It was a Monday afternoon, in early December. The day after a wonderful, but very busy weekend for our family. It seemed that every Christmas party that we were invited to just so happened to be that first week in December. And that night the fun was to continue, and we had another dinner party to go to. Now, let me say what a blessing it is to have a calendar full of so much life. I love to gather with people I love, and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing community around us. It was not always this way for me, and I cherish it so very much.
But I was tired. So tired.
So that afternoon, there I was, rushing about…trying to get the grocery shopping done for the week, cleaning, editing, and needing to make sure the girls were bathed, fed, & put to bed before we left for our dinner party. Our close friends and neighbors offered to stay with them for us, and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for them.
I was in the bathroom bathing the girls, and I had just finished bathing Cora. She was now dressed in her jammies and was happily playing with some toys on the floor in Eveleigh’s room while Evie played in the tub a little while longer.
Now, I have always prided myself on my ability to multi-task. It’s what helps me swiftly manage my time so that I am able to take on & accomplish a lot. Even if I’m “relaxing” at night and watching a movie with my husband, I am also typically folding laundry, painting my nails, or organizing something. So, as Eveleigh was playing in the bath, I decided to go ahead and clean the bathroom. I keep some cleaning supplies under the sink in each bathroom for this very reason…I call them “Quick Cleans.” That way I can just grab what I need under the sink and quickly & efficiently clean the bathroom. I’m a busy mom of two, sometimes 5 minutes is all I have!
So, there I was…mental checklist ticking, mind thinking 1000 things all at once, and as I bent down to reach under the bathroom sick for the cleaning supplies, I hit my head, hard, on the corner of the granite counter.
Ouch. The kind of hit that causes tears to immediately well up behind your eyes, without your control. My head was spinning and I knew I needed to sit down. I sat there on the bathroom floor to regain my composure. Eveleigh calling out “what’s wrong, mama?” and me replying “Mama’s ok. I just hit my head and got a booboo.” To which she gently responds “it’s ok mama! Kiss it, make it all better!”
After a minute, I was ok but a strong headache came on. Fortunately, Ryan got home and I had him take over for the girls. I wondered whether or not we’d make it to our dinner plans. He encouraged me to take some tylenol and lie down for a few minutes to see if I felt better. I obliged.
I laid down, but my head kept spinning. I went back and forth in my mind on whether I needed to stay home. But I just couldn’t give myself permission to cancel. I host many dinner parties myself, and there is nothing worse than a guest canceling at the last minute. There’s a lot of time, energy, and money that goes into hosting, and I just couldn’t do that to our friends!
So off we went. But that night I was kind of floating. A part of me was present, but there was this other part of me that couldn’t shake it off. A part of me that was still processing and twirling the day’s events over & over in my mind.
See, I’ve never been good at resting. Even on vacation I am always wanting to see and do all the things. I want to suck the marrow out of life & experience it all. Some might even call it a little case of #FOMO. It’s typically a good quality, however, it can often lead to over-commitment & exhaustion. And as that wears on, sometime’s it can also lead to resentment and maybe even bitterness.
As I reflected, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, instead of multi-tasking I could start to focus on one thing at a time. That I could listen to my body’s cues for rest. That it wouldn’t take banging my head on the granite counter top for me to finally slow down. To slow my body and slow my thoughts and just… breathe.
I thought about this struggle and how very real it is for women, especially moms. How fast our brains are always moving, how fast we shuffle about from one thing to the next, and how we’re always doing about 1,000 things at once. And while in certain seasons this serves us well, it ultimately doesn’t allow us the space to experience the real peace & rest that Christ offers.
So I’m learning the lesson that this frantic season has taught me and I’m moving on to a new season. A season with margin. A season to rest and savor moments of connection & peace. I want to lay down all expectation, proving, people pleasing, and striving at the feet of Jesus. And receive the unconditional love, acceptance, peace, and real rest that He offers.