The machine of busyness-exhaustion

the machine of busyness exhaustion I want to be a Mom.

So badly, I want to kiss little toes, blow raspberries on chubby bellies, smooch thunder thighs, and pour orange juice into my coffee as creamer because, well oops, I'm a tired zombie. I know, we are young and we have years and we have all of this life ahead of us, and please stop telling me 18 things to do before we have heart is called to Wifery and Momma, and that is that.

For me, saying those six words is scary. To write them is terrifying. To admit them is horrifying.

There was a day when I didn't think I would want to be a mom, for fear of messing them up so bad that I would have to pay for counseling rather than a college education.

I fear the day I wake up and realize I have been a busy-mother, filling our family's life up with so many things that we cannot see clearly or think clearly or live clearly. That our purpose and mission shifts from a pure heart to a busy heart ending in bitterness. I do not want to wake up and realize I have created more monsters of busyness, that I have perpetuated the machine of false-satisfaction.

I want to pull myself out of that machine. I'm tired of passing out my time like Halloween candy.

Loren is nearly 25, I am just 23. We ourselves are babies in the grand scheme of life, but time isn't slowing. Ghandi said that there is more to life than merely increasing its speed. But as we stepped our little lives into this big journey of adoption, I see that I have increased our life's speed ten fold. That I have taken on job after job (I counted and I have 6 part time jobs, SIX), filling every inch of my calendar with tasks and to do's and meetings and lists and things and things. Our society and culture perpetuates the deceit that the busier we are, the more important we are. The more stress we can handle, the better character we must have. The more responsibilities on our shoulders, the better the world is.

I call its bluff.

That is just as much deceit as the false notion that money is happiness.

Busyness is not success.

Busyness is not importance.

Monday, Loren and I drove to Newport. We set aside Mondays as our "Sabbath," our day off, nearly three years ago. But one of the part time jobs I have taken on has been stealing hours on Mondays. AKA: I have allowed it to. So we skipped town and said, "SORRY, we're not home. Out of service." Our drive to the beach was quiet, without many words spoken. My mind was prayerful and processing, trying to figure out what I have done to our life.

How do I keep getting caught in this cycle? Why am I so addicted to DOING? Why do I still believe I have to earn my salvation, my status (whatever that is...I'm a college-drop out, an ex-CNA that barely used her license, a house cleaner, an apartment dweller, a crazy plant lady)?

The instant we are filled, our first impulse is to be useful, to be kind, to give something away (Sabbath, Wayne Muller). But the moment we empty that fullness, pour it out unto others, and do not decide to fill ourselves back up..we cling to ourself, we hoard our love and our kindness, we frantically attempt to hold onto anything we can grasp. When we are running on empty, we become bitter and exhausted.

Bitter and exhausted and always fighting for more time is not who I want to be; its not the kind of mom I want to be, its not the kind of wife I want to be, its not the kind of human Jesus calls me to be. 

So as Loren and I continue to take steps through this journey we all call life, we have decided to keep talking about this. To keep trying to cut ourselves from the addiction-machine-of-busyness, no matter how painful it is. Relearning to say no, to pray before accepting heavy responsibilities, to cutting back on stress. We must not feel guilty or shameful for spending an evening at home, without someone over. Or for saying "no."

I don't want to be someone who is so busy that she is deceived about her importance. [Embarrassing].

I don't want to be someone who checks her email instead of simply sitting with her husband, her family.

I don't want to be someone whose home is never clean because she is never there to tend to it.

I don't want to pretend that I am more important than I am. That the world will stop if I say "no." That my worth is derived from how full my calendar is.

I want to be a woman of peace, joy, freedom. To me, those women are the most beautiful, life-giving, Jesus-like women. I crave to live freely, laugh more than every now and then, to spend time in my home creating a safe place for others. My hope is to build new life-giving habits before our family tangibly grows from 2 to 3 or 4; I know we can't possibly have it altogether by that time, but can we have goals? I crave to give of my heart out of abundance, not emptiness, not out of bitter-exhaustion. To give of myself from being filled up by Him; in the quiet intimate moments of the morning light and through the afternoon slump of the day.

This isn't news, nothing we haven't known. Can we figure out how to dance this dance of life? How to work, pay the bills, live without busyness, and yet still be generous with who we are and our time and our gifts and our hearts, giving of who we are? How can we live life with a margin?

I am convinced we must make our way back to the true Sabbath. Sabbath isn't just one day off...but time set apart multiple times a week, daily, maybe for a few moments or for an entire day. Resting our hearts and entire self into His hands. Filling our selves up full of Him.

Rest was a precious ointment to Jesus, is a gift from Him. He made disciples, healed, taught and spent time with people...but just as often He sent people away, disappeared without warning, dismissed those in need without explanation, retreated to a place of rest and prayer. [See: Matthew 14:23, Luke 5:15-16, Mark 1:32-33, 35-36].

Jesus didn't wait for work to be finished or for everyone to be cared for. He paused in the middle of work and retreated to pray, to rest, to be filled by his Father. Jesus's wisdom wasn't muddied with busyness.

I want to learn from Jesus. I am certain we will find rest for our souls in Him.

Join me?