I recently attended a wonderful Ladies event at a local congregation. The theme was ‘Be Still’. I’m thankful I took the time to attend the Friday and Saturday sessions.
The topic is one that I needed to a reminder of. As most women, I struggle with slowing down and not over scheduling myself and my family. But I fall short most times. I fight with being too busy. Over the years, I’ve improved, mostly because I had to. For me it became necessary to slow down for my health and anxiety.
A big part of my struggle with anxiety comes from my trying to ‘juggle it all’.
‘Juggling it all’, getting it all done, being superwoman became a very serious issue and dare I say, an idol for me.
I took great pride in being able to homeschool my kids, get my kids to their multiple activities, involvement with homeschool groups, run a business, keep a clean house, make homemade meals, teach bible class, assist with multiple church ministries, regularly host people in my home, and much more.
Now don’t get me wrong, these are all good things to do and I still do most of them, but my mistake was doing it all without taking time to rest and replenish. My pride kept me just adding more to my plate and not asking for help when I needed it. Pride kept me trying to do the most and be the best. I didn’t let myself say “no”.
I got so caught up in doing all the stuff that it put strain on my marriage and with my kids. None of that stuff brought me satisfaction, yet I kept doing more and more.
I neglected to take care of myself because I was busy trying to look like the best Christian wife and mother. But I wasn’t the best. My family actually got the worst of me. Pushing myself to do more caused me to do less for my husband and kids. I got busy with planning and organizing for other events that sometimes I didn’t have the energy or time to plan and organize things for my family. Worst than that, I didn’t always show kindness to my husband and kids because I was so tired from all that I was doing. I kept myself worn down and I wasn’t the best wife and mom because I was spent.
Then one day I couldn’t handle anymore and I experienced a pretty devastating breakdown. That’s not easy for me to admit. Actually its a pretty scary thing to write and allow more people to know. Mostly because I still struggle with the whole pride thing. I don’t want it to be known that I couldn’t handle it, that I broke. But because I broke, I am able to know how weak I truly am. Because I broke, I now understand more about the power of God in my life. Because I broke, I now better understand ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’.
During my breakdown I had nothing else to hold onto except God. I didn’t know what to do or how to fix me because I didn’t even know myself. But I did know God. While it was the absolute scariest time in my life, I somehow felt the safest I’d ever felt because I knew God had me.
My breakdown had several contributing causes, but the one cause I’m responsible for was my prideful desire for doing more. My ‘getting it all done’ attitude caused me to keep pushing myself when I needed to stop. And since I wouldn’t stop, my mind stopped me.
So it was during this time of stop, I learned to be still. Let me tell you, this was a hard way to learn it. But I truly couldn’t do anything else but be still.
For several days (that I have little memory of) I was dependent on someone else to take care of me. Fortunately, I’m blessed to have a great support system of family that helped me through it. Unfortunately, what should have been an incident that needed a few weeks recovery turned into 6 years of rollercoaster ride for myself and my family. (another story)
But, it was during this entire time that I learned to trust God. I experienced a dependance on Him that I’ve never experienced and while I was in what at times I would describe as my worst nightmare, I also experienced more peace in God than I’d ever known.
All that being said, busyness can still be struggle for me, but I have learned many ways to help me.
Saying ‘no’ is a good thing – Learning to say ‘no’ or not signing up for more than I can manage can be hard. It requires me to be conscientious of everything I commit to. I have to consider the time commitment involved. Learning to first say ‘let me think and pray about it’ before committing has been good way for me not to overcommit myself.
Down time is a good thing. – I give myself breaks from things. I allow myself some alone time to rest and replenish. I try to take time to just chill out for a moment. And I even allow myself a nap some days. Taking time to relax allows me time to heal and grow which allows me to be better for others.
God time is the best thing – Praying and studying God’s word allows me more strength and focus. Letting Him fill my cup gives me more cup to fill. The difference in a day I start with God and without God are vastly different. When I start my day with God, I have more patience, time, and energy to go about my day. If I neglect to spend time with God, I am more stressed and frazzled throughout my day. But if on those stress-filled days, I stop and go to God, my day always ends better than it began.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,Proverbs 3:5-8
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
Be still, and know that I am God:Psalm 46:10
Until next time
Lots of love to you and yours
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