I’ve been having a lot of deep thoughts lately. It’s sort of annoying. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, which I would typically have attributed to this long winter and attendant issues like illness. But I haven’t been just overwhelmed and frustrated. I’ve also been unsettled. Unsettled is not a normal state of affairs for me, and it always means I had better start paying attention to what the Lord is telling me.
At the same time I was reading all these blog posts where bloggers were highlighting the word they’ve chosen to represent their year. It’s a popular practice among bloggers, but I’ve never been interested in it. Then I saw a blogger who had chosen an unword, the thing she specifically wants to stop this year. Right now that resonates with me. And then I saw another blogger who had made a “to don’t list”, and that resonates with me, too.
After much praying and pondering, I’ve come to some conclusions. It is my nature to go after things. I take action. I push forward. I’m wearing myself out. I often get asked how I do it all, and I can give you all sorts of answers, because I’ve got some good methods. But here’s the thing – I don’t want to “do it all” anymore. I don’t want to, it’s not good for my family, and the Lord is giving me all sorts of stop signals.
So this year I’m going to stop striving.
And then, after I had an unword, I realized I have a plain ol’ word, too. Rest. Rest my brain. Rest my emotions. Rest physically. Rest in His sovereignty.
I’ve created a don’t list, too. You could perceive this approach as negative, and maybe for some people it would feel that way, but for me it feels freeing. I’ve written down the things that exhaust me, or can easily tip me into that striving territory. Recording them feels like a letting go. If you catch me doing these don’ts, would you call me on it, please?
To Don’t in 2014:
- Feel guilty about what I am not doing
- Work more than 20 hours a week
- Train in anything
- Feel obligated
- Volunteer for anything that doesn’t involve the kids
- Make excessive lists 😉
So this year here’s to freedom from striving. Here’s to rest.