an exhausted state?
Do you find yourself saying, “I’ll be there in a second?”
I’ve been there. That was my address for way too long. I’ve learned a few things along the way about living a life of peace, rest, and joy. I hope you will be around to learn from my mistakes and the things that, bless the Lord, I did do right in raising our 5 sons.
It is the most incredible privilege to be a Mother. Challenging, yes. These can be the most joyful years of your life. You, your kids, and your whole family can flourish in it. I promise.