Welcome to all of you who stop by today from the P31 devotions. I hope you will come back to visit often!
I knew May was going to be a busy month for me, so I nearly shuddered as I turned the calendar page over from April. I wondered if I would be able to handle all I had committed to-- and if I would be able to actually do all I had committed to. I determined that, with God's help and strength, I could do exactly what He wanted me to do, no more and no less. And I set forth to do exactly that. I also determined not to get ahead of myself by looking at the big picture and instead to focus on each day as it came-- asking myself simply, "What do I need to do today?" And letting that calm me and keep me focused, lest I get overwhelmed and quit before I even start.
Here is what my month looked like: six speaking engagements, one book to finish, two proposals to write, a house to sell and a house to find, a second opinion with an orthodontist for my son, weekly weeding for the garden, a hair appointment (I cut it ALL off yesterday-- yes indeed I did!), a meeting about a co-op I want to do next year for homeschooling, swim team practices starting for four of our kids, rehearsals for a play starting for our oldest, a used curriculum sale to go to on the other side of town, a trip to our state homeschool conference with my husband, and a trip to FL for my niece's graduation/18th birthday party with my husband and two oldest children. All in one month. For someone who usually shies away from overcommitment and busyness, this was exceptional.
Needless to say, it was A LOT. And I doubted my own sanity for committing to it all. And yet, I had a strange peace about it running just under the surface. I knew that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do and somehow it would just all work out. I didn't count on getting sick and losing basically a week of productivity. But I did count on making it to the other side of May-- some way, some how. As I pause to reflect on how the month of May has gone so far, I am satisified. One of my speaking engagements got deferred to my husband because I was too sick to do it. I couldn't have foreseen that. One of my speaking engagements got cancelled. I was relieved to have that off my plate at a time that I was craving a break. And my proposals have now been reduced to one sheets with my agent's blessing and encouragement to just do what I can.
In the midst of my busyness and unforeseen changes, moment by moment adjustments have been made. And, amazingly, it has all worked out. Like I said, with God's help and His strength. No more, no less. I knew that my job was to not hold onto the agenda or the goals too tightly-- to merely offer them up to Him daily and say, "Here's what I think You have called me to. What do You really want?" And then surrendering any designs or plans that might be solely mine and not His. Holding on loosely, but not letting go, in the words of the great philosophers, 38 Special.
And now I am through the most intense part and-- except for the book still needing to be finished-- the rest of the month is the fun stuff. The reward waiting at the end of the perseverance. A friend taught me long ago that having something to look forward to-- a beacon to focus on when you are in the tougher parts of life-- is so important. She taught me that deliberately putting something on the calendar you can look forward to will keep you moving ahead on the days when you wonder if you can. It might be just a small reward like a few hours blissfully alone at the local bookstore with a stack of great books and a Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Or a big reward, like a much anticipated trip alone with your husband to the state homeschool conference. Either way, you are motivated to move forward, getting through the not-so-fun so you can get to the so-much-fun.
Do you need to schedule some fun in your life? Do you need to get out your calendar and pick a date to look forward to? I urge you to do this especially if you are in a place in life where just getting through each day is challenging-- this includes any mom who is home with small children day after day! I have found that giving myself permission to schedule fun into my life was a huge mindshift for me. I needed to do it, as it improved my outlook and my perspective. Perhaps you do, too? What is something fun you are looking forward to right now? Leave me a comment and let me know. And if you can't answer, get out your calendar and make something up! Ask your husband if he minds (this is important!), write it down in big RED letters and savor the anticipation. After all, sometimes the anticipation is the best part.
Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."