Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't Just Do - Be

I have a heavy heart these days as I continue processing through my life and my problems. As I search out God on a new and deeper level. As I deal with Regina's death and my friend Kathy's cancer diagnosis. There is no way around it - my heart is heavy. I keep wondering - what if I were in Kathy's shoes? What would I do different?

I don't know many answers to that except that I know God is purposely slowing me down. I don't quite understand that purpose. I've always been "go do" oriented. But I can't argue with God. Well I could - I certainly have in the past - but it is fruitless.

For the 1st time in 7 years I am not pregnant or have small special need children at home or going to a ton of therapy appointments a week or am the coordinator or a flourishing MOPS.

My almost 7 year old is in 1st grade and her therapies have gotten SO much more manageable. And Raina who is only 4 is in preK and while it stresses me out that she's barely 4 and in school 7 hours a day - I know she needs the social skills, routine and 6 hours of speech a week that she gets a week while there. Then I realized I had 6 hours a day without my kids. I missed them. Then felt useless and wondered what I should be doing with my time. I searched out many things and I definitely heard God tell me NO several times. To be honest that made me feel antsy. I am a doer. I need to do. The quiet of not doing brings anxiety in my life.

But the reality is I do a lot without needing to bring another big project or commitment in. I am a pastor’s wife, a friend, a mom that wants to be involved in her girl’s school, I like to work out, I can keep a clean house and I am not tied to a strict therapy schedule until after school. So really this is a lot. But guess what's not included in that list? Time with God.

Yet I was looking for things to fill my time. Who needs 6 hours alone a day? But God told me I did. He specifically is calling me to solitude so I can center myself and be with Him and get out of the stasis mode I’ve been in since Salem was born in 2002.

To be honest this scares me. My life has become somewhat silent. I can't remember the last time it was so silent. Yet I am realizing, if there is no solitude in your day how can your hear your heart cry out? I feel so unsettled when I am silent and still but perhaps rather than filling that silence with doing something - perhaps God is trying to use it to turn me towards Him. Well there is no perhaps to it. He is. I am losing the desire to fill it with shopping and spending too many hours gone from the house or working on some volunteer project or spending too much time on Facebook or watching things on TV that really aren't awful but certainly not beneficial to my time or spirit.

I feel God calling me to solitude. I need to develop solitude in my life but this is a specific plan that I will be unveiling soon. And perhaps some of you will join me or at least encourage me and pray for me.

It's time for me to slow down, to center and to focus on God. I feel as if my emotional healing is contingent upon it. All the things I've done have been good things. But the bible clearly says all things are permissible and may be “good” but they are not always beneficial in our lives. (My paraphrase - 1 Corinthians 10:23).

Sometimes we need to "be" rather than just do. For instance Sabbath. God created sabbath for man. But how often do we really rest even just once a week?

Especially as moms I think we unconsciously subscribe to the world's standards to do do do. Doing is great. There are many works that need to be done and many that we are specifically called to do. But some of these great works definitely take away time from family and more importantly even our own time with our Creator.

I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Her diagnosis is grim. I choose not to accept that diagnosis and am praying for her complete healing. But something she said has been echoing deep inside me. She may have neglected symptoms of being unwell and didn't go to the Dr - probably because she was busy with summer, 3 young children under 6, a 1001 things to do, etc. I am sure its hard for her not to wonder - what if...

It makes me realize if I don't take care of myself spiritually, emotionally and physically - I can still mother and perhaps do a good job but perhaps less or different than what God intended. It's a holistic journey. If even one area of my lives is ignored - I am out of balance.

I want to be balanced. I want peace. I want to be whole. I am learning to long for this solitude and rather than filling it with Facebook or projects or TV or shopping or a myriad of other things, I am filling it with prayer and meditation and bible study. There will be a time for fellowship. I won't be locked away. There is a major difference between solitude and isolation. But I won't be looking for a way to escape my own heart cry.

I just know I want to be a great daughter of God - a great wife - a great mom. But I am realizing a HUGE to do list will not bring me to those goals.


Tina said...

hi Leah, Tina S. here still! I'm always reading your blog alot of time like this a.m. I can so relate to your feelings! I'm lefting up the 2 familys that are heavy on your heart.

keep looking up!

Mandie said...

Wow... what a blog post. I absolutely love the route God is taking you to, and you are realizing it is what God wants. I know it's hard as a Mother not to be doing, doing, doing...but this "solitude" time is what you NEED. Love it. I'm again very sorry for your friend and continue to pray. ((((huggs))))

the undomesticated wife said...

I envy you in that you seem to know what God is doing in your life. I just can't figure it out in mine. I call out to Him and feel like there is such silence and I just can't figure out what He's telling me or wanting me to figure out on my own. :( It's so frustrating.