Friday, November 1, 2013

The Blessing of Busyness

I killed it yesterday.
As in, I totally rocked it out – this stay-at-home mom thing.
It was an errands-completed, groceries-purchased, house-cleaned, laundry-done, kids-fed, 30-Day-Shredded (Jillian Michaels, you ain’t got nothin’ on me!), bible-studied, words-written, dinner-prepped kind of day. Whew!
Today? Well, let’s just say…if only every day could be like yesterday…
But I’m still giving myself credit because, as I’ve said before, it’s about balance. We need the busy and the still…the hurried and the relaxed…the chaos and the quiet. I think it all has its purpose. 
I have been learning a lot lately about the difference between doing the ‘busy’ things and doing the ‘important’ things, so I’m trying to make a conscious effort to rid myself of distractions and focus on the essential. I think I’m doing better at weeding out those activities that only serve to divert me from those with actual significance. I’ve been adding more to my plate, that’s for sure, but I’ve been adding the more meaningful stuff.
Busy can be good, I’ve realized. We often talk about how we all need to slow down a little more and savor our moments, but there is good to be found in the productive days as well. Busy means ‘life as normal’ – we haven’t been derailed by something awful or interrupted by illness or suffering. I have before, and I don't enjoy that kind of 'busy'. Give me the contentment of a boring ol' routine any day.
When I have that perspective, it makes it so much easier for me to accept how ordinary my days are.  And boy, are they so incredibly ordinary. Bill-paying, cooking-and-cleaning, errand-running ordinary. Busy, but not so busy that I lose sight of why I'm doing the work.

I’ve kept a journal for years. In looking back at all my past entries, I’ve noticed an underlying theme that has plagued my thoughts – insecurity. Am I good enough? Do I measure up? For years I have tried to overcome my struggle of feeling like I am not doing enough. But it's not about how much I'm doing. It's not even really about what I'm doing. It's about why I'm doing it.
What Matters In Life SAHM
I am most effective when I enjoy what I do and feel that it has purpose and significance. When I’m busy but the tasks don’t feel meaningful, all I feel is a depletion of energy. Yet when I fill my time with worthy tasks, there is a sense of accomplishment, and with that, contentment.
And do you know what I've discovered? Sometimes even the most menial, ordinary tasks have an incredible amount of significance.
Even the tiniest conversation can have an impact. Even the shortest moment can last a lifetime. A little boy gets scared, and a big sister hugs him tight and says, “Don't worry, baby boy. I will always be with you.” And then it all makes sense.
It's not that every day is perfect. It's not that there aren't worries and frustrations that get in the way. It's not that those insecurities never creep back in, begging me to notice them and give them the value they don't deserve.
It's that I'm in a sacred place of knowing I'm right where I'm supposed to be, doing just what I should be doing. My days are busy, in quite the ordinary sort of way. But there's one thing that makes them uncommonly extraordinary – I wake up each morning knowing that today matters.