Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Reflections on Year One

It was no secret that I was very excited for some alone time as I anticipated all my babies being in school for the first time. 13 years of being a stay-at-home mom blessed my socks off but this introvert was starting to daydream about quiet days and actually being able to finish something I started.

I even had a running list of all the things I wanted to do when I had some free time. Things like volunteering at school regularly, spending uninterrupted time with Jesus, keeping my house in decent shape, making a weekly meal plan. 

I can honestly say I met my goals and even added some things like exercising regularly again and remembering to get my gray hair colored more often. I checked off my list almost every day – including keeping up with the laundry mountain! I know I have been more patient and felt less fried as a result of some quiet time.

Pretty great, right? Well yes! BUT (there's always a but). I started realizing that a common theme in all of this was one word most women struggle with...control. I had taken note of all the pieces of my life that were scattered around and messy, I made a list and I took care of business this year. And I REALLY liked it. I love staying on top of things, keeping our family's schedule and crossing stuff of my list. 

My prayer time became richer too so I am in no way saying this is all bad. But as I reflect on this year, I asked God to reveal the areas I need to surrender to Him and the places He wants to refine me and the word “control” flashed in my mind. 

Is it possible that having more margins in my life lead to having less margins? 

I have noticed that I guard my time pretty fiercely. Even right now, I feel like I should stop writing and get the laundry folded before school gets out. So in my desire for quiet and rest and ultimately a regained control over my life, I see that I have done a lot less writing...less playing piano...less dancing...less laughing. (My five primary sources of laughter are at school all day after all!). 

I am not sharing this to criticize myself. I know I have an enemy who wants me to believe that all I do is fail. I will not give in to that lie! 

But as I prepare to welcome all the cherubs home again for the summer and then a few months later send them all back to school, I'm pretty sure I will be longing for quiet rest again as I begin Year Two. I want to do it well and to me that means remembering to surrender my day to Jesus. He will give me rest, He will lead me into times of worship and prayer, He will let me know when I need to drop what I'm doing to love on someone, and He will give me the energy to get my daily tasks done. 

No matter how hard we try, we never arrive at perfection in this life. Striving for it can feel really great for awhile until we realize it never fills us up. This verse has been my prayer this year...”I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.” Ephesians 3:16-17

Here's to deep roots. No matter how tangled and messy they are, they draw nourishment from the only Source that helps us release our tight grip on what we think life should be and leads us into true life and freedom.