As expected, this has turned into an incredibly busy week for me. I have worked almost frantically trying to get this house packed. I must say I got a lot accomplished in the first three days of the work week.
Knick-knacks and general home decor was taken down and packed. Wall-hangings followed quickly behind the knick-knacks (although some of them didn’t actually get packed until today!). Closets were cleaned out. I’m not talking about clothes and shoes. I’m talking about all that stuff that we tend to tuck away for later use. Yeah – that stuff. Fun, huh? Then there was the biggie: the kitchen. The hardest and most time consuming room in the house to pack and unpack. But I not only got it packed in less than two days, I also managed to get meals cooked and in the freezer for next week.
Now before you go thinking I’m some superwoman, let me state clearly that I am not. In fact, I’m a little ashamed of all I’ve accomplished. You see, by about 4:00 Wednesday afternoon, I was in over-extended, over-exhausted melt-down mode. It was so bad that this morning my wonderful hubby looked at me and essentially ordered me to slow down today. To not shut down, but to take lots of breaks and to not stress about packing.
Today has been a much better day, in all honesty, and I’ve still gotten a good bit done. I’ve gotten a lot of piddly little things accomplished – things that don’t take nearly as much energy but still have to be accomplished. And, as I have been less frantic, my kids have been much more emotionally balanced.
You see, I’m excited – really, really excited – about this move. I know it’s a good thing. But, I have a deeper understanding of this move than my kids do. The first three days of this week all the kids saw in me was the stress of the move. And, they picked up on it. Suddenly it wasn’t a really good thing to them. They couldn’t grasp the excitement on their own because all they could see was Mommy’s stress.
It made me stop and wonder about life in general. How often do we get into such a frantic mode of work that we don’t even realize what message we’re sending to those around us? We work, work, work while our families get the message that whatever we’re doing is more important than they are. We serve, serve, serve but often miss the true needs of those we are serving.
How many times do our children look at the frantic pace we’re trying to maintain and say, “If that’s what following Christ requires, then I don’t want it!” How many times do unsaved friends look at us and say the same thing? How many times do we drive people away from Christ because they are watching us drive ourselves to an early grave in His Name?
Today I slowed down. I have still worked steadily and accomplished much, but I have been much happier about it all. And so have my children. I still have a deadline. I still have to accomplish the work. But, I have a much better perspective on getting it done.
Maybe we should consider the same thing in life in general. Maybe we should calm down a bit. Remain steady and faithful, but also remain attentive to those around us. We are working toward a goal that is fantastic – one about which we should be immensely excited! Let’s communicate that excitement in our work instead of communication frantic attitudes. Let’s make people want to move into the kingdom of God with us!