I stood in the shower letting the hot water massage the back of my neck. “Why am I so tired? Like pregnant tired? But I am NOT pregnant [just so we are all VERY clear].”
I fell asleep last week during not one, but two, of my all time favorite movies. I simply could not summon the energy to hold my eye lids in the open position past the halfway point of either movie. It had nothing to do with desire or interest. I mean, who doesn’t want to watch The Holiday start to finish if only to see Jude Law make crying look that adorable?
And it occurred to me. I am tired because in a sixth month time period I will have had a baby, started a Kindergartener in three different schools, attempted to homeschool both my girls, moved twice – once being cross country, helped start a church, and worked to reach some personal goals of my own [this one affects you, and I can’t wait to tell you about it].
I am overextended. I have placed too many expectations on myself. And I can hear it flying out of my mouth in clipped tones to my family, whiny sighs to my friends, and snores during the always compelling Marley & Me. I’m starting to annoy myself. Seriously.
In the middle of it all came Lysa Tyrkeurst’s The Best Yes, that on so many levels challenged me and made me think deeper about why I overextend and mostly what it means to live a fuller, less frantic life.
One of the most impactful stories I read was tucked right in the middle – a story about a woman whose name is not mentioned but I can only presume is Jenna Bush. Lysa takes barely more than a page to explain their interaction and the impact it had on her family – but it mattered to me. The Most Unfrantic Woman I’ve Ever Met is what the section was called, and I took note. I have thought about it over and again. I have talked about it in far too much detail with my always understanding Mama. It got in my head in a really good way.
Not only do I want my children to remember me as a fully engaged, unfrantic, and entirely fulfilled in the life I am living, that’s also the impression I want to leave with other people. I want to live the beauty of stepping out of the spotlight and watching other people shine. When others are with me, I want them to know that they matter more than any list of engagements and tasks I might have waiting for me in my Erin Condren planner. I want to be so comfortable in who God has created me to be and in the season he has placed me right this second, that I don’t need to be amazing. I only need to be His. I want to be brave enough to say, “No,” and wise enough to say, “Yes.”
I am beginning to understand that good parenting is about so much more than good discipline styles and healthy eating. It is even about more than family devotionals and the best schools. And good living is about more than serving every chance I get or running hard after every dream that pops into my head.
It’s about living wholly, freely, entirely as the woman I am with the Jesus who changes me.
This doesn’t change my list of obligations – we are planting a church in a place we are just getting to know, and we have three itty bitties. Every minute of every day is occupied. But don’t be fooled – Josh and I work to give each other time – built in down time where we can let our souls rest. At thirty-one, we have begun to believe in the grand value of this simple act. This helps those clipped tones tremendously. Know what else helps? Running to Jesus. Over and over again every day. All day. In every moment. When the two year old digs her heels in, when I turn around and the sisters have pulled out every.single.book we own to make a trail through the entire still-unpacked house, when the baby throws up in my hair again, when intentionally getting to know my neighbors makes me nervous – to run fast and hard to Jesus and say, “I don’t know how. I can’t. I need you to,” and then just keep moving, trusting that He’s all over me like white on rice, working and changing and affecting my heart because I asked Him to – because that’s who He is.
Maybe, I’ll wake up one day, look around and like Jacob say, “God’s been here doing His thing, and I didn’t even realize it!” What I hope, though, is that like Moses I’ll see it in each of those moments, take off my sandals [or snow boots], bow low, and chill the stink out.
So, here’s to another Monday. Let’s all live a little less frantic today!