Thursday, July 31

When Life is Hectic

I remember sitting through night after night of meetings during my first years of college, frustrated beyond all comprehension. I had things to do that needed doing for crying out loud, and these scheduled meetings seemed like a pointless waste of time. Thankfully, a couple semesters into it, Someone With Power decided the same thing and consolidated the meetings to one night. They also figured college students to be literate, and substituted some of the meetings with announcements. A relief to be sure.

The worst part about this whole wrench-in-my-schedule was that Certain of the people in charge would look at us condescendingly and say "If you think you're busy now, wait until you get OUT of college!" and kind of chuckle under their breath. This would make me roll the eyes of my justice-seeking soul in disbelief. I was almost positive that this was not the case.

Well, 5 years (plus) later, I can say that they were most definitely wrong. There is a vast difference between creating your own busy schedule and having someone else create immovable appointments for you.

However. Sometimes in the schedule-creating, you don't say no quite often enough, or commitments overlap, or there are Major Conflicts of Interest, and life just gets more and more hectic until you feel like yelling "STOP THE MERRY-GO-ROUND! I'm GETTING OFF!" Which, being interpreted is, "I need to burrow under my covers and sleep while everyone does just fine without me"

So what do you do when life gets hectic? Part of me wants to hold on until my fingers turn white and barrel through, with the idea that whether or not the job actually gets done well, at least I can survive it. But, as one of my professors used to say, "God does not give brownie points for being busy!" Not to mention, that attitude is just a little bit self reliant. Oops.

What is it that we "HAVE" to do, anyway? Sometimes, good things, church programs, friendships, housework, fun activities come waaaaay too high on our priority list. What we HAVE to do is honor God. We HAVE to behave ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the world that we know Him. And we HAVE His help, His strength, and His grace to survive even the most hectic of times.

It's true that sometimes we have to say no. Sometimes we even have to call someone back and tell them we goofed, and we can't help with ________. And sometimes, we can't call anyone back because we were the ones doing the calling around for help. So sometimes biting the bullet and getting the job done is the only option.

God is my audience, my final judge. Before I ask "what will others think if I don't do this or if that is done this way" I need to be concerned about God's perspective. I needed a reminder of the basics this morning - He calls me first to be a follower of HIM, second, a wife, third, a mother. Everything else? Bonus.

I say YES a little too often, without thinking. Like, you know, about a month ago, when August looked open and free and easy and I forgot about weekly OB visits and pending child preparations. And toddler-entering-the-terrible-twos. And a variety of other things. Today, I need to quiet my heart, take a gigantic deep breath, and concentrate on the basics.

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

God has me, my family, and even our hectic schedule in His hands. Isn't it great that we can trust HIM? No matter what, He is our refuge, our very present help. And when life gets hectic, watching Him work out the details is even better than burrowing under the covers for a long, long nap.


Rosemary and Dale said...

Hang in there...It will all be over in about 18 years or so :) It does get nuts and it is great that you are setting your priorities correctly!
When I look back on my time of being a mom with kids at home, the days when I had one toddler and a baby 'on the way' were the MOST peaceful. My little daughter and I had a GREAT summer that year. By the time our three kids all in school, I was teaching sunday school/vacation bible school, playing organ at church, shuffling the kids to and from lessons - games - school activities - the library - doctor/dentist appointments - friend's houses, keeping the kids on task for their school assignments, taking college classes myself, planting and putting up a huge vegetable garden and sewing the kids' school clothes so that we could get by on just one income, and I supposed that I had to clean the house at some point, although I don't know when - since we had the neighborhood kids over ALL the time!!!.... whew! THEN I wished for that sweet summer with just my toddler and me... ENJOY this month ... and, and as they say: 'Just say NO'!!

Reads said...

Wow, I needed that challenge this morning. For me right now I can't say no,but I can make sure in my busy to do list, I don't forget, the Most Important Thing. Also, no one enjoys being around a frazzled person (nor does it please the Lord); so I want to do what I have to, with a joyful heart! I just asked Adam on Saturday, when is it that we can jump off this merry-go-round!!! Yesterday, I sat down to do my devo's and ended up getting up to get khaki's out of the dryer. . . Needless to say I became distracted and devos didn't happen to the end of the day. . . Maybe someday we'll learn!

Keara said...

Jenny, that was SOOO good! I think it's something that we all struggle with. :) Your post this morning was excellent, and made me think.... love ya! Keara

Karen said...

Thank you for that reminder, Jenny. This is a lesson that I'm having difficulty learning. Funny how one little 8-pound bundle can disrupt even the best of intentions!

Carrie said...

Very nicely written. I try to be careful to be scheduled but with those things I find most important...this is a very important area in my life, I feel as though I do well with it most of the time but it takes re- evaluating our lives quite often. Ecspecially when a new one baby arrives, or the nap or feeding schedules change. I persoanlly have my God and I time while my kids are down for nap.

Amanda said...

Time has done wonders for andrews terrible two's oh they were sooooooooooooo bad! He is doing so much better.

This to shall pass. Sometimes it helps to focus on really bad things people are going through. It helps me get my perspective. We all been there. Hang on!

Life in Lewisburg said...

Well written about time. I learned to say "No when my kids were much older". I'm glad your are recognizing it earlier.
Now that tye are gone, I still say "No" because I don't have the energy I once had. Yet I'm one of the busy people I know. I'm looking forward to our contruction project to come to an end.