Friday, January 15, 2016

My Lies Rob Me of Joy

Last weekend I was sitting on a gym floor coaching my daughters' cheer squad when I realized there was a woman standing behind me.  When I looked up, her phone was right above my head.  I jokingly commented, "Are you taking my picture?"  I startled her; she had walked right up to me and hadn't noticed I was at her feet.  "I was looking at today's schedule. I am trying to figure out what the next activity is today."  She like many of us had so much on your calendar that instead of enjoying there current activity she was planning the best plan of attack on the following items on her to do list.

Busyness is my weakness. I am the girl who thinks she can do it all and then finds herself overwhelmed. I know that I am not alone in this whirl wind of busyness because I have heard at least three other women this week say they hope in the next season, they can find time to rest. The overcrowded schedule is an epidemic that is widely spread among modern families.

A while back, I spoke to a mom who had rushed from one activity to another; her account of violin lessons, practices, and ballgames all in a matter of two hours, made me sigh with exhaustion. I didn't dare judge her because I was in the same boat: Kids home at 4:00, homework, dinner, a t-ball game at 5:45, and softball practice at 6:15. Thinking about our family schedule made me sigh as well. I often say to myself I will be less busy in the next season of my life, but that is a lie I have been telling myself for years. It is no secret that lies are destructive. I haven't met anyone who likes being lied to, but we tell ourselves lies all the time. More bizarre we believe the lies we tell to ourselves.

I have a long history of telling myself lies which have robbed me of the joy of the moment. When my children were infants I would long for the days they could feed themselves, walk through the zoo without wanting to be carried, and especially the day we said goodbye to diapers and hello big girl potty. My eyes were always focused on the next season of life, so much that I would often forget the blessings of the here and now. I am thankful for the amazing women in my life who sat me down at that time and reminded me that those precious days would pass too quickly and I would miss them when they were gone. Many times I couldn't wrap my mind around missing dirty diapers, sleepless nights, and days on end without showers. But I do miss that sweet face looking up at me saying "Hold you?" with arms stretched toward the sky. Then a glowing smile wide on her face as I swept her up in my arms. How many of us are looking at what we have to endure and are missing what we've been blessed with right in front of our eyes?

My little girls don't fit in my arms anymore, but they still want climb onto my lap. I am body pillow during family movie night; personal space is not an option. I don't mind because I know in time they will slowly fill there own schedules with independent activities, and snuggle times will be too few and far between. Despite my arms and legs going numb, I love making memories like these with my girls. This season of our life is incredible; tying shoes and inconvenient potty breaks come with the territory. I still find myself telling a variation of that old lie, we will have more time when this season is over to rest. When basketball is over we will spend more time together as a family. When school is out we will be less busy, and on and on.

Busyness is an epidemic, an addiction, and this is an intervention. I have to stop lying to myself and take back my schedule.  Putting healthy limits on the amount of activities will give you more time to grow as a family.

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