Saturday, September 8, 2012

Self Reflection

I am a doer.  You might think "Hey, nothing wrong with that".  However, I'm a doer to the exlusion of everything else.  I know, that makes no sense.  Let me explain:

Have you ever had someone tell you to meditate?  Maybe to meditate on God's word, or do that yoga "hmmmm" thing, or just to have some downtime where you think about something.  I was once told that I should clear my mind and try to simply be at peace.  My question was "How in the world do you clear your mind"?  My mind is a busy place!  She told me to envision a white wall with nothing on it.  To be fair, I tried...really I did!  Do you know what happened?  I closed my eyes and brought up that white wall.  Then, suddenly, it got blue lines on it....and a red stripe down the left hand side...and then three holes along the left side. white wall was now a giant piece of paper on which I proceeded to write my plans for the day on.  Sigh. 

I have caught myself during prayer at church with my mind wandering.  I have caught myself not really paying attention to my husband, instead planning my day tomorrow.  I have even caught myself blowing off my kids because I really "needed" to get that laundry done!  Ugh.

I'm that person who volunteers for EVERYTHING.  Yes, everything.  I volunteer to work in the baby room and I have no more babies.  I volunteer to run boothes, and orgainizations, and potlucks, and whatever else you can think of.  Ask me for help, and I will not tell you no.  (shhhh...don't spread that around!)  I have always felt, if I am capable of helping then I should.  God would not give me these talents (such as they are) if He did not want me to use them. 

However, therein lies the problem.  I do so much, that I very rarely have time to just BE.  You know, be alone, be quiet, be still, be with God.  All those things are asked of me in my walk with God.  But I mean, come on...just sitting there, listening for God's voice??  I am better at handling a room full of screaming kids than I am at that one. 

I have walked this walk for 10 years, almost 11.  You'd think I would some trick or handy hint to making this part of me better.  Or maybe you are thinking, why is all this activity a bad thing? 

It is bad, and we all know why.  It's called burn out.  How many times have you looked around at your life, and wished, just once, that someone else would do it?  Not forever, but a day, maybe two, would be really nice.  How many times have you looked around and wondered if anyone really cared?  How many times have you wondered if this is really what God meant when He said we can only serve one Master?  And how many times have you ended up at the doctors office because you became sick, unable to sleep, you hair was falling out, you had massive headaches...or worse you could find no joy in life anymore?

As I have walked this path, I will be honest, I cannot say it has gotten easier.  Indeed, in some ways it is harder.  I can no longer plead ignorance in my walk.  I know what God has called me to do and I know what happens when I ignore Him.  The opportunities I have to volunteer have not gone away.  The guilt when I say no certainly has not gone away.  I am still a doer, and I don't think that will ever change.

So, what does a doer like me do?  Compromise.  I now have a new rule for me.  Before I take on anything new, I think "How will this affect my kids, my husband?  Will I still have time for my Bible study?  Is God asking me to do this, or is my guilt getting the better of me?"  Does this work  Namely because I don't do this everytime!  It has gotten better though.

My final act for each day is to go over my day with God.  To thank Him for the good, ask Him for help with the bad.  To say sorry for the sins I committed.  To pray for those I know and love.  There are times when I fall asleep while talking to God.  My husband says that is a high compliment to God...afterall, He was my very last thought for the day.

Enjoy the day!


  1. Sounds like you're doing a really good thing for your family and yourself by limiting the things you do. Those are such good things to consider. It reminds me of the Mary-Martha bible story. So you're a Martha? That is good, since someone must do the work. But balance is important, and Jesus wants us to spend some time just being still with Him. You're doing great! :)

    1. Oh yes...I'm a Martha...and I've even done the "Lord, tell her to help me!" thing. Homeschooling has really made me rethink many things I do, and I have had to say no to many opportunities. Well, I didn't have to, but I chose to since I know that my focus right now needs to be on my kids. That is actually really freeing!

  2. Great post April! I have struggled with the same things . . . so, to slow me down, I was given mono . . .for ten months . . . then a knee injury for two months . . . then bed rest for three months . . .I have gotten the hint. It's remembering that's difficult . . . :)

    I love Melody's comment - that she brought up Martha. I'm so glad you're in the Mary Spirit study!

    The Lord is working on us all and I know He is doing a work in you. You are listening, you are tuning in to Him and you are trying your best to follow His will in your life. :)


    1. I have difficulties remembering too...and so often get caught up in running ahead that I forget I'm trying to do it on my own and God has told me to do it with Him. Once day at a time! I'm loving this study!