Oooookaaaay! *deep breath* Some how I managed to fail my own 10 day challenge!! =P At first I felt pretty upset with myself – I went through a couple of days of feeling defeated and guilty. I didn’t even want to finish the study because I was so frustrated with myself! How silly is that?! Well, even though it isn’t on my original timeline I am committed to finishing what I had started. Not sure if I will get to it tonight but I sure am going to try to finish it soon.
I have had a very busy couple of weeks. So busy in fact that last night was the first night I was able to get to bed before 2am in a while and the only reason was because I said “NO!” to myself. “No! I am not going to scrub the bathtub tonight. No! I am not going to work on my christmas quilt tonight! No! I am not going to work on the commissioned painting that is due to be finished in less than a week. No to all the million other projects, “obligations”, chores and commitments that are running through my mind!!” I took a deep breath and forced myself to shower and go to bed. Laying there trying to fall asleep I had to fight to not feel guilty. >.< Sometimes I wonder why we as women feel we have to carry the whole world on our shoulders allllll the time!
I spend A LOT of time at work and usually only have about 4 hours a day that I can accomplish anything if I allow myself 8 hours of sleep. That is 4 hours to have a Bible study, cook dinner, clean, give my kiddo a bath, take a shower, do laundry, visit friends, go to the store, work on E.v.e.’s quilt (hopefully a Christmas present), work on my paintings, work on my various other sewing projects (also hopefully done in time for Christmas), write on my blog, play with my kiddo or anything else that may need to get done. I don’t have to do all that everyday but it sure feels like it!! It feels like if I just close my eyes for a 5 minute break I open them to discover a whole week has slipped by and nothing got done. >.
All of that just to make myself feel a little better about not having completed my 10 day challenge on time 😉 Sometimes we as moms and women need to take a step back and realize just how much we actually get done in a day and how amazing we are for being able to juggle everything we have going on in not only our lives but those of our children and (if your blessed with one) our husbands.
I am learning to rejoice in my triumphs no matter how small and let myself slide when I am not able to do it all. There comes a point where you just have to let some things go undone in order to work in the more important activities like Bible study, prayer, worship and resting!! Yes, resting is very important – not a sin or sign of laziness! In fact it is such an important thing that there is a whole commandment dedicated to telling us to rest!! That is why God gave us the Sabbath – so that we could rest just like He did. If the God of the universe is allowed to stop for a breather then so are we.
I am reminded of the story of Martha and Mary found in John Chapter 11. Martha sounds like a wonderful lady. She was very dedicated to her job as a woman/wife/hostess but from what we know of her she had a knack for carrying more on her shoulders than she could carry on her own. I can see her scurrying around the house cleaning this, scrubbing that, cooking dinner, chasing the kids out of the pantry, glaring at the ever-growing pile of laundry and all the while being frustrated that she doesn’t have time to spend with the Lord and angry she doesn’t have any help. This pretty much describes me to a T! I am not perfect at everything I work on but I sure do try to work on a lot and find myself spending less and less time with the Lord as I try to accomplish more and more tasks in my limited amount of free time. Then when I am nearly over come with exhaustion and frustration I cry out to God, blaming Him for my inability to get everything done! “God why can’t I have a husband?! If I just had a husband I wouldn’t have to do all this on my own. If I had a husband or a super cool roommate that was fine with doing half the chores I could spend more time with you, with my daughter, in ministry and everything else! Why can’t you send me some help?!” Sigh. In reality I know that having a husband would equal a LOT more work in a lot of areas. Sure I might get him to take out the trash from time to time but laundry would double, cooking would double, amount of time I need to devote to spending with my family would double. Husbands are great but that is NOT the solution to this particular issue.
Mary had the right idea! She said – forget these chores I am sitting right here with Jesus for as long as He is staying at our house! She understood something very important – the giant pile of laundry will always be there no matter how much time she put into washing it but Jesus was only with them for a limited amount of time. I think the reason it is so hard for me and other ladies like me to grasp this is because we always have access to Jesus. We think to ourselves – well I will just get this and that done and can’t forget to do that! I can pray tonight before bed…..Yeah Right! You and I both know that the moment our head hits that pillow one of two things happens: 1) We blink and it is suddenly morning and there is the distant sound of fighting children and a whole new days worth of things to accomplish or 2) We start going through the list of alllllll the things we didn’t finish today and what we have to get done tomorrow and situations we wished we had handled differently and the list goes on and on until finally sometime between 1 and 3am we realize we are no longer thinking about doing these thing we are dreaming that we already are!
If these two precious ladies are the extremes, where do I fall? Where do you fall? Honestly though, I don’t think Mary was at an extreme. I think Mary was given a precious gift. She got to set aside her worries for a day and soak in the Lords presence. He wasn’t with her for very long so it isn’t like Mary just gave up on ever doing anything again – she just devoted the time she could to Him. I think this is where I need to be. Just because I have access to Jesus all the time doesn’t mean I have to drop everything forever and never do anything but sit at Gods feet. (Most days that sounds like a really awesome idea though;))
Jesus knew that once He left her home Mary would go back to her usual chores and occasionally go and search Him out to spend more time with Him. There are several places in the Gospels that mentions Mary was with Him. I want to model my life after that. I want to find a balance where if the opportunity arises for me to set aside all my cares for a day and just soak in the Lords presence I will take it and not feel an ounce of guilt and then once that time passes be able to resume my duties making sure to set aside as much spare time as I can to go seek out the Lord and listen to His voice.
So this is me telling myself to cut me some slack, go spend some time kickin’ it with Jesus and worry about the dishes later. If I keep going at my current pace I am going to burn out quick. It is time for some of that precious one on one Jesus time – no guilt allowed!!