Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God is funny like that!

i thought i was doing a good job of not overcommitting this year.
i 'm not volunteering for more than a couple of things...
i only involve each of my girls in one extra curricular activity a week...
i try not to say 'yes' to everything and everyone...
yet, i still feel pretty overwhelmed at times.
yeah, sure... not everyone can see it.
i'm pretty good at putting on a 'brave' face and fighting through the emotions and exhaustion.
but sometimes they just spill over.
and you know what?
that's ok.
it's ok to show we have weaknesses... it's ok to show others we do NOT have it all together.
because i certainly don't have it all together.
far from it.
so why do i pretend i do?
i know a part of it is that i never want to make my issues and problems seem like they're bigger than someone else's.
jeez... there are people with marriage disasters... people who are sick... people dealing with death.
but my overwhelming need to hide my hurts in order to hold space for other's pain isn't always healthy OR helpful.
i've learned that sharing my pain, even if it's not as 'big' as someone else's is still important.
we need to feel like we aren't alone in the ways we are feeling.
the people that love you want to hear about your pain... just like you want to hear about theirs.
why has it taken me long to figure that out?
i have no idea.
(we are all a bit different and weird... like these awesome carrots remind me.  don't be afraid to show your true self!!  ha!)

i had a MOPS committee meeting last night and honestly, i wasn't in the mood to go.
i was emotionally tired, physically drained.
not in a good state.
i showed up in a bad mood, hiding behind a fake smile.
i should have prayed about my attitude before i went.
i should have given my thoughts to God and let Him take over...
let Him show that i wasn't negative about the MOPS stuff... but i was letting negativity ruin my input.
it wasn't horrible or anything and i know that no one probably noticed my 'mood' but me.
once i got home, i had the overwhelming urge to email each of those women to apologize.
to apologize for how i acted and reacted during the meeting.
i felt bad for bringing my negativeness to the table.
it was just something i needed to do.
as i suspected, each of these women gave me the assurance that it was a safe place to share.
that we can hold each other accountable.
and they each gave me a nugget of encouragement and the offer to pray.
(yes, i totally wear this headband when i run... and yes, it's totally true!!)

and, like i also suspected, none of them even noticed that i was different or overtly negative.
i was focused on myself... instead of God and the work He is doing in our group.
i think the exhaustion, both physical and emotional, had taken it's toll.
and you wanna know the funny thing?
i woke up this morning, determined to try and change my attitude...
and this is what i read first thing in my email inbox:

Karen Ehman
October 31, 2012
By Karen Ehman
"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)
"I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use great-grandma's teacup, pretty please? I'll be careful," my then five-year-old daughter sweetly begged.
We were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual while her two baby brothers napped. Each day we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and slowly sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.
This afternoon, however, she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother's family. While I knew my baby girl was grown up enough to be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.
"Sweetheart, I know you'll be careful, but we can't have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?"
I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn't cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)
There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.
Our emotional lives are much the same. When we do not allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.
Today's key verse highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while; to slow down and cease activity. He urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would help keep them whole.
In our fast-paced society we rarely get to sit in a quiet place. Televisions blare. Computers sound out webcasts. iPods and MP3s crank out music at times when we could be seeking solace.
As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.
Let's purpose to take time this week to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed and holy place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour or two.
If we make time to answer Jesus' call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help mend cracks, renewing and making us to be vessels strong enough to be used by Him.
Dear Lord, help me to intentionally carve out time this week to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
For "5 Steps to Quiet" and a tea-themed giveaway, visit Karen's blog.
Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles
Would you like to bring a life-changing message to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Karen as your next event or keynote speaker.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses, but we simply can't. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Reflect and Respond:
Remember a time when you got away for a time of rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?
Why don't we get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent us from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.
Power Verse:
Matthew 7:25, "The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)

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could God have hit me over the head any more clearly?
i just laughed!
and thanked Him that He knows exactly what i need and when i need it.
i just have to remember to look to Him and be filled up by Him.
i can't do life on my own without Him.
especially when life is so busy, even when i'm trying to purposefully s l o w  d o w n!
and it's alright... it's perfectly fine, even called upon, for us to show our 'cracks' to others.
how can we build each other up without knowing what to fix?
(crazy mama is at it again!! look at the fear in baby h's eyes!)
(apologies for the random not relevant pics... i just hate a post without pictures... so random it is!)

1 comment:

bandofbrothers said...

i'm a lot like you in that i get overwhelmed and try not to show it. but yesterday i missed a meeting because i was just too beat to go. and i'm happy that i did not show up because i would have been grumpy. thanks for sharing. oh and those carrots are wild.