responsibility

March Writing Challenge Day 11: No One Remembers Last Year’s To-Do Lists

Everything seems fine. This morning we all woke up and enjoyed the early hours, ate breakfast, read a couple of books and went our separate ways for the day.

I had a great workout at the gym. Got real sweaty. I enjoyed a much needed food boost of two eggs and a piece of Ezekiel bread, the kind with the raisins and cinnamon. It was so delicious.

I washed myself off, cleaned our bedroom and started my work.

All is well, right?

I don’t know. For some reason, I feel sad; perhaps a little overwhelmed. Last week was kind of a disaster. Abe started the week off with a bad case of strep. He was out of commission for the whole week. Taking care of him was quite a pleasure, because we had many moments of cuddling. It was still exhausting, nonetheless. More so emotional than physical, but one affects the other. I also put quite a bit of anxiety and stress on myself last week, struggling with what people thought of me as a mom, as a part of a group, and as a person in general.

You know how one week it is so easy to believe in who you are as God’s child, and then the very next week that’s all dashed to pieces and you cannot make yourself, with all of your will, believe better?

That was last week. I’m better now, but my body feels faint. Self-inflicted anxiety really does a number on this girl.

Sometimes life calls for rest. It’s so difficult for me to answer that call when there are tasks and responsibilities piling up and people depending on me. The fear of judgement from others for ┬ásimply taking a nap is just TOO much to handle! Gosh, as if anyone even needs to know about me taking a nap. What a weirdo.

Maybe I’m afraid of the judgement I’ll place on myself.

But I know that this time next year, my to-do list for today won’t even be a distant memory, because it ultimately isn’t important in the grand scheme of life.

Do you ever think about that? Can you remember a to-do list from this day last year?

Of course not.

I’m feeling the weight of last week. I’m overwhelmed. I’m going to go lay down and rest.

And that is that.

Trying To Do It All

I’ve noticed here recently that there’s been an overarching theme in my more serious writing, which is completely normal. I don’t know why I find it so surprising. We go through seasons, phases, lessons. Sometimes they take a while to harvest.

I feel like God’s been saying, “stop trying to do everything, and focus on what matters. But not what YOU think matters. Use your energy to do what I want you to do,” for weeks, months and possibly years now.

Since my vlog post on Monday, I’ve really seen how crippled I’ve made myself by all of the commitments I take on. No one thing ever gets my full attention, because there are too many tasks to accomplish. This being the case, the things that do actually get done are not the best they can be.

I’m learning that a good leader is not someone who can do everything, but who can do a few things well. Mainly because he/she has the time to do it. A good leader is able to resist the temptation to take on this and that, more and more… and more. In this resistance, he/she forsakes potential fame and glory for themselves. A good leader has his/her eyes steady upon something greater than “you did a great job!” or “man…. you’re super mom!”

Jesus showed for us a great example by letting himself be fully human (and still fully God) and had rest. His moments of rest all throughout the gospels show me that it is necessary if we want to completely and fully love others. Withdrawal and reflection is crucial to filling up again and going back out. Choosing a handful of people (or tasks) to invest in is ultimately more effective and produces a better quality of life than attempting to accept every request and opportunity presented before us.

So, with that being said, I am here and now going to publicly announce what I am giving up. I am doing this as an exercise in applying a lesson learned, and to challenge others to either let go of or take on commitments.

My Letting-Go-Of List

Trying to clean the house EVERYDAY

Wedding Planning

Media Shout at church

Blog Designing

It may not seem like much, but those four commitments are huge and time consuming, and although good things in and of themselves, are not the commitments that I feel God wants me focusing on at this time.

Just making that list is already so liberating. Mmmm, peace.

Now for the follow through.

Two Circles

I have many things to do this week, and I can either choose to conquer it or let it conquer me.

My default for a week like this is to take on too much of the outer circle and put it in the inner circle. Have I talked about the two circles before?

See, there are two circles. There’s a small circle and a large circle, the first being inside of the second. The small circle consists of what I am responsible for and what I can control. The outer circle is made up of everything else; the concerns and outcomes of the world in which I exist.

Simple enough, right?

Sure. when the sea is calm and there isn’t much to do. But when life starts to pick up and the train starts gaining speed, all of a sudden the circles become blurry. Things that I am not responsible for or are out of my control suddenly seem like they are mine to take on. At first it is quite a temptation to say yes to these grander things, because they make us feel big. Powerful. In charge. Accomplished.

But then this week knocks on my door and doesn’t even give me a chance to open it before it blasts right on through.

So I am going to declare this right here and now: I will not let this week have victory over me. I will do the best that I can with what I have, because God lets me get up in the morning. Everything else is out of my hands. If I disappoint someone, IT IS OK. My worth does not lie in anyone’s opinions. If my house gets dirty, IT IS OK. The house will get cleaned eventually. I will love my husband, my son, my neighbor and anyone else who is put in my path. All results are out of my control.

Are you like me? You might need to say this to yourself every minute of each day this week, and do that if you have to. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it on your steering wheel or bathroom mirror. And remember to breath.

Don’t spend your week being anxious. That’s an order.

(But I won’t be disappointed if you screw up and get stressed, so pull your panties outa your butt).