In my tenure as a mom, I’ve discovered that if one thing can kill my joy posthaste, it is RUSH.
One morning recently, I caught myself rushing to get the house picked up for our house cleaner, rushing to complete my dressing routine, rushing through the breakfast preparations. We were late for school. I rushed through the stacks of clean dishes to be put away and the piles of dirty ones to be loaded (or hustled my kids through those things), and hurried everyone to complete the science lesson so that we could squeeze in our reading.
Sound exhausting? It was.
RUSH creates immediate tension. It’s a sure way to make myself miserable, and my kids too. Ironically, RUSH doesn’t seem to accomplish more than NO RUSH.
RUSH is more a condition of my spirit than the speed with which I tackle my activities. Have you ever considered the “quiet” part of a “meek and quiet spirit”, which is of great price to God? ” (1 Pet 3:4) I hadn’t really seen this verse in the light of being busy before. An unhurried, calm spirit is important to God.
I have found that rushing prevents me from seeing the people and needs in my path. Rushing prevents me from listening to my kids or the still, small voice of the Lord. It prevents me from loving the way I need to love. Ouch! And it definitely prevents me from enjoying the journey.
Over the past six, busy months, I have fallen back on four thoughts that have encouraged me to keep a quiet(er) spirit.
Thought #1: God has given me all the time I need to get done what He wants me to.
This means I can be OK with whatever did not get done. If something truly matters and I’m being diligent, God will help me get to it when I need to. The important thing is committing my day to Christ, doing the next right thing (see point #2), and trusting Him to lead me in what those things should be. God’s supply, coupled with His wisdom, is enough for what I need to do.
Thought #2: Do the next thing.
Elisabeth Elliot was right: This phrase will carry you through a season of overwhelm. “Do the next thing” gives clarity and focus amidst a myriad of responsibilities and needs. What is the next most important thing? Do that, and only that. This little gem is so freeing. All I have to do right now is the next right thing. (Sometimes, for me, it is simply, “Get a snack for myself! Right now!” 😉)
Thought #3: Staying calm makes any situation better.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that most situations will eventually work out. The dinner will get cooked, the math lesson will be over, the mess will get cleaned up, the child’s hysteria will pass…in short, whatever is overwhelming me now will usually work out just fine. But Mom staying calm is a critical contributor to how quickly/well things resolve. No matter what the circumstances, staying calm is the most helpful, needful thing I can do for myself and my family. As my grandfather mischievously says, “There’s nothing worse than a hysterical woman!”
Thought #4: In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:4)
I am not enough for all the demands of this life. But God is! The God who keeps the planets in orbit and calls the stars by name can handle my day and my life and activities. He wants me to trust Him with my life and to rest in Him.
This is a season when I have more priorities than seems reasonable. However, I’m finding that more responsibilities has also forced me to take it all in stride. As life gets fuller, I’m learning to slow down and enjoy it for what it is. There is always some thing– no, multiple things– waiting to be done, and the reality is that stressing or rushing around isn’t really going to change that.
Here’s to less RUSH and more JOY on the journey! 🙂