I feel myself fighting against the clock, the flow, the unstoppable movement of life. I am waging a war against time, raging against the busyness.
Somewhere along the road, people decided to glorify “busy”, “doing”, “accomplishing”, and “going”. The busier we are, the more important we are. People must really need us, and we have a “life” because we have so much to do. I’ve heard the phrase, “I’m sorry I have a LIFE!” used in really a sarcastic, degrading tone to belittle the person who isn’t as busy as the person who said it.
We’ve found our significance and worth in being busy. And if we’re not doing something, going somewhere, or planning our next adventure, then we are “lazy”, “losers”, “unaccomplished”, and “insignificant”. These are ALL LIES! Lies that the devil uses to keep us moving, going, stressed out, unappreciative, complaining, anxious, and unsatisfied with ourselves. Lies used to steal our joy, the joy that comes from being in the presence of the Almighty God, the author and perfecter of our faith, and the peace that comes from knowing we are a child of God. Our title is not in what we are DOING, it is who we are BEING…co-heirs with Christ.
I realized a few years ago when Avery was 3-years-old that I was bringing most of the stress and busyness upon myself. I was creating the havoc by always saying YES when people asked, always volunteering, always adding more to my plate, and not taking an evaluation of where my time was being spent. It was after my husband had a talk with me about how insanely chaotic the playroom was and that Avery had colored with markers all over her table. It was a simple question of, “Are you even watching her during the day?” I felt a brick hit me my upside my head and a soccer player kick me in the gut at the same time. My answer was, “No. No, I’m not watching her because even though I’m in the same room with her, my face is stuck in the computer editing all of these photography sessions that need to get done.” God spoke to me and said, “What is more important, your job…or your child?”
That was a no brainer. I instantly made changes to my business to eliminate the majority of where my time was spent. I decided to cut out all family and children sessions and focus solely on weddings. Also, the editing would now be outsourced. I’ve never regretted reading a book with my daughter over sitting behind a computer. NEVER.
Those kind of changes were my decisions to make. It was in my control to make more time for what is most important. The stress dissolved and I could be there mentally and emotionally more for my daughter than I could before.
However, there are “busy seasons” in life that are beyond my control. Like the month of May. Holy Cow!! No one warned me how ridiculously crazy, busy, time sucking, and wallet draining that the end of the school year can be. Avery is only in preschool, and thankfully God is teaching me this now, that May will always be NUTS.
Teacher appreciation, Mother’s Day, petting zoo, field day, class parties, pre-k graduation, dance pictures, dress rehearsal, dance recital, Avery’s birthday…and 2 weddings to photograph. My time is being stretched and so is the bank account. Money for this, payments for that. I think I wrote 5 checks ALONE just yesterday. I don’t say this to complain, because I’m not ungrateful, but it’s just a reality check of life. The majority of these things I cannot control, and should I choose not to show up and overextend myself, then I’m missing LIFE. Avery loves for me to be there…and by God….I WANT to be there.
This season of life is the good stuff. My baby is about to graduation from Pre-K in less than a week and then have her 5th birthday party a few days later. I want to relish in these moments. I don’t want to just “survive” and “get through them”. I want to remember the details, the smiles, the kisses, the pigtails, the lace on her dress, blowing out the candles, her baby teeth, and the way she still wants to sit in my lap and hold my hand in front of her friends.
I’m fighting against the clock and the pressure that says “Go!”, “Hurry Up!”, “You still have so much to do!” I’m screaming back at it in my head saying, “Look!”, “Slow down!”, “Laugh!”, “Cuddle!”, “Pay Attention!”. Because when I pick her up from preschool on the last day, I want to see her face, watch her climb into my car, and excitedly show me the sticker in her notebook. I need to hear her talk about who won Bingo, and what crazy thing Mrs. Sue said that day, and listen to her yell “bye” to her friends in the parking lot.
I don’t want to rush through it because we need to hurry home and finish the laundry before dance class. I can’t let the pressure of what hasn’t been done yet drown out the blessings and joy God sends to me each day through my children.
Yes, this is a busy time of year. But this is the only time my children will look the way they do, talk the way they talk, experience these moments in their lives, and I don’t want to capture it all just to post on Instagram, I NEED to take a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual snapshot for myself, so years down the road when she drives herself to the first day of school, or is too big to sit in my lap without it hurting, I can relive these moments, sounds, sights, smells, and feelings that are happening RIGHT NOW…in the busy season.
Ephesians 5:11-17 (The Message)
11-16 “Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!
17 Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”