Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rat Race, part 1

My last post talked a lot about my struggles to learn to be ok staying home, to stop seeking out fun and to learn to adjust and find purpose in the "same old routine". This post has a lot to do with this same idea. It is journey I feel God has me on right now. I am learning a lot about WHAT I do on a day to day basis compared to WHO I am. I think it is easy, and in fact what most Americans feel, to find our identity in what we do. We (Americans) live very busy, very fast paced lives. We say "yes" to everything in order to make others happy, to be a good person, to make more friends, to be the best parents, to be a good christian and so on and so forth. We think we have to do certain things in order to be who we want to be. We often get involved in certain things to give ourselves a certain reputation, or because we want to look good to those around us. As woman we are often trying to become that "supermom" or "superwomen" who can do EVERYTHING (or at least look as though we can). We want a clean house, homemade meals, lots of friends, to be active in a church, to have perfect kids who do well at everything, to be in shape, to look stylish and to have a great house in a great neighborhood. We think these things are what make us the person we want to be so we get involved in everything we can. We run around like crazy trying to do the impossible of working, keeping the house clean, laundry done and family fed. It is one big rat race until we drop dead in our beds at the end of the day for maybe 6 hours of sleep only to get up and do it all over again. MAYBE we create a small space in our schedule for God, and maybe we throw out prayers all day for Him to keep us going and help us get OUR list done.

I'll go ahead and say that I think this is satan's biggest fight against women. Keep us busy, keep us chasing unrealistic expectations and keep us searching for our identity in everything but God. And in all of it he somehow manages to convince us that yes, this is how life with God looks, we are being good christian women. BAH! Not TRUE, Not TRUE, Not TRUE!!!

So, I personally had realized that I was fighting this battle. I was getting so busy and was running around like a crazy women--and golly gee...I don't even have kids yet! And then I was so distressed and confused and busy that I couldn't handle it. I didn't even know why I was doing everything I was doing. And then I felt God tell me to quit all of these things. And with lots of struggle I did. I quit one job (I don't advise quitting jobs unless you really feel like this is what God says to do, by the way), I quit bible study (GASP! Bible study? Yes, bible study), I set boundaries on how many times a day I cleaned my house, I got off facebook (yes facebook can make you more busy than necessary), and I began focusing on slowing down in everything. So here I am, working 20 hours a week, meeting one night a week to have bible study with our neighbors (I quit one, I was in two), and, well, I guess, those are my ONLY commitments for now. Can you believe it? Is this legal?

And of course, now I am struggling with feeling like I am wasting time. "What would others think?" "Should I get another job?" "Certainly I can't have THIS much time on my hands, I must be doing something wrong." But honestly this is where God has called me right now. He has slowed me way down. And the one thing that is coming with all of this is that I see God all through out my life. I was so busy before that even in the God things I couldn't see him. I am growing and learning again. I am falling in love with my Jesus.

We HAVE to slow down. We have to learn to say no. And we HAVE to find our identity in God.

I have more to say but this is already too long. I will continue this blog later this week.


Corrie said...

I have to say this: it IS possible to be a busy, working woman, and it IS possible to accomplish what feels like the impossible to you ("We run around like crazy trying to do the impossible of working, keeping the house clean, laundry done and family fed."). And it IS possible to accomplish these things with great joy and in a manner pleasing to God.

God expects us to work hard. He expects us to multitask. That Proverbs 31 woman we all want to emulate is, in fact, a working mom. She gets up early and works late into the night. She does all these things you feel are impossible, and the fact that she is noted and praised in the Bible means she is an example.

I understand the feeling of taking on too much. Every day is a balancing act, and you must choose your commitments wisely. But the very fact of being busy is not wrong, and does not dishonor God. The state of your heart is what matters. Each of us must choose how we are going to serve God, and please Him. You can do that in an everyday, fold-Him-into the-fabric-of-your-life, do-the-tasks-before-you-with-the-proper-heart sort of way.

Mark and Jen said...

Corrie, part 2 was going to address several of the things you mention here. I will be posting it in a day or two.

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