See this little yellow guy? We have had a host of them eating a banquet on the cone flower next to our back patio. This picture was taken on the 4th of July this year. It has seemed like almost every other morning, I look out the window and see this guy or one of his friends eating away. I stood there for a long time this morning watching one of these little yellow friends having a feast, balanced carefully on top of a purple flower.
These last few weeks have been very, very painful and stressful for me. I feel overwhelmed, exhausted and just plain scared. We have so much going on starting this week. So much.
So what's going on?
* Kindergarten x2
* New job for Lea (approx. 30 hr/wk)
* Dissertation work for Lea (approx 40hr/wk)
* Committee work at church for Lea (approx 5 hr/wk)
* 3 classes for John (approx 15 hr/wk)
* Full time work for John (50+ hr/wk)
* 15 hour/wk internship for John that includes teaching 2 adult and 1 youth class as well as preaching and ministering
* Swimming lessons for the kids
* Dance lessons for the kids
* Finishing cleaning out the house
* Redoing our budget, yet again
* Church choir for Lea
* Bible study for both Lea and John
* Sunday School for the kids
* And I'm sure I'm forgetting something else!
I had all that hit me full force on Wednesday afternoon, which resulted in a migraine and a panic attack on Thursday. I haven't had either one of those in a couple of years and thought I was over them. Ugh.
This morning I was thinking about the panic attack and migraine, and a conversation I had with a friend on Saturday morning over breakfast (we were the only two who showed up for Bible Study). I realized that life takes balance - like that little yellow finch on my cone flower. As long as he balances, he can have a wonderful feast. If he doesn't, it's all over with.
God has continued to refine me this summer. I've learned a lot:
* I've learned to say no - even to things. that I desperately want to do.
* I've learned to slow down.
* I've learned to be more self-sacrificial, rather than just focusing on myself.
* I've learned that it really does take a village to raise a child (or two!).
* I've learned that relationships are irreplaceable.
* I've learned a lot about how I organize myself (or don't organize myself, as the case may be).
* I've learned that even if I screw up, my kids will be fine.
Most importantly, I've learned that God is in charge, not me.
I've known that all along. But I keep snatching all those things back from Him and trying to do it all on my own. With Him on the sideline rather than front and center.
I learned this week that it's time to change that yet again, put God back in the middle where He belongs and the rest will fall into place. Easy to say, and hard to do? Of course. But it makes it all worth while. And restores that precious balance that I was teetering on the edge of losing, yet again.
Nothing is too hard for God.
Not my children's schooling.
Not my many hours of commitment this fall.
Not my teaching.
Not my dissertation.
Not my husband's ridiculous schedule.
Not my husband's church or course work.
Not my children's activities, or my own.
Not my frustrating finances.
Not my cluttered house, or my meal plan, or the yard work.
And He is refining me until I know all that in the deepest part of my being and I lean solely on Him to complete those goals of mine. Ultimately, they're His goals anyway. And that's really the most important part!
Soli Deo Gloria.
P.S. Watch my sidebar for more updates this week - it's amazing what I can get done when I don't try to do things on my own!