As a writer I’ve been cautioned to very careful to only write about topics that I’ve worked through emotionally. I have attempted to heed this advice in the past but over and over I fell God urging me to write about those exact issues. To share the raw, the real, the unedited icky-ness in my soul.
I have always struggled with a particular issue because frankly it is deeply engrained into my personality and etched in deeper by my sinful nature. As a Mom there is an extra element of guilt feeding this struggle that I call “do-all-the-things-better-syndrome.”
If you look around my home you will find sticky notes, random backs of coloring pages, and my giant floral planner covered in lists. Literally as I was writing that last sentence another thing to add to the list came to my mind. (and yes I did stop writing to go put said item on one of the lists) Sometimes I look over all these lists that apply to different areas of my life and my heart exclaims “Just do better at all the things!” Moment by moment almost I struggle with this problem but I have learned on simple word that helps me do all the things.
One simple word that helps me do all the things better is: don’t.
Mama are you overwhelmed? Me too. Do you feel the pressure to have a clean house, engage your child in learning, have a better devotional life, practice violin more and be more “crafty?”
I want to do all the things, God simply wants my heart.
Our culture demands that we be frantic, and highly caffeinated. Even our churches can feel this way! How many of us sing in the choir, do nursery, play piano, and teach children’s church every Sunday? Obviously these are not bad things! In fact we are called to be active in our churches but we can get so busy doing all the things for God that we miss out on simply being with God. I struggle to do. God calls me to be.
Be still and know that I am God.
I have noticed three things when I am willing to put down the doing and simply be.
- I can honestly breathe better. Serious. Take a really deep, slow breath right now. How long has it been since you have done that? Not only can I physically breathe better but there is more room for air in my soul. We must allow our souls to breathe as well.
- It greatly effects my family. When I don’t they don’t have to either. We can breathe as a family. When was the last time you sat with your spouse, held hands and just looked at each other for longer than a minute or two? Sounds crazy right? Who has the time to sit and do that? Even when we do have the time it is because the kids are finally in bed and we can collapse on the couch and Netflix. My husband and I practice this “couch time” almost every time we have a disagreement. Try it, it works wonders.
- I notice God. I know this also sounds crazy but when my schedule is full God becomes more of a non-descript vending machine I put my praryer-quarters in on my way by to the next thing and hope a blessing-snack falls out the bottom. I want him to be a friend I experience and linger with.
So what is the cure for “do-everything-better-syndrome?”
Don’t do, be still.
Be still in our schedules
Be still in our homes
Be still in our souls