Tag Archives: Busy life

From the Peak of Round-to-it Mountain: Can’t I Just Sit Here and Enjoy the View?

6 Apr

Happy April!

I’ve missed you all so much. It’s hard to believe this page has been dormant more than three weeks, because it seems more like three months. I must admit, I approached this page with trepidation today, a little worried you may have found another blogger to spend your time with. I can’t say I blame you.


Yep. I’m a trend setter! (In my defense, it looks a lot better when I stand…)

Do I start with an apology? An explanation?  A wild story about being imprisoned by the fashion police for wearing white ankle socks with short jeans? This last, sadly, could happen, as I keep my ankle socks closest to the front of the drawer (think lazy, pre-coffee dressing in the dark because it’s too early for major wattage) AND, all my jeans are too short, because longer ones tend to run wide, so I usually have to choose between the cinched trash bag look or the awkward strip of bare calf.

But no. My reason for ignoring my writing is much less dramatic, and much more pitiful than a prison stint in fashion jail.

You see, I’ve allowed busyness to rule my schedule rather than try to tame it with actual scheduling.

Why is this pitiful, you might ask? Well, because I’ve learned this particular lesson approximately seven thousand times now, and one might expect that at some point I would actually apply it to my lifestyle, but I can’t seem to get there.

From what I’ve learned, I apparently lack two critical talents required in the struggle to prevent busyness: a “no” button, and math skills. I love to help. I can help. I want to help. So, I tend to accept most requests for assistance. However, if I had an inkling as to how math really works, I might not so frequently accept a six-day project and pencil it in for Tuesday, or agree to a two-day edit when I’m leaving for the weekend.

Nor would I accept someone’s estimate that the piece they’re about to send me for editing is “not too long.” In my world, that phrase implies, say, an article explaining why, for the love of PETE, my no-longer-go-to dictionary has decided to change the definition of “literally” to include “figuratively.” (Not enough blank paper here to express my hidden emotions on that topic, so I’ll respectfully not approach the soap box.) However, I’m quickly learning that some folks think of “long” as the Oxford English Dictionary, and thereby, all other documents “short” by comparison. I’ve even annoyed people by not getting through their “short,” 150-page dissertation on the same day they sent it to me.

All this to say, I’m sorry I’ve been away, but my days have been ridiculously filled, and some of my nights even worse. At one point I became so busy, I actually wrote “Wash Hair” on my schedule, fearing it wouldn’t get done otherwise.

Yet learning has occurred. Let me tell you four other tidbits of wisdom I’ve acquired in the past three weeks.

best yes

It’s on the floor beside the desk because this is “To Do” Stack Number Two.

First, I will never finish it all. I find it particularly funny that my copy of the book “The Best Yes,” by Lysa TerKeurst, which teaches us to make wise, purposeful decisions for our time, is buried under a pile of paperwork I’m trying to work my way through. That’s akin to being notified by the library that your book on time management is overdue. However, I can accomplish more than I thought I could in a day (not that I really want to know that, for obvious reasons).

Second, my family is fantastic. They gave me space when I needed it, and gallantly ignored the increasing clutter and dust bunny piles throughout the house (although the jury’s still out as to whether they even noticed those – he who sees must take up the broom and all…) My husband, in particular, showed great empathy and support, mostly by letting me vent and not trying to “fix” my mess. He, too, had some trying schedules during this time. I will from here forward carry with me the sweet memory of one night after a particularly exhausting day, when both my husband and I settled down well after 10 p.m., realizing neither of us had eaten. He quickly boiled some pasta and coated it in parmesan cheese, and we nibbled sleepily while we watched nothing on television, then fell asleep, head-to-head, bowls in hand.

Third, I love (and need) to write more than I knew. I may edit well, and I can appreciate that this is where my bread and butter lies, but when I go too long without writing, my world becomes bleak and I become bleaker still. Creating gives me energy. It’s the gift God gave me for His purposes, but I often treat it like a “nice-to-have” instead of an assignment. Besides, spending all my time on other people’s creations makes me feel like a kid stuck inside during recess. I’m vowing here and now to put my own oxygen mask on regularly, so I can better serve others.

Finally, I’ve learned, again, that this is not the way God designed me to be. While all the projects I worked on over the past month were good, and I believe have the potential to DO good, I must learn to say no. God made us because He delights in us, pure and simple. To me, that means he enjoys watching me, so why would I want to spend my time frantically scurrying from task to task when I could be delighting in Him back? There are tasks He has set in front of me, specifically for me to do. They are all sitting on that “Best Yes” pile, and I’ll bet I’d be much less frenzied working on any one of them.

