It is so painfully obvious when my days have become disordered, and I’ve noticed it much more in the last few weeks than usual. Disorder = when the things that fill your day are placed in the wrong order. I’ve tried 10,000 ways to order my days correctly and I still wind up distracted, scattered, frustrated, and unable to do all the things I intend to do.
All. The. Things. Therein tends to be the source of all my problems! I expect myself to be able to do all the things, and to do them well, and when reality falls short of my expectations, I drown myself in all the subsequent shame to go along with it. This is no way to live!
I continue to believe that writing is a thing that I’m called to do, but I have not been faithful to stick to a regular writing practice for the past few years. Perhaps this is because this season of life has been remarkably taxing emotionally. I know this is by the Lord’s design, but I still compare myself to the women around me (as if they live the exact same life that I’ve been given!) and grow disappointed and resentful.
I knew when Hawk was born that the Holy Spirit was prompting me to lay certain things down, including writing. Later, when I still desired the same things I’d put down, I detested my heart’s bent towards disobedience and questioned if I had heard Him correctly. I wondered if I’d missed His leading and was abandoning His purpose for my life. I made excuses and let myself wallow in feelings of failure and wondered if I could even trust His Voice in my spirit since I felt that I’d heard opposing directions. I felt the call to write, but I also felt the call to give the kids all my energy, and there wasn’t room in my days to fit both paths at the same time.
A while back, I learned about the notion of slow living and I still consider myself a student of the philosophy. Slow = to live with focused intention on each moment, mindful of your choices and how they affect your overall well being. Yet I still continue to cram things into my schedule so that it’s been a slow process to really embrace a slow life!
There’s a lot of new age philosophy wrapped up in mainstream slow philosophy that may not honor God, but I think there’s wisdom to be found in attempting to live slowly that Christians can apply while pursuing a life of purposeful worship directed towards our Creator God. Jesus did not live his time on Earth rushing to and fro. He made time to stay connected to His Father, and He was not concerned about missing opportunities, even though He knew He only had three years to complete His ministry!
Now I can see the paths that God has called me to walk from His eagle’s-eye perspective: that sometimes the paths converge and sometimes they split apart again so that I cannot walk them both at the same time. Just because I have to abandon one path for a while does not mean that my walk with the Lord will not lead me back to it later. I can’t control the circumstances around me that rob me of time to do the things I planned, but I can control how I use the time I have remaining. All I can actually do each day is focus on my place on the path in this moment!
I’ve seen this illustrated on some real paths that I have hiked with the kids recently. At one local park we visit, there is one main path that leads from the visitor center to a quarry in the center of the park. Off the main path, there are quite a few trails that cut away from the main path, and each one has some unique feature. You can’t often see the main path while on the other trails, but the other trails always loop back around to meet the main path eventually.
Applying this illustration my own life, I am learning that my life’s purpose is not to be concerned about which path I am following on the way to the destination God has given me vision to see in advance, because if He leads me on another trail for a while, it is because there is a certain thing there that He wants me to see. I can’t control which trails He chooses for this season, or even if He may choose to lead me backwards over another trail so that it seems I have lost ground. Ultimately, life will always feel disordered if He is not directing my days.
Therefore, I know that I am going to have to lay down some more of the things I have chosen to pick up. I want to push forward towards the destination with everything in me, but He chooses the pace and direction. What’s that old saying about the journey? You know the one I’m talking about. Life is about the journey, and I think Ralph Waldo Emerson was the most noted person in modern history to point that out. The only destination I need be concerned with is the very next moment, where God will be present to help me find footing for the one immediately after.
It’s time to reorder my days. This morning, I was listening to The Simple Show, episode 42, and co-host Erin Loechner made a crazy profound statement that has echoed in my mind all day… paraphrased, “It is a lie that priority means first.” #mindblown I’ve never, ever heard this said before! But I immediately felt such relief wash over me, that I don’t have to do all the priority things very first thing in the morning before I do the productive things I want to accomplish.
I am most inspired in the morning, before I have been immersed in the sensory stressors that come with marriage and motherhood and the rest of life in general. I need to mobilize the morning hours to work in my favor and reorder my days! I can’t always control the direction of the rest of the day, but I am always at my best first thing in the morning and should take advantage of that.
Is there some way that you can re-order your days to be more fruitful in the things you feel called to pursue?