Saturday, October 17, 2015

Here, Rest

If you know me at all, you know I lack the ability/time/organization etc to truly rest.  For a long time I thought that this just made me very productive.  But over the years my schedule has become over-filled to the breaking point.  For several years, as in I have no idea how many, but for as long as I can remember, I've been telling myself something needs to come off the schedule, and several people around me have been telling me the same things.  It is a fact I know and agree with.  But yet, here we are.  Several years have gone by, and I'm still over scheduled.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to steal away some time with the beautiful ladies that I do life with at Liberty Classical.  Liberty Classical is a homeschool program here in the Katy area that meets twice a week and purposes to assist in the education of our children ages preschool-High School.  I've been doing life with them for 3 years now, and I truly love every minute of it.  Over these past few years the ladies there have become my "village".  We all truly, truly love each other and each other's children.  In reality, it operates more like an extended family than a school.  There are truly not words to describe what this program does in my life.  Even as Gregory is getting ready to graduate, and we made the difficult decision to put the Littles in a charter school (at least for now) I want to continue on with this group of people.

Anyway, we took off for a "Schole Sister Weekend" and spent the weekend in Surfside Beach.  The theme of the weekend was based on the book Teaching From Rest, A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace .  Even as my season of homeschooling is coming to a close (if only for a time) I found this to be a wonderful read, full of nuggets of wisdom.  Schole means restful learning. 

One of my biggest take-aways from the book was the Time Budget.  For whatever reason, I had never had it explained to me in the way she did, and I'm purposing to implement her ideals.  The basics of it are that you have a budget of time, as in there are 24 hours in every day.  From that, you need to take out the time needed for sleeping, and usual household tasks.  What's left is your time budget.  Now, here's the big idea: You need to ONLY SCHEDULE 80 PERCENT OF YOUR TIME BUDGET.  I am a person that looks at the calendar, sees an empty spot and allows it to be filled, thinking I'll rest the next day.  Most people like me actually schedule 110 percent of the budget.  The problem is, the next day I fill that calendar up too... And the next, and the next, and the next.  Before I know it there is NO time for rest.  This is a problem, but the bigger problem is that there is also no time for unforeseen circumstances, emergencies etc.  So, when those things happen (and they WILL), I find myself trying to squeeze in the remedy for that into an already over-filled schedule.  You can imagine how well this works.  The ultimate end result is I live my life day to day feeling like I'm living in a delicate house of cards, in a constant state of stress that something will happen to knock over the cards.  This ultimately leaves me short and snippy with the people I love, and missing life.

Throughout the weekend we had a few discussion times.  On Saturday, the discussion left me completely convicted and on fire. I can not describe how the Holy Spirit worked in me through this weekend.  In one of the prayers my friend Kelly coined it so well, saying something to the effect of, "The Holy Spirit just likes to come hang out among a bunch of women who love to sit around and talk about God".  That is just what He did.  I had already decided when I got there Friday evening that I was going to leave my phone upstairs, and truly unplug for the weekend.  I knew I really needed it.  But the discussion on Saturday really spoke to me.  We discussed ways that we were struggling with our families and our children, (and even our students) and something really hit home for me.  We were talking about how we get frustrated with our kids etc, and I had a vision of the Cinemark commercial that they play before the movie.  In essence it talks about "The Little Screen beckons, drawing you away from the big screen that you came to see" and the Holy Spirit told me that I allow the "Little Screen" (Phone, computer etc) to take me away from the "Big Screen" (Life, my family, my children growing up etc)  And then He took it a step further for me in the discussion. 
Honestly, at this point I don't even remember who was saying what, it's like a blur to me, because it was so convicting.  I felt like the Holy Spirit was talking directly to me.
One of the ladies talked about how "Multi-Tasking" is a lie.  That we are NOT able to multi-task.  As women, we feel like our life is just one big multi-tasking adventure and the truth is that we are not giving anything our attention at all.  And I realized that I've been saying for years that my life is a blur- I feel like I'm missing it.  I feel like I've missed so much with my children (AND THEY'RE HOMESCHOOLED), but yet, I feel like I've missed it.
And you know what-----????  I HAVE.
I've allowed my busy schedule to take over to the point that I am not fully present in ANYTHING I am doing.  Putting the phone down is only a very small piece.  The real problem is that I'm so overwhelmed with my schedule and responsibilities that even when I am performing a task, or with my kids, or even my husband, I'm constantly thinking of the next thing on my list, because there is ALWAYS a next thing.  Not just one.  Probably 100.  And I'm continually figuring out how all of these pieces are going to fall into place "just so" and keep my house of cards in the upright position, and as a result, I may be in the place my schedule says I should be, but I am not present.
So, when I say I feel like I'm missing life and it's just passing me by.  I am.
The very reason I do not work a full time job is because I don't want to miss my children.
The very reason I do not work a full time job is because I want to be present and available for my husband who has screwy hours.
Somehow I let my plumb line get so skewed that I'm completely off the path.
At the risk of sounding like it's all about me all the time, I have to say that this weekend was perfectly timed in my life.  I never get tired of how amazingly God truly does work all things out in His time.  I imagine this weekend was perfectly timed for the other ladies as well.  Here's why it was perfectly timed for me:  The week prior to this weekend my good friend of 16 years, Jennifer, passed away.  She had been battling liver failure for some time and it finally got the best of her body.  The Tuesday before I left for the Schole Sister weekend was her memorial service.  Her death hit me very hard.  I loved my friend very much, and I know where she is now, and I am comforted by the fact that she is no longer suffering.  During her service everyone shared stories of how Jennifer was available  when they needed a friend.  I realized I hadn't been available to her.   My busyness had stolen that as well.  I knew coming into the Schole Sisters weekend that I needed to make a change.
So, I'm purposing to say no to pretty much everything right now as I try to clear out my busy schedule and pair it down to just a few things that are important to me.  I'm trying to press in to God and really listen to Him.  I'm making a conscious effort to be present in the stuff of life - the stuff that is the most important to me.  It's a process, for sure, but you know what?  As I've spent the past week really limiting my time on facebook I don't really miss it.
As I was driving home from Jennifer's funeral this song came on the radio, and I really felt like God was telling me to just be here.  Let me know how God is changing your perspective on these things as well!

Come and rest here
Come and lay your burdens down
Come and rest here
There is refuge for you now

You'll find His peace
And know you're not alone anymore
He is near
You'll find His healing
You're heart isn't shattered anymore
He is here

Breathe in
Breathe out
You will
You will find Him here

I will rest in You

You will find Him
You will find Him here
You will find Him
You will find Him here