A couple weekends ago I went to a really great conference on worship and the arts. I had a great time listening to the amazing speakers/teachers and interacting with others from my church, getting to know team members better and learning together. It was so worth going to but WOW! Talk about information overload!
Over the last couple of years I have found that my extrovert/introvert tendencies have balanced out a lot more and I actually require quiet time on my own to process things. Whether those things are emotions I am feeling or things I am thinking about, I need that space from people now in a way I have never needed it in the past. The weekend was great but there was zero downtime to process. And then it was home and back to reality!
It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t had a chance to quietly process my thoughts. My days are filled with caring for kids, running errands, taking care of the house, etc. I was getting some quiet alone time in which to get things done each day when Liam napped but I babysit now for a few hours each day and the timing usually coincides with naptime so that time is gone. The landscape of my days and my weeks has changed but my need for down time, for time with my husband, time with friends, time with by myself have not changed. I so badly want to have time to just sit and rest and ponder things I am learning but there isn’t any time.
A couple months ago I started reading a book called Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. The small print title is “Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe”. I began reading it feeling like “I want to read this so that I can help others” – at the time I wasn’t feeling like that mom who doesn’t know how she’s going to make it through the next day, the mom who needs just a few moments in which to breathe and recharge. HA! Joke’s on me! That is exactly how I am feeling this week!
What does this “joke” tell me? That we, our lives, go through cycles. We have those times when we are feeling free and relaxed and on top of things and in control. We breathe easy. We face each day with a smile and a sense of adventure. We go to bed tired from a day of activity but we awake refreshed and ready to go. We also have those times when we drag all the time. We feel like we can’t get enough rest. We go to bed exhausted and wake up tired. We feel like a heavy weight is on our backs, holding us down and preventing us from flying. We feel like life is no longer a fun adventure but something to be endured and survived. We can barely breathe.
I am so thankful that in those moments when I don’t feel I can breathe I know, even if I can’t “feel it”, that God isn’t far. He’s right there holding me up and keeping me going. I am learning to lean hard into Him when I feel overwhelmed. Often times my circumstances don’t change at all but my attitude or outlook does which makes all the difference.
So, overwhelmed self, remember you’re not in this alone. In the midst of the chaos and craziness of life, there are moments of quiet scattered through to allow you to breathe. These overwhelming days will pass. Just lean in and hang on! Tomorrow is a new day!