Confession: I’m a multi-tasker who is tired of multi-tasking.
(photo source: dailyhistory.net)
Entering 2013, my eyes have barely focused on the future from the blur of 2012. It was the year of the multi-tasking mamma, aka me (was it for you too?). From planning a two year old tu-tu birthday party, putting our house up for sale, moving to our hometown, and leaving my stay-at-home job for church ministry, my days were filled juggling. To mark the end of our crazy year, my husband and I ventured to the salty air and crashing waves in Florida to clear our heads and begin thinking about what is to come.
With the wind whipping my face, I take a barefooted walk along the shell-filled shore. The water is icy and the sand is cold but the moment to breathe in God’s presence makes it all worthwhile. I hug my sweatshirt closer to my body and begin to feel the warmth of his spirit on this cold winter day. Walking in quiet, all the noise of 2012 evaporates and I’m reminded that the Lord has plans, a hope, and a future for me.
In 2012, we trusted his plans that led us to our new lives but we didn’t completely give him our days. We tackled our year with man and woman induced stamina, not God-breathed stamina. At the end of that year, we were left feeling tired and overwhelmed. Like Martha, we were worried and upset about many things (Luke 10:41).
To rest in hope for our futures in 2013, we have to embrace the Mary way and focus on one thing: Jesus.
*In Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver explains, “Life is filled with Hula-Hoops. We all have responsibilities, important things that need our attention. If we’re not careful, however, our hearts and our minds can be consumed with the task of keeping them in the air. Rather than centering ourselves in Christ and letting the other elements of our lives take their rightful place around that center, we end up shifting our attention from one important to-do item to another, frantically trying to keep them all in motion. It’s easy to forget that while there is a time to work, there is also a time to worship – and it’s the worship, the time we spend with God, that provides the serene center to a busy, complex life.”
As each year goes by, I begin to understand more of what it means to live a Christ-centered life. As Joanna said, there is a time for work but in order to live with a sane mind we have to spend time worshiping Jesus. Being a mother of toddlers, my time is pulled in many directions. I want to focus on my children while balancing my career, health, friendships, and marriage. Contentment is a struggle of mine because I get so easily caught up in my own plans. Instead of feeling peaceful at the end of my day, I’m plagued with guilt from all the things I didn’t accomplish on my to-do list. This guilt leads to me becoming worried and upset like Martha. I love how Luke puts an exclamation point at the end of verse 40 where Martha says, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” As a multi-tasking mom that is tired of multi-tasking, I have gotten to that exasperated point of needing help. But, what I am learning is that help to live centered can only come from Christ: not my husband, a maid, or my mom.
Christ’s presence is what changes my exclamation point from exasperated to enthusiastic. He gives me courage to face my days and peace to calm my nerves. I’m learning to worship him while folding laundry, checking e-mails, and driving to gymnastics. To hula-hoop into 2013 more centered, us moms can try these three things:
1. Write down a list of your many things and label them by priority (1 being highest and 4 being lowest). Cut out all of the 4’s and some of the 3’s. Tricia Goyer gave this advice at a recent conference I attended and releasing tasks has helped me tremendously with my anxiety. It has changed my perspective on what is important versus tasks that I did because I couldn’t say no or wanted to look good.
2. Impress God’s love on your home (Deut. 6:7). If we are juggling all these hula hoops like crazy women, our husbands and children are going to live frantically too. Taking time to worship God will not only help us moms live more centered, but we will be a reflection of God’s love to our family members. Jesus is home and home is love.
3. Take God with you every hour of every day. Make a designated spot in your home to pray but also get creative and meet him at different points in your day. Some examples would be tuning to the Hillsong station on Pandora while doing your morning workout or listening to a Christian podcast while sewing or ironing in the evening. Ann Voskamp encourages us to live in eucharisteo, thanking God for the little and big things in life. If we make a conscious effort to thank God continually and be in his presence, we tend to be less frustrated and worried.
2013 will still have plenty of hula hoops to juggle as a mom. But, with these three goals, maybe you and I can quit multi-tasking our lives and find our center in Christ.
Till next time, let your light shine!
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*Having A Mary Heart In A Martha World. Weaver, JoAnna, page 100
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