Monday, June 13, 2016

How Are You?

What do you say when someone asks you how you are?

Is it, "Busy!"? Mine was. 

And most of the time I had a grin from ear to ear as if it were something to be proud of - like the person on the other end would then obviously think I was super important, right?!

Then, a couple months ago, something became very clear:

The very thing I was so proud of - was the thing holding me back from the freedom, peace and simplicity that I craved. 

What's so funny is that, I WASN'T EVEN REALLY THAT BUSY! Oh, the irony ha! 

While some of us may be "drivers" and are somewhat inherently prone to a get-it-done type personality, I think it is far more common that it is a habit we pick up over time as a response to something(s).

Let me explain.  

Justin and I have been married for 6 years, moved 3 times (going on 4), had 3 children and built a home-based business. To say that we like to keep things moving, is an understatement, to say the least. 

I LOVE change. I LOVE new. 

I have never been a person that looks too much in the past. I'm more the type of person that likes to look and see what's ahead.

Then one day, it happened. The boys were out. of. control. Like is-it-a-full-moon-or-something out of control and I said, 

"I wish this season were over."

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. 

DID THAT JUST COME OUT OF MY MOUTH? Why would I wish my children's childhood was over?! 

I picked myself up off the floor in the ball of shame and guilt I had rolled into and I started unraveling the 'why' behind these feelings. My nerves were shot but, I was nonetheless convicted.

In this Pinterest culture we live in, I think as women, we are so conditioned to be seen as people who 'do it all!'. We work, we have our kids are in 16 different sports that travel to 36 different states in 8 weeks, we remember to do the monthly pictures of our infants, we keep a spotless house, we get a perfectly balanced meal on the table every night, all with perfectly highlighted hair and a smile on our face, right?

Then it hit me.

I was addicted to busyness. I was impatient. I would busy myself with anything that kept me from thinking or feeling. It was just go, go, go! I didn't want the world to pass me by, heaven forbid! I had things to do! Things that I thought mattered. 

I wasn't even enjoying the present. I was so caught up in ME and what I was going to do next. What we were doing that weekend, where the kids needed to be, etc.

Have you guys seen this video that was going around social media? We all want time to slow down but, so many of us aren't even being present. Whether we tell ourselves we "don't have enough time" or genuinely don't have it - which was the case for Justin and I which is why we built a home-based business. To buy back time with our family. 

I found that my addiction to busyness was a 3 part issue but it was all rooted in 1 thing: 

1. I was on this mission for external acceptance. I placed my worth in achievement (pride).
2. I occupied my mind with meaningless tasks as a way of running from the truth - I needed to grow up (pride)
3. I was impatient (pride) which always drove me towards disobedience. 

Now, I'm not saying that having goals and big dreams and wanting to accomplish a lot is a bad thing. It's not, it's necessary for each of us to do that but, what I am saying is - we have to look at our heart. Where is this drive and desire coming from? 

Is it coming from a place of "I need to achieve", "I am running from feelings that I need to deal with" OR "I am doing what I am called to do to fulfill my God-given destiny"? We obviously want to lean hard into the latter! 

There's certainly a place for action in our lives and we all must be in action of some sort at all times, but here's the epiphany...

Sometimes, the action is to wait. And to wait well.

This was confirmed about a week ago and I had a friend teach on this and it was absolutely phenomenal. 

So, what that means to me is to get UNBUSY. Get unbusy with the meaningless things that don't bear fruit (produce good results) and get busy with the things that do (spending time with my kids and others, serving in church, not being on Facebook, reading books, listening to podcasts, etc.)

Do our kids really need to go to every summer camp, be in every single sport, be told to 'hurry up' 8000 times a day? 

Do we really need to have a perfectly spotless house AND the laundry done? Let's face it, when we have kids under 6, pick one but, you can't have both! 

I don't think so. I do however think that our spouses and children want our TIME, love and attention.

I think so many of us feel like we are never good enough, never 'get it all done', never have enough time in the day, etc. All of which are essentially excuses and breed that nasty need for achievement feeling - which is actually rooted in pride. And pride is not a fruit! In fact, it is poison that will kill an entire crop if not dealt with.

So, I invite you to join me and break your busy habit. Slow down. Find a way to make more time for the things that matter in life. Our kids don't need toys and every social activity on the planet. They need US!

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