Doing too Much for too Many?
A few months back, I wrote about our upcoming life move (When God Turns Your World Upside Down) and, boy howdy, it was HUGE and tons of work.
When it was all said and done, I think we cut our worldly possession in half. And you know what? I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I think we could do more purging. But for now…put a fork in me…I’m DONE.
Two things surprised me in this process: the first was that I thought I would miss our old house terribly. But I don’t. I think when you know God has moved you into another season, it feels counter productive to spend too much time looking back…probably because it is. I do have to say, when the holidays roll around and all the kids and grandkids are home, I WILL miss our huge dining room. The important thing, though, is that we are together. It’s the PRESENCE of our loved ones that makes all the difference.
The second thing that surprised me was how cranky I got. I’m not sure why that was such a shocker. I know what I’m capable of. I think at certain points, I kept thinking God was going to swoop in and rescue me somehow.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many mercies along the way, but also many opportunities to see my raw, selfish heart making those around me pretty miserable. I kept thinking I would get better at loving others in spite of how I felt, which was, quite frankly, beyond exhausted.
It probably didn’t help that I was also carrying around guilt for my behavior like a heavy blanket, instead of keeping short accounts. It seems to be the Enemy’s favorite tactic: to get us in a cycle of sin, condemnation, sin, condemnation. It’s so easy to forget that Jesus died so that we can have forgiveness…anytime, anyplace, as often as necessary. Satan keeps us so distracted with condemnation that we can’t seem remember anything else. It is a spiritual battle, hard fought, to remember and follow through on the truth of the Gospel.
Our hearts are vulnerable. That’s why God tells us in Proverbs to be careful to guard them. Proverbs 4:23(NLT) says, ” Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Toward the end of our move, God spoke something very clearly to me. He told me that I needed to be more gentle with myself. How do I know it was Him? Because I don’t talk to myself like that. I tell myself to try harder, do more, pull myself up by my bootstraps and GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!
Instead of speaking words of correction or rebuke, God spoke tenderness to me. He told me it was okay if I couldn’t do it all. He said I could leave some things undone for awhile because it really didn’t matter. He had everything under control. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
You see, God’s perspective is so vastly different than ours. As moms, we think the world is going to fall down around us if we don’t keep going. People are depending on us, it’s true. Our families and friends do need us, but maybe not to the degree that we think.
I’m going to go as far as to say that sometimes we are a hindrance to their faith by trying to be and do TOO much for them or maybe just the wrong things. We snuff out the flicker of a flame that is their need for God by trying to meet needs (or perceived needs) God never meant us to. The result is frustration, disappointment, stress, burnout, resentment and self-pity.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed, we need to think and pray about how to unload that heavy weight. God tells us not to be wise in our own eyes and to ask HIM for wisdom when we lack it.
Jesus told us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29,30)
There are many burdens we can choose to carry that God never intended us to. Choose carefully, choose prayerfully, choose wisely. And remember that maybe, more often than not, less really IS more.
(“Less is more” is often better when it comes to homeschooling as well! Durenda recently wrote a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling entitled, The Unhurried Homeschooler. Check it out on Amazon!)