Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How to Embrace Life: Too Much To Do in Too Little Time

Its naptime! What should I do first? Stare at the frig and decide what to eat? Pee? Make coffee? Make the bed? Return phone calls? Quiet time with God? Check Instagram? Work, work and more work? Clean the kitchen? Meal plan? Read? So many choices, so many things to do.  I decide on making the bed, responding to texts, brushing my teeth and then getting my workout over with.

"Embrace this moment right now, focus on the breath and enjoy where you are at in this pose". This is what I hear from my TV.  All I can think about is hearing the "Mommy I am AWAKE" coming from the monitor and I have only gotten 5% of my to do list done. If I had no kids and was doing yoga by the ocean like the lady on TV it would be one thing...but I am not. I have people counting on me to give them their basic needs. Embracing the moment is really hard for me right now. There is always so much to do, to think about and plan for.  Someone always needs me.

I don't want to hang out in this yoga pose for 10 minutes. It is slightly uncomfortable, my feet are slipping from sweat and I don't see my abs getting any tighter. My toddler could be awake any moment now and is holding warrior pose for 10 minutes really how I want to spend the last few precious minutes of nap time?

I use to LOVE yoga. I did it all the time for fun. Now, its something I check off my list. What has changed?

Then it occurred to me. Have I once ever regretted practicing yoga? Have I ever regretted spending my morning quiet time with God? Have I ever regretted staying up late to talk to a friend, a parent or my husband? The answer is no.

The hardest part about living in the moment and embracing the here and now is making the choice to do so and letting everything else slip away. 

We will always have things to do, lots of things. That will never change. Some seasons of our lives will be more hectic than others but there will always be something to do. I once heard someone say that it is better to do one job well than many jobs mediocre. One job? Who has one job? Most women feel like they have 10 jobs. 

We have to eat, we have to sleep, we have to have relationships, we have to have community, we have to love, care, teach and discipline our kids, we serve others, we have to make money and provide for our families and we have to put our marriages before all.

What if we really did only have one job? What if our one job as a woman was to seek and follow Jesus, and everything else was secondary? How would this change how we live and overcome the business syndrome. 

When I became a mom I dropped everything and my child became my life.  My sons needs were all that matted. Now, I see things a little differently. If we put our child before our spouse we are not helping our child. If we put our work before our relationship with God we are doomed for failure. If we put a clean house before play time with the kids we are going to miss a lot of memories and opportunities to teach our children. The to do list will always be there. We have to prioritize and do what God wants us to do with the time that we have.

When we do what God wants us to do its so much easier to embrace it. In order to embrace each task we face with a God given purpose we need to check our attitude. Check our soul. Check our minds and clear out any bitterness, hate or stress. Sometimes it is the littlest changes that help us live in the here and now and embrace a God centered life.

I have learned to give my self structure even during playtime with my child. I may give my son my full attention for 45 minutes and then step away for 15 minutes to respond to an email/text, unload the dishwasher or return a phone call. I have learned to look at my child in the eyes and say "mommy needs to talk to a friend right now" because friendship is important and I want my son to know that.

I have learned to stop what I am doing and talk, really talk with my spouse and put his needs before my own. I have learned to pray before speaking and I have learned to invite God into every outing, coffee date, play date and family dinner that I am present for.

Choosing to embrace what ever experience you are in is a whole new way of living.

If we live each day with the anticipation that God can use us in any and all situations then cooking dinner, exercising, calling a friend and working can take on a whole new meaning. You never know what God has up his sleeve. Each day the possibilities are endless.

I don't want to miss anything during my life here on earth, but that doesn't mean that I have to do more, or multitask better, it means I need to give each task, moment, and experience my full focus and attention. I have to block out the outside chatter from the world.  I need to invite God to speak into my heart and fill my body and soul with wisdom and truth. Who can I bless today? How can God use me? Who can I serve? What does God want to tell me today? What can I do today to love and teach my children about God, teach a stranger about God?

Is this hard for you?

If so think about this....
How is my attitude? Am I feeling angry, bitter, frustrated or jealous? These types of emotions can take over our minds and prevent us from living in the moment and allowing God to speak truth into our mind. Don't push these emotions to the side...work through them now. Having a bad attitude can prevent us from hearing God. If we don't expect to hear from God, if we don't expect to be used by God, if we don't feel we are worthy of being loved then we are forming a wall around us that shuts out light and embraces nothing but darkness.

Invite God's light into each moment. Each phone call, each email, each diaper change, each toddler melt down, and slam of the door, each misunderstanding, each load of laundry, each time walking the dog.

We don't need to do more, we just need to do what we are doing better. Better marriages, friendships, more fulfilling jobs, healthier children, healthier bodies and healthier minds. God is the answer. Invite Him in and Embrace...

"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" Psalm 46:10
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