I was reading through all the old posts on this blog. The first few posts are filled with details of my day - with errands and duties and activities. Back then, I took a lot of pride in being busy. I find that most moms do. Its seems that we think the busiest mom is the best mom.
A couple of years ago, though, I hit a wall. I felt like I never had enough time for everything. I felt as if I always had to be on my way somewhere else. "Everyone wants a piece of me", I used to think.
And then, one day I experienced...not even sure what. An anxiety attack that didn't leave me for weeks. I wont go into all the details of it, only because I dont like to dwell on that time too much. Suffice it to say that I was overwhelmed and incapacitated by anxiety/panic attacks.
One of the days during the time that I was going through this, Little Boy had appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery. Wow - that story deserves a post of its own! Here I was having some sort of breakdown, hubby was out of town...and Little Boy needs surgery! I know that God helped me rise to that occasion, and only He got me through it. (And thank God for my parents!)
Funny thing is, that all the busyness of our schedule came to a screeching halt because Little Boy had to recover from his surgery. So while my son took time off to heal from his surgery, I began to think about things. Why were we doing soccer? After all, when its time for practice or games, Little Boy seemed bummed. Why were we doing Karate? We would rush there, and we would rush home. When we skipped it, we feel relieved. In addition, that year Little Boy was really beginning to struggle in school. We were at soccer and karate 4 days out of the week, so by the time we got back to do homework, he was tired and stressed and frustrated.
It occurred to me that I did a lot things because I felt "I should". When I asked myself why we were in soccer, the most honest answer was "because everyone else does it, so we "should" too. I began to identify the things that "had" to be done, and then added to that list the things that we "wanted" to do. We quit the activities, and Little Boy began to just play in the neighborhood with the kids that lived on the street. Believe it or not, this was something that we had always been too busy to do because we had always been on our way out somewhere. He began spending the afternoons outside riding his bike or riding his scooter with his friends. He seemed happier and more relaxed than I'd seen him in a long time.
Its true that being busy was not the only cause of this episode of anxiety. Since that period of time, God has revealed to me the various causes of what I went through. I came to realize that I had a lot of fears about a lot of things.
One of the things that I learned, was that I did the things that I thought I "should" do, because I was trying to "earn" approval. I was raised in a works-based religion, and even though I thought I understood God's grace, I didn't really understand it, because I was still working hard for God's approval. He showed me that no matter what I did..I could never ever earn His approval. That's why He sent Jesus.
Today, I am still working through some fear issues, and dealing with occasional anxiety. It seems that living a life of fear is a hard habit to break! :) But I know that God will be faithful to complete this work that He began in me.
I am starting to see the value of a simple life. Sometimes we Mom's do things that the other Mom's are doing because we feel we need to measure ourselves by everyone else. But in reality, we are all different. We have different strengths and different weaknesses. We have to be honest with our limitations. Because sometimes its better to do a few things really well, instead of struggling and stressing to do a million things just barely good enough.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Romans 14:19
And so I've began to pursue peace. Doing the things I have to do, and then add to that the things that bring my family joy and peace.
This is a journey that I am still on. As the old saying goes, "God isn't finished with me yet". May your life be filled with the things that make for peace, and the things by which we may edify one another.