Mental Sabbatical in 3….2….1

Somewhere between 1130 pm dinners alone, consisting of edamame or Hershey bars, and midnight baths, I decided round March/Aprilish, that enough was enough. In all of the 39 years I have been blessed to live, I have never seen our family so tired & worn out. To the point that no one of us is even capable of really lifting the others up because we are zombies; just gliding through & through the routines that are supposed to be defining, growing & preparing us……for what? Every step we are taking isn’t a step, it’s a limp which is progressing into a crawl.

I said & have said, ENOUGH, what now? I often love it when people ask me why I am so tired, since I “don’t work”. This deserves as much of a slap in the mouth, as the intellectually challenged who ask me if my toddler daughter’s glasses are real or if I know so & so because they are from AL too, cause the state is just 1 big town I suppose (Derp much?). Now I know many people who have made a lifestyle of staying home & being supported by the government, playing online all day, when they could & should pave their own way; I am not one of these individuals, but thank you for mentally placing me in that end of the pool. Social networking gives some type of false illusion that the only thing(s) you have going on, go up for the world to read. Likely, the case for people who have nothing else to invest in or on, but again not the case here. Just because someone as myself, doesn’t post or inform every detail of where my time, attention, volunteering & focus goes, or my family’s, please do not think it doesn’t exist. I just choose A. not to glorify busy B. not to look for people to feel sorry for us because we’re busy C. no one really gives a crap what we have going on 7 days a week, plus what I do isn’t for man’s approval anyway….. it’s for God. With that said, that’s the answer to why I am tired. Why my family is tired. Because we are. Plain exhausted. 

Now what to do with ENOUGH, since I had/have decided that the line is drawn. Well, here’s the grievous part of ENOUGH. Choices. Faith. Being still. Listening for the answers. Knowing they’re coming & knowing I am not going to like the response. And I was right. You see, this is a home of Type A, energetic, over achievers. Somebody has to dial it down or we are going to be a family full of “regretters”, with missed opportunities & memories. The eval begins: Can Jason step away from any of his endeavors? No, because his many endeavors provide us with income. And his extracurricular endeavors provide him with sanity. What about Chase? No. He’s invested in growing himself into his areas of interest & deserves to have fun & be a teenager. Grace? well she’s 2.5 so she’s pretty much a full time job Me? welp, guess it’s me. I started the prayer/gnashing of teeth/crying/guilt/anger cycle & started stepping down from, tearfully, a very long list of duties & things that have owned my time for several years now. After making these step down deadlines for myself & deciding to rest in Gods plan for me, I have found a great peace in what the summer holds. After that, I know I will approach the fall with a clear, refreshed, discerned, mind, because I decided to submit to Gods will & not my own. His will never, ever fails. Ever.

June 7 at midnight starts my mental sabbatical. Being blessed with a husband who is a teacher, the 4 of us are walking arm in arm into 2 1/2 months of time together. I mean I almost have my heart leap when I think of it. My summer plans include Jesus & time to plug into those deeps areas of Him, family time, travel, rest, eating, laughing, sleeping, crafting, reading the 6 books I’ve been staring down for 8 months, returning phone calls……THAT’S IT. And I am so fine with that. You see I have 2 more summers (God willing) that we all 4 are here at home together, before the oldest tator tot leaves for college & Grace starts kindergarten. Why do I want to junk that up because I feel the need to be busy, to feel accomplished? 

My advice to those of you in the same boat: GET OUT OF THE BOAT & get to land & stop missing moments. You can say no & the world will still spin. Somewhere along the way you became an addict; addicted to & obsessed with, busyness. You thank God for your blessings, but never get a chance to enjoy them. You teach your kids that dinner in the car is normal & dinner at a table is something people did in the 50’s. That more events & more practices & more busy is “good” because it’s perfecting talents. The overdoing of community service & saying yes to everyone is what God calls us to do because it’s sacrifice. You know the drill. But, in actuality it isn’t good at all. It isn’t perfecting anything. And it definitely isn’t Gods calling. You end up with burned out parents, burned out kids eventually & a life where you look back & realize you never enjoyed the day to day. God never intended you to be so busy that you replace your daily time with Him. I mean devoted time in the Word & in prayer. Not a 5 minute list of wants & needs. God never intended you to be so busy that you cannot rest, bathe, eat, do errands, clean your home, laugh, go for a walk…… God never intended you to be so busy that you can’t remember the last time your family did something that didn’t center around an activity or obligation. God never intended the life He blessed you with spent running through it 150 mph, because when you do, you’ve missed the point of EVERYTHING. No thing, no plan, no moments, no time that brings you frustration is part of Gods will for you. You will never have joy & contentment making all the plans & thinking He’s just supposed to show up & supply your needs. John 14:14, highly misunderstood, says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”. God won’t do ANYthing. He will do ANYthing you ask when you pray in the spirit & your will is His will. When you submit every day to asking Him to change the desires of your heart. When you learn how pray His will, He will answer. When you seek WHOLE heartedly, you will find Him every time. But, understand, the things you may be asked to walk away from may be a sacrifice, they may take obedience, but God doesn’t make mistakes. And who doesn’t want more joy, more time & more contentment, more family? I mean isn’t it a given gift? So unclench your hands from whatever you’re holding on to & dragging around & accept better. If you want to continue burying yourself & your family, do everyone else a favor & shut up complaining about it. Stop posting about it on social networks. Get up & change or stay put & roll in it. The same advice I told myself. Now I have decided to listen.

Today I raise my glass to the start of being UNBUSY. Best decision I have made lately. Years from now when my nest is empty, I will look back at this season & be grateful in the core of my soul. Time doesn’t stop for anyone, but we can stop & enjoy the limited time given to us.

I sit down at the table.

My drained empty body has stopped and my soul has caught up and if I give thanks here, who might I recognize? It takes a full twenty minutes after your stomach is full for your brain to register satiation. How long does it take your soul to realize your life is full?  

                                                                                                              (from ann voskamp)

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