I keep my heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
I was so tired. It was early still, only 9:30 pm. I had just tucked the kids in bed. Usually that’s when I’d go downstairs and read or watch something until 11:00 or so, but that particular night I was simply exhausted. So, I decided to go to bed early. The only problem was that once my head hit the pillow, instead of falling asleep, I almost instantly felt my chest tighten with anxiety. There was a heaviness I felt that was almost oppressive. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why at first. It’s almost as if I had been feeling that way all day but I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge it until I finally got quiet and still.
It seems to happen that way to me; when I get quiet is when I notice the feelings and emotions that I subconsciously try to suppress. It’s at that time when my body speaks to me and communicates what I’m trying to ignore mentally.
I was tense so I started to reflect and pray that God would show me what was the root of the problem, and a few thoughts came to mind.
One was that I had recently celebrated my thirty-fifth birthday and instead of being excited over a day filled with fun, I spent the day dwelling on the fact that I have less time left on earth to accomplish my goals. I became even more aware of how quickly life was flashing before my eyes on that day. Another year down. Don’t get me wrong, 34 was good to me. A big year for our family; we adopted three girls my thirty-fourth year of life, three sisters. It’s a year that I will never forget. But boy, did it go fast! I used to think that only old people said that time went fast. I didn’t understand what they meant until now. Lately, it seems as if time is slipping through my fingers like sand through an hourglass. It was getting away from me and I wanted to chase after it; catch it and bottle it up, but I couldn’t. It was like a river that had swept me up in it’s current, pushing me forward with no way to stop.
My mind was focusing on the negative instead of the positive, which is a never a good thing.
I have work to do, I thought. Work that I feel a deep desire to accomplish, but I wasn’t getting anything done because taking care of my family and home is all consuming. My mom job is never, ever over. The amount of work it takes to keep my home running smoothly is actually overwhelming to me at times. There is rarely a moment where I feel I can rest because I am drowning in piles of laundry, dishes, and dust bunnies.
When I try to do something that I enjoy, something that breathes life into my soul, I am quickly interrupted. So I end up feeling frustrated, and stifled by an endless list of to-dos.
For me, anxiety and worry creep in when I’m not managing my schedule well. If I don’t prioritize the things that are important to me, I get stressed. And it’s crucial for us to set boundaries and live a life with intention to be emotionally healthy.
Our schedule is sacred. Boundaries are critical. Our schedule is a reflection of what is most important to us. Maybe you need to put yourself on the schedule. As parents, we often put ourselves on the back-burner and then we wonder why we’re worn out and anxious.
What fills you up and brings you joy? What makes you feel alive? Whatever that is, put it on your calendar. Make room for you. If you don’t know what you enjoy, find out, create, explore, get out of your comfort zone, try something new. You are worth it! And your family will get the best version of you when you take care of yourself. You will become happier which will make them happier. It’s okay to leave things undone once in a while.
It’s important to schedule quality time with God, your spouse, and your kids. Schedule time with friends, time to do what you love–something that makes you feel excitement and breathes life into your soul. Create your schedule based upon goals and what is most important to you. I’ve noticed that when I stick to my schedule, I feel at peace. My life has balance and order. Time management in life and in our schedule protects us mentally and emotionally. And that’s God’s heart for you. John 10:10 says that “the thief comes to steal kill and destroy; but I come so that you may enjoy life and live it to the full.”
My prayer for you is that you will live your life to the full. Enjoy this journey you’re on. Take care of yourself. Seek God and live a life of balance. Make time to do the things that bring you joy. Use your gifts and talents, spend time with loved ones, create, explore, get out of your comfort zone and be at peace. You are worth it!