This week I've had a hard time getting back into the swing of things post-holiday. My house is back together, but I still feel a little upside-down. Graciously, I've felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to use Tuesday & Thursday to rest this week. There has been no pressure to be productive. No pressure from Him, anyway.
Here's how my day has gone today:
- 6:20 a.m. up with my youngest
- 7:00 a.m. both kids up and eating breakfast; husband wakes up to help
- 7:15 a.m. husband is changing diaper of oldest while youngest eats and I make lunches
- 7:30 a.m. husband sits with oldest as he starts breakfast; I load youngest into the car along with everything we need for school later - we head off for our weekly blood draw
- 8:10 a.m. we finally arrive at the lab (across town in rush hour traffic) for our blood draw
- 8:40 a.m. we leave for home, making my husband late - argh!
- 8:40-9 a.m. call Lily's doctors (two of them) regarding certain testing; call my dog's Vet to discuss the two tumors we found in his mouth last week; return a friend's phone call
- 9:00 a.m. arrive home, load oldest into car, double-check 'provisions', kiss husband goodbye, head to school
- 9:15 a.m. stop by Starbuck's on the way to school to treat myself to a hot chocolate
- 9:30 a.m. drop kids at school; hugs and kisses all around
- 9:45 a.m. back at home, I ask God how to order my time...there's a lot to do. I start the laundry while thinking. I put away stray toys while thinking. I make beds while thinking.
- 10 a.m. brief Quiet Time
- 10:15-11 a.m. pay bills, balance our budget, return emails, keep laundry going
- 11-12 eat an early lunch, bake brownies, continue laundry, clean kitchen, research a property we're trying to sell
- 12 noon I pick up where I left off with regard to researching how, when, where to submit the four finished picture books I currently have in my reservoir
- 12:30 I can't resist actually writing, just a little, as I think in my head..."I'm a sloth...I've done nothing today. Am I dishonoring my husband by making him work so I can sit around and be a kept woman?"
- 12:35 p.m. I start this blog post, laughing at myself and wondering how many of you can relate to these thoughts
"Kept" woman? If I stop and think, I never sit around and do nothing. Even if I'm watching TV with my husband, I'm also going through the mail, running the dishes, keeping the laundry going (a never-ending task), reading a book, or writing in my journal (often I do more than one of those things at once). How many of you, my female friends, are exactly like this? How often are you still? And if you ever are, how guilty do you feel about it?
This week I've been struck several times by how fleshy I am. I don't feel condemned - not at all. Instead, I feel sad. The moments where I've witnessed my sinful nature have been full of regret and desire for change. I know I can do nothing to change myself. This must be a work of the Holy Spirit; He must engage my flesh and transform it into His image. My job is to allow Him.
I wonder how much more this might happen if I actually chose to be still? (Psalm 46:10) I wonder how I would be transformed if I ceased to indulge in guilt and self-reprimanding, if I stopped acting as my own judge. All morning long I've been plagued by the ghost of the thought: "you're not good enough. You need to do more, be more." The thought was not that clear, but that was the heart of it. That's what is behind my need to feel productive, my fear of disappointing (in this case, my husband, by making his sacrifice seem like it's for naught).
The struggle is cliche. It's been written about countless times, yet I still wanted to share. I wanted to put it out there to say to all of my mommy, housewife, career women friends: you do enough. You love, you inspire, you produce. You are plenty good enough. I'm not sure what else to say, other than: I hope these words speak to your heart. I hope you feel the deep approval God has for you in them. I hope you are encouraged, dear ones. With love, Jenny