The last weeks have been quite a different experience as my littlest began Kindergarten! It was such a bittersweet time right before she started school. I cried a lot! I am absolutely thrilled for my children at each of their milestones and love watching them grow. It equally amazes me that my heart feels deeply saddened and grieves the end of the the chapter, while the wonder of what God has next drifts in my mind. I know there will still be plenty of things that need to be taken care of during the day and the laundry and dishes for six can be a full time job! My list of things to do and things I would like to do started piling themselves up as summer came to a close.
I did have some goals in mind and decided to involve my husband and two oldest children. I thought answering to them would be great accountability for me, and help me use my time wisely while the children were at school. So the four of us wrote down our goals. There were no rules about the goals or how many, just write them down and we would talk about them on Sunday nights.
At first I had started to flood myself with I should…and should…. and should…… I had huge to do list for that time while the kids would be in school. My thinking shifted when I started praying what did God have for me to do that first week of school, and for the school year. I should…. can create a weight and burden that would crumble the strongest structure and knowing this I began to think on all the things I have learned about God. He tells us to cast our cares on him and his burden is light. So I decided to just stop for that first week and just be still….as much as one can be still with four children 🙂 Just work on the goals I wrote down….not try to conquer the world in the first week of school.
The first week came and went and I found myself endlessly consumed with house work and running out for groceries and a few meetings for things I am involved in. I found I was not having a joyful heart. I had really felt God calling me to write–one of my goals–, but I wasn’t making it a priority, so every day that I didn’t write, I had that nagging in my mind saying, “you didn’t take time again…today”. Last night I knew I had to report…for the fourth time in a row had not completed one of my goals. I had made excuses as to why up until this point, but last night was my last straw for excuses. I reflected about how the previous weeks had been and what I had been spending my time on instead of writing. And decided today was the day for change.
Today begins the 5th week of school for my children. As that first week turned into another and another I began to be quite distracted with problems and details that became joy stealing. I had wanted to write more, but I was not writing at all. I felt writing was one of the things God has put on my heart, but I have not stopped at all to write, I totally let the laundry, dishes, and other things of “I should….” overtake my life. I realized how unhappy I had become, so today I decided to make a change and let God cover me in his love, not worry about if all the chores are perfectly done, just go write.
I knew I had let the joy of the Lord leave my heart. I was only looking at what was wrong and thinking thoughts that I was unhappy. I knew this is not how God wanted me to feel or live. I was reminded to stop and let the glory of God in. He is everywhere! The light of the sunshine, the warmth of a blanket, or the sound of laughter are reminders God is everywhere,we are totally and completely loved and God wants us to draw near to him. God wants to tell us the good plans for the day he has for us. Last night I took a look around and asked God for his strength and help to do those things, the good things he has planned for me today. I am excited to say there is joy in my heart and I am writing!!!
I encourage you to take a moment and where “I should’s….” pop up, stop and let God say I love your right now, whether this or that is done, whether everything in your life is great or falling apart, let God’s message of “I love you right now, right in this very moment” speak to your heart as only God can. If you have fallen to this rut of getting things done, keeping up with the treadmill….find out if you are even supposed to on it or not! I discovered I needed to change my priorities and my schedule, I want room to do God’s good plans. Maybe God is calling for you to draw close to him and do the thing He created for you to do today. No doubt I will still be doing laundry and dishes…I am just going to put some boundaries around them and ask God what are his good plans for the day and pray to do those good things. Seek the good plans!
I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14