It has been an overwhelming season, and time and time again, I keep coming back to the thought, at least I’m doing Zoya right.
I used to think life was all about finding work – life balance. If only it were that simple.
Right now, I would divide my life into the following arenas:
SPIRITUAL. ZOYA. PHYSICAL HEALTH. MENTAL HEALTH. GRIEVING. FRIENDSHIPS. INSIDE MY HOUSE. MY YARD. WORK. FINANCES/BILLS/TAXES/REGISTRATIONS. WRITING. NON-ZOYA FOCUSED RECREATION.
We all have different areas. You may not have a yard, but you may have more children or a husband. You may not be actively grieving, but you may have an extra-curricular that takes considerable time.
When we are in a season of thriving, we may find it so easy to juggle our 10 balls that all we really need to do is keep them in balance.
But when we are overwhelmed and shutting down, priorities become very important.
It’s like that glass jar object lesson pastors like to use to talk about priorities. (Pastors and probably just about any “priority” speaker.). If you are trying to fit large rocks, small rocks and sand into a jar, you can’t start with the sand, and follow with small rocks, or there will be no way to fit all the big rocks in the jar. But if you start with the big rock, and let the small rocks fill in the hole around the big rock and the the sand fill the remaining spaces, you can fit everything.
If you have a giant jar, endless resources and energy, it doesn’t matter what order you put things in the jar. Prioritizing is not important.
If you have limited time, energy, and resources, priorities mean everything.
Right now, my jar is probably not big enough for everything, no matter how I prioritize everything will not fit. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. God wouldn’t command others to take care of the widows and fatherless if they could do it themselves. We wouldn’t be called to help our neighbor if our neighbor was equipped to do it all on their own.
But since right now my jar is either particularly small or my rocks particularly numerous prioritizing is key.
Zoya has stayed a priority. She’s far from perfect and I’m far from a perfect parent. She’s actually been pretty mean recently, and is just now on a new kick of “being kind.” It’s been embarrassing how poorly she has behaved to some people. But despite her being a human three year old, I am raising a daughter who lost her father and I am giving it all I’ve got.
Spiritually, I’ve been moderate, but everything else is a disaster. I mean thanks to friends and now family my house is clean and my yard is great. But that is in no part due to anything I have done.
The truly helpful advise I received last week that got me from a zero to about a two in most areas was to set three little goals each day. Little being the most important word. Just enough to start moving forward.
In the last few days, I’ve been led to just pull one more priority up there above raising a daughter, that is developing my spiritual life. If I end the day I have grown closer to God, really laid things before him in prayer, and worshiped with a heart of gratitude; I will be satisfied.
As an afterthought, I’ve remembered the promise, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” So I won’t be surprised if the other things start to fall into place. But I cannot juggle anymore. I can’t hold it all and if I can’t hold it all, I can’t balance it either.
Everything might not fall into place. God willing, all of these responsibilities will not always be mine to carry on my own. Maybe I will begin to be a high achiever again, but maybe I won’t.
Zoya is getting bumped to B (She will not suffer), my relationship with God is moving up to A, and if nothing else is a success tomorrow, I’ll be just fine.