With three kids and three part-time jobs along with a host of other things I am used to juggling a lot. But this week was truly overwhelming with another one like it coming up. Certainly this type of over-full calendar and the chaos it produces is not unique to me – which is exactly why I write what I write today.
All week I have prayed that God would help me to abide in him, to not be overly stressed and to trust he would give me the grace each day to do just what needs to be done that day without worrying about the next. What he shows me again and again is his grace is sufficient and he is good!
Good in ways I might have missed had it not been for the Holy Spirit stirring my desire to be fully present in each conversation and in every task or thing tugging for my time. Perhaps a prompting grown out of a tweet I saw:
“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”
That quote hit me the morning I read it and I believe God used it to impress upon me that even in this extremely busy time, he is ordaining my days and giving purpose to all of it. So like I said just being aware of this, I am aware of things I learned this week I might have missed otherwise.
Here are a few:
1. First and foremost, content editing is hard! This is the process I am now in with my publisher and seeing all the red editing bubbles when the manuscript was emailed back to me last week made me panic. How could I hit delete on words and paragraphs I liked and had carefully crafted?! To realize this is what all authors go through was eye-opening! But what I’ve learned is it is a good and necessary process. My book will be better for it in its ability to speak broadly and specifically to my audience.
2. To work on this manuscript, I went back to my favorite coffee shop where I actually sat writing most of it in the first place. One morning though while ordering my drink I realized I had never taken the time to really talk to the barista I regularly see so I decided it was time. Now I not only know her name but quite a bit more about her, and a few other folks too! I see where typically I am too focused on my own agenda, but what I learned is those conversations were purposeful highlights of my day and I still got my work done.
3. With the pressing deadline, unfortunately my husband and I spent our 19th anniversary on the couch working through my manuscript instead of out to dinner. With his demanding week alongside mine, the evening hours provided the only opportunity to get his much needed input. After we finished that night, my husband turned to me and said, “That was a good anniversary.”
Really? My stress and workload made us have to forfeit fun plans!
But it was! It was because we were doing normal life together. Not glamorous. Not what we would’ve done on the earlier anniversaries. But where God has us now and where most of life is really lived – daily, mundane and sanctifying. What I learned I really already knew: I am one blessed girl. My husband loves me so well in the way he sacrifices his time and his desires for my good, daily.
4. I also (re)learned I need lots of grace when my husband or children are inconveniently sick or hurting and I can’t fix it. This seems to regularly occur at inopportune times so I think God keeps showing me how I either don’t want to do what I am called to or can’t control what I want to! A gentle reminder I must depend on him for all things all.the.time.
While what I learned doesn’t necessarily matter to you, I do hope it inspires you to slow down admist the chaos of your life to see what God is showing you. To see where he is working and moving, creating and helping, carrying and giving you grace along your busy paths, too. He is good and faithful to do so.