By God’s math, one can travel farther by slowing down, accomplish more by doing less, and live more fully by choosing simplicity over abundance.

Now that’s some math even I can appreciate.


You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. — Haggai 1:9

Forks and Eyeballs: My Boy’s All Right

3 Jun

This is the calm before the storm.

In just over an hour I’ll pick up my 17-year-old and head to a nearby elementary school so he can usher in the first of three delivery trucks. From there a chaos will erupt that should last through Sunday.

My son is running on empty. We’ve had a busy few weeks and I worry he’s going to reach stress-fracture stage soon. He’s been to every hardware and garden center in the region, soliciting supplies and donations. He’s been trying to run regularly because there’s a timed running test coming up. He spent three days working a youth yard sale, where he lifted, on-loaded, off-loaded, and then, after sale, re-loaded heavy furniture until he was so spent he could barely stay awake for the ride to the Junior Prom that night, but he did his part.

Yet, he keeps going.

I was watching him Wednesday at MANDATORY band practice putting everything he had into finding the right cords on his piano. To look at him, you wouldn’t know he’d just left another hour-long after-school session of Driver’s Ed, or that he would leave this practice and change in the car on the way to scouts. (Yes, moms, I made him eat something.)

I watched him at the scout meeting, discussing building and planning issues with the adults and cajoling friends and new scouts to give up their Saturday mornings and come help him put six garden beds together at the school—one for each grade. He looked so grown up and at ease. Only Mom and Dad knew about the history project weighing on his mind that he’d had to push to after the meeting (when we arrived home at 9:30 p.m.), or that he’d be taking his driving test the next day and could really use a good night’s sleep.

Nothing on his plate is difficult, but many milestone events are intersecting – driving test, Eagle Scout project, final exams, running, Youth Sunday at the church, and oh yes, homework. I actually let him sleep in one morning this week and then do his homework, missing first period (shhh – probably frowned upon in Academia, but sometimes common sense steps in).

Through it all, he has remained focused and outwardly calm. Of course, his eyes close every second that he isn’t busy, but he’s remarkably on the ball otherwise. We haven’t even had the usual struggle to get chores completed. The trash disappears as if by magic, animals get fed, and the dishwasher keeps emptying.

I can’t find my boy anywhere.

down time

Prom prep. Making use of all time available…

The mom in me wants so much to rescue him from this stressful time, take something from his plate, baby him a little longer. But the parent in me sees how much he’s growing as he deals with unanswered emails, typos on fliers, and confusion over deliveries, and feels only pride. I’m seeing a man develop here, one with deep convictions about responsibility and one who is learning early that if you can’t do it all, just do what’s next. As long as you do your best, that’s all you can do.

But the greatest aspect of all this is seeing him pray. We pray every morning for stamina, endurance, and wisdom, and he is aware that his life and all these activities are in God’s hands, so we have peace despite the brewing storm. Although he’s acutely eager to do a good job tomorrow and has put a lot of effort into making this project come together, I know he understands it’s but a blip in eternity and that his relationship with the Lord is more important than anything else.

Yes, he passed his driver’s test yesterday, and by the end of tomorrow will have built his garden beds. He will play with the band Sunday and then write an after-action report on the project and start studying for finals. He may not pass the physical fitness test with flying colors (sorry Jim), but he will pass because he will do his best.

forks and eyeballs

Because you never know…

I walked into his room a few minutes ago, pondering where my little boy might have gone. The LEGOs are gradually being pushed aside to make room for an expanding coin collection, children’s’ books have been replaced by thick hardcover novels, and I see few remnants of his childhood. I made my way to his desk and open the top drawer. I needed to look no further. My boy is still here. He may be a man on the outside, strong, honest, hard-working, kind, funny, and capable, but as long as he always has at least one drawer filled with forks and eyeballs, I’ll know he isn’t taking life too seriously.

Charles, I admire you and the man you are becoming. The pride in my heart is indescribable. I love watching you grow and mature, and take on new responsibilities. I will not worry because I know God’s hand is on you, and he knows where you’re heading and what he’s preparing you for. Take God seriously, not life, and you’ll be fine.

Now, about those forks…


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.—Proverbs 16:3