I used to be busy. Always busy. I was a full time nanny 55 hours a week getting my degree at night and trying to see my husband occasionally still 😉 Then I was a mom and kindergarten teacher with a home and husband. For years when someone asked me how it was going chances are I would respond with some variation of “busy but good”. It was, it was always hectic somehow. Then before I got pregnant with my 2nd God convicted me to slow down. I was reading scripture and realizing that busy is often the enemy of the Christian. Sure, it is glorified in society, if you are not busy you risk being labeled as lazy, spoiled, selfish… But busy can keep you from what’s really important: relationships, gratitude, joy, love. In 2012 I set a goal for myself to live what I called a “God-paced” life knowing it would be a difficult journey with no actual destination. I would never arrive no matter how far I came. That comforted me instead of discouraging me, because in a destination-less journey as long as you are moving forward you are on track, there is no timetable to race against, there is only one way to fail: not trying.
I began to say no to things I used to agree to out of guilt, time suckers that were harmless enough alone but piled onto the balance of my life they could tip the scale and drag me down. I put quality time with my child ahead of housework or other obligations and time with God ahead of time with facebook or the tv knowing they would still get done at some point. I was feeling myself grow spiritually as I stopped feeling rushed and frazzled. I made a conscious effort not to say busy, hectic or any other synonym when asked about my life, instead trying real answers.
Then I got pregnant. How could I balance prepping for maternity leave, working, family and pregnancy… how would I stay unbusy with two kids?!? Was that even possible?
I found it was.
I had to work at it and I slipped up still occasionally allowing “busy” to take center stage again. But mostly I found I could do it, I could drink in the opportunities with my students, my kids, my husband and say no to the extra stuff… I could feel… not busy.
When I first started staying home in the summer of 2014 I felt busy creep back in. I NEEDED to make sure the kids had enough playdates and social interaction and of course dinner and the house must be perfect since it’s my whole job now and what about volunteering and teaching sunday school and helping in Awana and maybe I should sell something to help
appease my guilt supplement our income…
Wait!!!! I had to all but yell at myself.
God. Paced. Life.
Going at a pace that allows me to praise the Lord, to see the opportunities he puts in my path, to enjoy all God has given me.
I can’t do that at break neck speed. I can’t do that racing through life just to check it off my list. Life can not be a to-do list.
It took a few months but I righted the ship and found myself again reveling in the life God has given me, the people he has placed in my life and the opportunities to minister to others that I had never noticed were SO ABUNDANT around me.
I run a preschool co-op, we go on playdates, we go to church and Awana, I’m in a mom group, I volunteer, I make dinners and clean my house and grocery shop I even go on dates occasionally and have nights out with friends but… i’m not rushing, i’m not rushed. I remind myself that the timelines we set are just that timelines WE set and I don’t need to do everything all the time instead I just want to be PRESENT where I AM.
Our summer has had as many days of playing for hours in the yard as it has had adventures, i’ve spent countless hours watching my kids skip rocks in the creek, hiking through trees, hunting ants in the grass…all very important stuff, not stuff to push off because I need to get to the grocery store. I have seen chances to offer kindness to strangers, expecting nothing in return, to be thoughtful toward my friends, to pray more, to read more, to love more; these are the things I am working on. I’m never busy. If you ask me to help you, to meet you, to talk to you I can almost always find a way because i’m not busy and i’m proud of it.
“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. FOR WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? It is even a VAPOR that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” Ecclesiastes 3:12-13