Replenishing your soul

Why is setting time aside for ourselves so incredibly hard? It doesn’t matter what stage of life we are in but we all need to replenish our souls. For me, I need to time reading quietly, praying, listening to music and walking my dog under the stars. When I crowd my life with only details of a busy day, it’s almost as I don’t have the space to get anything done well. This not usually a pretty situation. The way I end up giving to people becomes rushed, forced and sometimes less quality than what I really want. The way you get down time may be totally different but I know you feel me and most likely need it.

When I miss my time, the gunk comes out when I least expect it. I recently had the kind of week where there was no time to breathe. One evening, I captured a few quiet moments to shut my eyes and daydream while planning the next few days. Then Jeremy and I had an everyday conversation. I forget what he even said but I just short circuited and got upset with his opinion. (Sorry, honey. I completely forget what it was about or I’d show how irrational I was in that moment.)  It wasn’t what he said that I was troubled by, it was that I had no room left to engage with him. The most important person in my life got the brunt of my business. I could fill this page with a list of moments that my 3 darlings have felt the ramification of this problem.

Jeremy and I try to wake up earlier to have our personal alone time. Note the word try. I need to listen to that alarm and get my behind out of bed. Snooze is not my friend. Those moments of refueling are necessary. A calmness and peace always result in those moments. I never regret getting up to read and meditate on what God is sharing with me over my cup of coffee. I always regret not doing it. Always. By taking time out to hear His voice, everything that does not matter fades away. I sincerely get clarity of His purpose for me. My priorities get shifted and I see what is before me that day in a different way.

Whether this time of life gives you 5 minutes or an hour, make time for yourself time to create the space. It’s going to look different for everyone. When my kids were little, I took a longer shower and that was what I needed and some days all I could get. Now I can take 20 minutes in the morning for reading. If I’m on it, I might even get tabata workout in. I try to end the day with a walk around the neighborhood staring at the stars. Do what you can. Find out what you need to get that replenishment. Ask a friend to help, if needed. I promise you will be glad you did.

 

Disclaimer: Stop using the snooze button. The weekends are my only exception because there is nothing better than sleeping in. I try to do that as long as my kids let me or until a German Shorthair Pointer sits on my face.

Getting real with my mess

Oh, the lovely discussion of self-worth. This is a huge barrier for me daily.  Most of my life I have battled with this issue. In high school and through college, my athletic performance was where I placed my value of self-worth. As you can imagine, my feelings would change quite a bit depending on opinions of others, the numbers of goals scored or what the newspaper said about me. When I became injured and could no longer play, I was completely lost. This shallow personal vantage point of my identification was imbedded in my thoughts, actions and behavior.

When I became a mother, my performance-based value system did not change. It was the setting and people that I performed for that did. Instead of worrying about pleasing my teammates, coach or parents, it was my friends, my family or teachers. I remember picking up my oldest daughter from preschool when she was two or three years old. I was talking to her teacher and shared with me how shy she was compared to the other kids. She went into areas of concern that she had despite her sweet disposition. I was extremely defensive. I was not surprised by the shyness by any means since my husband is introverted. But this conversation is just an example of many opinions I would continue to hear about my children. These opinions and conversations became my new viewpoint. This inaccurate view a teacher had on my daughter really shook me. I even knew she was wrong. But despite that, I cared about what kind of mother this lady considered me to be. I think we can all relate to this as mothers or fathers. What milestone are they at? What parenting style did you choose? Do you wear your baby? Are they reading yet? I mean seriously, the list could go on for pages.

I won’t even begin the dissertation of my issues in the workplace. That is where you will find my greatest dysfunction of value. At home, I have this amazing man, that now keeps me real when I am going down a windy road with my kids. However, at work, it’s just me and my agenda. Get it done and do it right. I don’t want to just finish a task. It really needs to be essentially perfect or I am really hard on myself. There is no pressure to be this way at all in my working environment. It is just my enormous weight that I choose to carry most days. I am taking another area of my life that I love and making it into something that is defining who I am. The whole time I am leaning on myself. Doing it on my own strength.

Ugh. This pattern is not healthy. I’m not writing here today suggesting that I have an answer to the problem of this value system and that all is dandy in my world today. I am definitely getting better at it. I do give these areas over to God and place them at His feet. But I honestly need to do it more than just the morning and evening. It’s an hour by hour, minute by minute situation for me.

I know where my worth needs to be placed. I know how it’s supposed to look. But, I struggle. I am seeking my acceptance and worth in people not in my Creator. He is all that matters. Everything I do is only intended to serve Him. But somehow, I try to make it about myself. What I need to accomplish and get done.

The song “Lord, I need You,” by Matt Mahar has been such a great conversation with God. I pray and worship while singing this song.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found, is where You are
Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Yes, where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Teach my song
To rise to you
When temptation comes my way,
When I cannot stand
I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

I rest assured that I have grace. That I am enough without having to perform. I pray that as I raise those little girls, I can guide them to learn with me that there is only one vantage point that matters. I cling to Him and know He accepts me despite this mess I bring to Him daily, minute by minute.

If you want to hear the song, click below.

https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=GenieoYaho&hsimp=yhs-fh_ds&type=a1440685521479216&p=i+need+you+lord+matt+maher+lyrics