My life is full of ebb and flow, taking on too much, having to let stuff go after a season, trying to achieve this illusive thing called balance! This past year, as I’ve written about recently, was too much. I think since Jack was working 2nd shift it was easy for me to make a bunch of plans and stay busy, so that I didn’t see endless evenings alone with the kids stretch out before me! Also, as I’ve said, I felt so great and had lots of energy. Well, calming down and chilling out for the summer has been awesome. I am not afraid of days stretching out with no reason to leave the house or empty white squares on my day planner. Some of you are drooling from boredom, some of you are drooling from jealousy. 🙂 There is some madness in the last couple weeks of July, but that will be an isolated incident. I’m happy with what I’m not doing.
And of course, the things that I am doing. My prayer life, blogging, house work, more consistent home schooling, and paying attention to time-and-energy investments that I’m called to are happening and I’m very much at peace with my homebody-ness these days.
But here’s the hard side of letting go: The telling people, “Um…I got in over my head. I won’t be able to do that again this year. Here’s what I can do…Sorry!” The letting go of the money one was making, or the people one was pleasing? The letting go of the ministry that felt meaningful, or the part of the routine that one liked but couldn’t get to ever really work?
So, I was reminded today that it’s okay to say no or let go when the Lord leads us to. A few years ago, a group of home schoolers asked me to be their Spanish teacher and I said yes! Well, as I prayed about it and thought about my calendar, I realized I was going to be so stressed and just didn’t have peace about it working in. With my head low, I went back and apologized and got out of it several weeks before it started. When I did this, I was so surprised by the outcome! The mom in charge of hiring me said, “Wow. You know, I am so glad you came to me because I have felt the Lord telling me to quit this whole thing because it wasn’t what I was supposed to do with my kids this year, but I wouldn’t let it go. Thank you for being obedient; I will, too!” I was shocked!
A similar incident happened today, where the Lord had clearly went before me and paved the way for me to let go and have a simpler life. Simplicity is hard work. It’s a balancing act. It’s more “no’s” than “yes’s”, and it’s the right “no’s” and “yes’s”…led by the Holy Spirit, but probably not always getting it right either. I only have two children, but they have interests that I want to help them follow. They have school, enrichment, field trips, and they’ll have sports teams, lessons, friends, travel, church, and plays. I don’t think I want to offer them everything under the sun…or they’ll have a lot to unravel when they realize they can’t do it all.
Lord, teach us to order our days, hear the voice of our Shepherd, and humble ourselves when we’ve messed up and need to backtrack to a simpler life. Help us remove anything that keeps us from having daily communion with You. Show us if there is anything we refuse to let go of that You know we need to, for our good and Your purposes. Make spaces where there need to be spaces, and fill them with Yourself. Amen.