Friday, June 10, 2011
Taz, be gone!
Someone snapped this photo of me last month.
TJ, aka "Taz," wrapped up the school year with a short temper and little patience. My kids will tell you that my speech consisted mostly of grunts, growls and rasps, and my ability to spin and bite through just about anything kept me constantly whirling about in a dust devil.
Someone told me, when my children were very young, to never volunteer for anything extra in May. It was a new concept to me, that May might be a busy month, because in those years with toddlers and newborns, May simply looked like every other month.
But for families with school age children, it's busier than Christmas. Honest. It's the culmination of the year - whether with school projects or dance recitals or baseball tournaments - it's where the year ties up (with sometimes not-so-pretty a bow) and we moms ride the current, hanging on for dear life.
Somehow, this May did me in. I'm now in recovery, scarred and bleeding from the torrents. Looking back on last month's calendar, recalling the to-do lists, the mental gymnastics of arranging details and mazes of transportation and school involvements and sports commitments, oh my gosh. I was out of control.
Mama and Papa were here in Fort Worth for the month. They've come previous years for the month of May, so they know how FULL it is. But something about them being here (they stay at a condo downtown, give us plenty of space, and do nothing but offer help and involvement... and they cheer LOUDLY at baseball games) offers me an outside-looking-in view of my home during this hectic season.
And let me tell you, the view's not good.
The kids are fine, the activities fine, but in the process my spirit has been stomped on, my joy drained right along with the dishwater.
Except that there is no dishwater, because we've been eating nachos at the ballpark for weeks now.
And here's the deal. Our schedule was overflowing, no question. But honestly, I do know how to say no, and I don't know how I'd do the month any differently. Not in a way that would make a major dent in our calendar, anyway. Next year we will likely still spend our evenings at the ballpark, still run to gymnastics and swim lessons, still finish school projects and attend parties and host lots of people in our home.
I don't know HOW to do this yet, but somehow I've got to relax in the midst of it all. Quit the swirling tornado, relieve my face of the contorted expressions of angst, and throw off the thousand-pound burdens resting on my shoulders. And enjoy my family and friends in the process.
So here's my navigation tools, now that I've reached dry land, kind of getting my breath but feeling a bit like a beached whale (those nachos will do it...)
Be my rock, O Soverign Lord, to which I can always go... Ps 71:3
In the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock... Ps 27:5
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads my beside quiet waters... Ps 23:2
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:4
Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup (none of my life surprises you - the demands of family, of keeping my home, of finances, of running late for every event because the events are simply packed in too tightly today...); You have made my lot secure (not a thrashing, crashing current that drowns me). The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places (boundary lines? You have boundary lines set for me?!); surely I have a delightful inheritance (delightful - even the word makes my heart rest). Ps 16:5
Somehow the head-knowledge of finding rest in the Lord is going to have to move to my heart. It's constant paddling upstream to navigate the "good" activities from the "best," and to stand firm as the gatekeeper for our family calendar. I also, however, want to remain interruptible and open to divine appointments, and there's a quiet little stream merging the two that I haven't yet discovered, or at least haven't figured out how to float down. I also know that it's not just May that will give me the opportunities to find quiet rest in the midst of torrential downpours - really, nearly every day of my life offer this challenge. Am I going to choose TJ or Taz?
Father God, help me choose REST.