I work really hard to protect my Wednesday afternoons at all costs. I spend four hours at church on Wednesday evenings leading and participating in various musical groups, using an exhausting amount of time and energy. So, I blog on Wednesday afternoons. I enjoy the process of thinking through a topic and beating out the words on my keyboard. In a strange way, blogging is relaxing and helps me prepare for the evening. It’s just about perfect if I also have a cup of coffee to go with the writing.
Today, it’s not working out.
My two-year-old has recently moved into a “big boy” bed. He’s not so sure he likes it, and he’s definitely sure he doesn’t want to take a nap in it this afternoon.
A couple of elderly relatives for whom we provide some level of care have both been in the hospital this month. One is coming home today, somewhat unexpectedly, and I am needed to help arrange some temporary at-home care from two hours away. One person I need to reach apparently has his phone off the hook.
My Wednesday afternoon is not turning out as planned.
In fact, those things I wanted more of in 2013? I would say that my progress on all of them is zero.
My stress level has been through the roof for the last three weeks. I have made the four-hour round trip drive to see our family members five times since the beginning of January. I have started rehearsals for a children’s musical, and am prepping to co-teach this Bible study with a friend. I have a home, a husband, and a two-year-old, all needing my attention.
I’ll bet you can relate. Your life may not have the same stressors as mine, but most of us are over-scheduled, over-stretched, and more than a little stressed out.
Then I read Haggai 2:4b, which says, “Be strong, all you people of the land” – this is the Lord’s declaration. “Work! For I am with you” – the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. (HCSB)
In our Sunday School lesson last Sunday, we studied this passage and were asked this question: What is the “temple” you need to return to, the work God has set you apart to do?
For this month, I believe God has asked me to set my own plans and goals aside for the work He has laid out before me. I am honoring my parents when I care for them, even from a distance. I am helping my sisters when I make phone calls and set up caregivers. When I am at home, I am loving my husband and son by laying aside the things I want for me and attending to their needs.
I don’t have all of this together. In fact, although I know these things, most days I kick and scream about not getting my own way and the things that I want in the timing that I want it.
I can plan, set goals, dream, pray – but God determines my days, and if I really believe that His ways are best, I’ll adjust as graciously as I can. I still want this to be the year of more … but maybe it’s the year of more grace, more adjusting, more forgiving, more adapting.