The last two weeks have been some of the busiest I have known.
I hate busy.
The to do list stretches a mile long and I “have to get task-focused or else”… And yet in the task-focus-ness, I lose my heart. I lose sight of the Lord, of the one who holds me and holds me together. I miss out on opportunities to see Him, to love Him, and to love the ones He loves. I miss people, I miss joy and peace, I miss Him.
I hate being busy.
Two weeks ago the most daunting things on my list were maintaining a somewhat neat home, encouraging my husband with his homework, and editing the 1900 pictures we took for a wedding out of town.
Then we found a house, and God told us to follow Him step by step down the path. I was scared. I hate busy, and I knew this would be busy. But one step at a time was all He asked. So trusting God, and trusting that Paul was trusting God, we stepped. We saw the house. Then we talked to the mortgage guy. Then we met with our realtor. And now, all of the sudden, I had a week to get the house ready to be put on the market. The attic needed to be finished. Drywall, patch, prime, paint, build new stairs. The carpet needed to be pulled up and replaced. The 400 irises out front needed to be pulled and the area landscaped. The house needed to be in tip-top shape. Organized, cleaned, cleared out, by Wednesday.
But life doesn’t stop to get this done. Jobs have to be worked, animals have to be taken care of, rest has to happen… right?
I didn’t know I could be this tired.
Honestly though, it wasn’t until Sunday that I knew I was tired. One step at a time was all God asked me to do. One step at a time with my eyes on Him. I got through Sunday smoothly. Then I stopped to take a look around, and I started sinking. Cleaning, organizing, painting, planting, praying and praying more that someone buys our house. I stopped to look and realized I was in a hurricane. I had been dwelling in the eye of it, but with my eyes off Jesus, I was in the thick. Yesterday I was filled to the brim with stress and it kept coming leaking from my eyes. But I can’t stop. Work work work.
But then the still soft voice comes.
None of this is worth losing you. Stop. Breathe. I’ve got you.
And in the stillness I can see the beauty of the moment.
The moment I’m getting ready in the middle of a room filled with boxes and bins. The packing up of the life I had here this last year. And somehow amid the crazy, there is rest.
The moment when I am landscaping long past sunset, on a beautiful summer night to the soundtrack of all my neighbors relaxing on their porches. Their happy conversations reach my ears as they talk across the street to their friends who are also on their own porch. I can imagine their friendly wave as a car honks hello behind me.
The moment we realize that the 90 year old electric line my dad cut was live, and the electricity for the kitchen light. That apart from God, we could have spent Father’s Day in the hospital.
That moment when Paul and I fall asleep holding hands because we have been partners together all day in the crazy, and we will continue to be in our dreams.
That moment when the cat meows and begs you to stop and pet him.
That moment when a customer looks up from their busyness to notice I have new glasses.
That moment when I watch all the dirt and grime from the day swirl down the shower drain.
Life is beautiful.
I realized that busy doesn’t happen when the chore list expands beyond pen and paper. Busy is a mindset. Busy says “I have to do this, then get this done, then check on this.” I have to, I have to, I have to…
Busy is eyes off the Lord. Busy is dwelling with eyes on the wind and waves. Busy is sinking, but it has nothing to do with the circumstance and everything to do with the heart. Do I think taking time off from a packed schedule to place it before the Lord and surrender control of the circumstances is important. YES! Please! But if God has clearly called you to something and has written the schedule of your life and you are walking with Him in the Spirit, a mile long to do list is not the enemy. The enemy is a false feeling that we are in control. That if we get these things marked off the list we will feel better and be happier. That we just have to get through this time and life will be better on the other side. The enemy is taking the circumstance back off the altar and saying “No worries God, I can help, I got this one.”
The hardest thing amongst all this crazy hasn’t been the to do list by itself, its been the fact that a bunch of brothers and sisters around us are hurting. Many grieve death of a loved one or the death of their own heart. Many struggle through heart-wrenching family circumstances where it feels like the Enemy has the upper hand. Many face the disillusionment of their families, their ministry, their calling, their faith. Life is hard. Life hurts. And as I juggle all my stressors, I long to let them all fall to the ground so I can help carry theirs. But I can’t. As much as I have to surrender my stressors to God and let Him carry them, so do they. As much as I have to trust God, and lock my eyes on Him, so do they. As much as I have to dwell with Him in the eye of the hurricane, so do they. All I can do is look at them through Jesus’ eyes, pray with His heart for them, and trust that if we both seek Him, we’ll find each other there in the eye of the hurricane. We’ll sing praise songs to God out of the fullness of joy and peace in our hearts as we see Him clearly as the author and perfecter of our faith. Because of Him, the joy set before us, we can endure whatever cross we have to carry today. Because of Him, we can face tomorrow.
That moment when I am sitting in my trashed house, not stressed out by it like I usually would, crying as I type this blog post with hope in my heart.
Life is busy. Life is hard.
Life is beautiful.
Because He is. And that’s all I need to know.
“You are here. That’s all I need to know.
And You will keep me safe.
And You will keep me close.
And rain will make the flowers grow.”