We're full swing into the fall schedule. Today I am stressed out, frustrated, rushed and irritable. Nasty. I hate myself like this. I wouldn't want to be around me. Life is just too busy. If I make a list of all I have to do, it doesn't really seem like much. No more than most working women face, probably less. Here's our weekly schedule: The girls and I have school every weekday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Some days everyone is cheerful and cooperative, and some days we're in a battle zone. Tuesdays we leave the house at 3:30 to go to church. Fred and I cook for about 75 people who attend Alpha. I am always scrambling around madly to bake or to get together ingredients we need before we can head out the door. While we cook the girls have choir and Awanas, and they so much enjoy those activities. So we cook to help out. All of us get home about 9 p.m., totally wiped out.
On Thursday afternoons, Arielle has piano lessons, and for sake of convenience, we food shop afterwards at the nearby supermarket. Library day is also that afternoon, since we pass by it on the way home, and we also stop at the produce market for the week's supply of fruits and vegetables. Sunday we go to church in the morning and then Arielle (and soon Liana) have art class in the afternoon. I also spend the afternoon preparing lessons for the girls for the upcoming week of school. The supposedly "free" evenings and Saturdays are rarely that way. All of this doesn't seem like much, and we've actually cut a lot of activities, but I must be doing something wrong because I struggle to find time to clean my house, to cook a decent meal each night, and to keep up with the laundry. I am in a constant state of hurry. I don't waste time (unless you call this wasting time--maybe it is) and I rarely ever watch a TV show unless I am also cooking or folding laundry or ironing at the same time. I don't have time to call or e-mail friends or even my older children as I wish I could. I live with chronic regret--what I should have done but didn't--cook a meal for the woman at my church going through chemo, visit my friend diagnosed with thyroid cancer, call my mother, invite someone to dinner. Please, someone tell me, what am I doing wrong? What happened to the joy? I am jotting these complaints down as I sit through Arielle's piano lesson, forty-five minutes of waiting until I run again.
***It's a new day. The girls and I are in Panera's, a coffee and bread shop just down the street from the hospital. Fred is having injections in his spine and we must wait to take him home. It's peaceful here. Classical music plays softly in the background and it's so early, the place is deserted. The girls are coloring pictures they drew, and we just finished their spelling tests and a game of "complete the squares." Do you remember that game of the grid of dots that you played as a kid when you were bored? Arielle and Liana were delighted with it. I've been carrying around a big spiral notebook, just like I used to do in college, so I could catch some thoughts flying from my restless brain. So I take it out and write. There is absolutely nothing else to do but sit here and wait.
I hear a whisper in my mind, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me..." That's where I've gone wrong.
I guess I'm a little like King David when he wrote many of his Psalms. He starts with a lament, crying out to God in frustration and helplessness, but before the Psalm is over it becomes a praise. In the midst of his problems, he remembers God's faithfulness and his promises and David lets go of his fear and his anger. I choose to let them go too. I'm so thankful to God for my daughters and my husband and my church. All three keep me hopping, but what is the alternative? Getting old and sitting around staring at the four walls. (As my mother-in-law always says.) Praise God for a full, rich life! I grumbled about getting up at 5 a.m. today to take Fred for his treatment, but the day turned into a time of peace and solace and fun with my girls. Thank you, Lord. I even began to see Arielle's piano class in a new light too. It's my one day a week to pause for 45 minutes and then later I get to spend some one-on-one with Arielle.
Jesus said HIS burden is light. He didn't say we have easy lives. Some people carry enormous burdens, much heavier than mine. But when we're yoked with Jesus, he promises to share the load. We give it to him when we spend time with him and let him direct our day.
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