Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Enough Navel Gazing




It happens most week days around 11 AM for me. A sudden surge of panic as the day is progressing. Either we are snailing through our school day or we have barely begun. The house is messy, the toddlers are nuts. The baby is on my back and my coffee has been in my system just long enough for that jittery anxious feeling to descend full blast. My list is hardly touched, I've got miles to go and we're burning daylight.

"Oh no," I think. "We're not going to make it."

Somehow we almost always do. Somehow the smoke clears around 4 pm and I start to think that maybe today was alright after all. But it doesn't come without a lot of self doubt. A lot of "what the heck am I doing anyway?" A lot of "uh oh. I fail mothering (again)!" A lot of self spiraling.

I'm over it.

Every Sunday, after communion, I sit quietly in our crazy pew at church and ask Jesus to be in charge. To put me where he wants me, to use me be love. Yet somehow by the time Monday morning rolls around, I've concocted a self centered version of what exactly that is. I forget that Him showing up might not look like me being whisked off to inspire thousands at a conference. It might not look like an uninterrupted phone call with someone who needs encouragement. It might never be a book deal or even time for me to sit down and write . 

I get so clouded by what I think is important that I forget what is important to God rarely makes big splashy headlines.

It's getting my husband's coffee ready just the way he likes it so he can grab it easily while dashing out the door. It's letting my toddler change her mind (just this once) about what breakfast she wants. It's that sick baby hiked up on my aching back because it's where she can breathe and rest and heal.

When I spend my time bemoaning my inability to get certain things done, when I allow myself to be consumed with worry over my intentions, my heart, the use of my talents - I'm putting myself at the center. Me, me, me.

The problem with that is when you're all about yourself, there's no room for anything else - least of all loving others.

Right now, right where you are - you are in a position to bless someone. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. Possibly right at this very second. Isn't that really the entire point anyway? 

Sometimes I think we spend so much time worrying about what we're supposed to be doing with our lives that we forget that the entire point is to lose it.

So enough, then. Enough with the navel gazing. The agonizing. The second guessing and the self deprecating. It's nothing more than a distraction from the bigger picture.

The truth is, there's joy in taking it as it comes. In doing the next right thing. In waking up and looking around and finding what needs to be done, finding ways you can serve and not allowing yourself to get distracted by your own human brain.

Sometimes you just gotta get outside of yourself.

Life is about spreading light. There are millions upon millions of ways to do that. God, in all of His beauty and wisdom and grace, has that for every single person in every single life in every single day. I promise you, there is not a minute today that, no matter where you are, you don't have the opportunity shine light. Not when you're "just" a mom. Not when you're "just" in a cubicle at work. Not when you're "just" cleaning up a mess, or driving to the store, or making dinner, or working out. Not when you're sick in bed or unable to "do" much of anything at all.

Jesus, put me where you want me. 

(Right now? At a kitchen table with a baby drooling on my arm while my ten year old whines about math. Sigh. Alrighty then)

Help me to be love wherever I am, to burn brightly in all situations.

(letting baby gnaw on my arm. Not losing my cool but being firm with my daughter.)

And let it be enough.

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