This is what I was looking forward to when I thought about all my babies being in school all day. This sharing a cuppa with a dear one on my porch, finishing sentences and wearing slippers. All summer, when I thought of what this fall would look like, I felt anxious, untethered. I’ve spent most of my life buying the lie that I only have worth if I am producing something. That the kids hanging off my arms and legs meant that my day had purpose. Satan put that lie out there and I drank it like the Kool-Ade it is. Drank it down and then held out my cup for another serving. I wondered if, given hours to myself, that anxiety would creep back in, sliding in through windows and doors like smoke. And so I started September on my knees. The way I should start every month. I cried out for direction and He gave me rest. Cried out for purpose and He gave me rest. Asked for a group or a study or something and He gave me rest. That God left me on the floor on my knees and said, there…that is your place. Now rest.
He says to us these beautiful words: In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
You would have none of it. He knows. He knows that we are drinking the Kool-Ade, taking that wafer of lies upon our tongues and swallowing it down. You are only worth something if you are busy. If every minute of your day is scripted with carpools and sports and errands and meal prep. When did we start this tomfoolery? I’m so sorry to burst your bubble, sweet mama, but your kid is probably not going to be a pro sport anything, no matter how many weekends you spend in crappy hotels so he can play on the tournament team. Can you hear me for a sec when I say that maybe the better use of your time would be spent in storming heaven for a bigger purpose for him than sports and that your evenings would be better served around your dinner table, pouring in? I’m not judging. Truly, I’m not. Nor am I just saying these things because my kids largely suck at sports and I wish yours did too. I think it’s fantastic that little Justin is a whizz on the soccer field, but perhaps when we build our lives around his sport we are actually saying to him that the world revolves around him and that with all his eggs in one basket, failure at it will mean the death of him. And this goes for music and school and dance and all the other things we have allowed to consume our lives and pull us away from the family dinner table.
I’m calling on a season of rest for my family and I’m praying you’ll hear this as truth for yours as well. That perhaps we perpetuate the lie that production=worth when we build our lives around the busyness of sports and school activities for our kids. Father calls for only 4 things: repentance, rest, quietness and trust. These are 4 things I’m historically terrible at. Like, dismal. But I’m slowing down and demanding the same of my family too. Looking forward to a season of opening our doors some and hunkering down some and being ok with both. For myself and for my family. I want my kids, more than anything, to know that their worth is wrapped up in loving God and serving people. And we can only do either of those things if we slow down. And so as I share a cuppa with a friend and go for long walks with the pups, I’m culling from our lives those things that have little eternal worth but are pulling us apart from each other. Nearly all my errands can be done online. This is not great for my carbon footprint, but so great for my time management. Sports for the little guys will join errands. I know if we don’t start them in Kindergarten, they’ll be cut in middle school, but you don’t own us. So there. Dan has culled out board positions and volunteer obligations as well, so he can be more accessible to us. The most important work he does on this earth is leading our family and being present for our kids. It’s where his heart is and where his time needs to be too. There is work yet to be done, but we are seeing the writing on the wall: Grant will leave for college in less than three years and we are determined to make them count. Poor kid has no idea of the family fun I have in store. We are going to suck the marrow out of his teen years. It’s gonna be epic.
This is me being real. And wondering what you can cull out of your life to make room for more family time and more rest?