If you’ve ever started a new job, you know the exhaustion and constant mental attention that takes over your brain. I’ve been a stay at home mom for the better part of 15 years. Transitioning into the work of homeschooling has quickly occupied my thoughts in a full-time manner. If I’m not careful, the question “What about me and my interests?” is going to rear its head in an ugly way.
I’m imagining the engine of an old jalopy backfiring and sputtering and refusing to run smoothly. ”Not operating on all six cylinders,” as one friend says. Yes, as the pendulum swings from my me-centric living to homeschool-obsessed, BALANCE is a word that comes to mind. Like, find some. Soon. :)
My heart is in so many places right now. I’ve been reading a lot lately. I told you about Love Does and how living a life driven by boldly showing love to others has impacted my thought life. More recently, I felt drawn to read Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Seven areas of her life stripped down to a minimum, one month at a time: food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress. A fasting in order to be rid of her own thinking and idolatry so that she could be filled with God’s thinking and Kingdom purpose. I got out my pen and underlined so many amazing insights while reading this book. My heart has been stirred toward a totally different way of living. The impact of these books has left me feeling both exhilarated and dumbstruck at the same time. Scales being removed from my eyes, a softening of my heart toward what it really looks like to be a doer of the Word.
I keep catching myself thinking, if I weren’t homeschooling I’d have all kinds of time to clear the clutter from my life and really put what I read into practice. I’d do the work to simplify our possessions and let God lead a massive overhaul of my heart. Then I stop myself. I am homeschooling, and there is still time to do the work. And I get the amazing opportunity to involve my impressionable nine year old in the process. THIS is Bible study, people. Not just hearing the Word, but DOING IT.
You know what I’m quickly realizing? Multi tasking is a thief of joy. I think part of the underlying reason I feel dumbstruck by what to do with what I’ve been reading and scattered to the point of not accomplishing necessary tasks in this new season of life is that I am allowing my head to be in too many places at once. I’ve been feeling a serious need to compartmentalize my time so that I can focus on what is right in front of me. To actually enjoy and savor experiences as they unfold. It’s like when you go to a gathering where the menu is “bring a dish to pass”. Everything looks so good and was lovingly prepared by friends and family, so you want to take a little of each item offered. In the end, you don’t savor any of it because the flavors weren’t meant to be enjoyed all at once.
So in response to the question, “What about me?” I am following in Lara’s footsteps and choosing to #SavorSeptember. It’s one of my favorite months of the year as we transition into fall. I know many of you share my love of this time of year. For many of us, September can also be a busy time of year. What if we purposefully chose to follow our dreams and accomplish the necessary to-do’s in our lives, all the while staying aware of the sweet moments that happen throughout our day? The first leaves to change color, the feel of cooler air on our skin early in the morning, that iconic pumpkin spice latte that makes its appearance at Starbucks every fall, stopping to look into the eyes of our loved ones when they speak…simple joys that make life sweet, joys that go unnoticed when we are constantly multitasking. Gratitude follows.
This post took extra time to publish because Husband and I had not one, but two date nights this weekend. Unheard of! Youngest wanted me to make mini apple maple pies with him Saturday afternoon. (Get the recipe here. Delish!) Oldest wanted to go for a drive now that he has his learning permit (!). All of these things brought small moments of joy to my heart because I stepped away from my perceived need for time alone to savor moments with the guys in my life. I’m asking God to help me compartmentalize my task time so I can do my most focused work, but show me moments to savor all throughout this month. Time keeps marching on and we can let it get away from us, or we can choose to be purposeful and aware of the littlest gifts in life. No regrets.