Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Resting in Grace



It was our last day of Summer together as a family. The girls started school Monday and since Josh doesn't get Saturdays off, Wednesday was our last day to do something fun. And so we did just that. We sat around in our pajamas till 11 and then got chicken nuggets for lunch and surprised the big girls with a trip to the movies-complete with a large soda and extra large popcorn. They loved every minute of it.

Since we had a long promised sleep over scheduled for tonight we came home afterward to do some cleaning. The kids weren't too thrilled, but together the four of us managed to knock out basic cleaning in the basement, kitchen, and living room.
 
Dinner was prepped, the big girls were playing, and since Tacy was with my mother in law I was presented with a unicorn of a concept - free time! Yes there was more work that could be done (isn't that always true), but Josh suggested that enough is done for now and it would be a healthy thing to do something enjoyable for a bit while it is quiet.
I was torn. You see, my first response was that I should do something creative. I should sew, or journal, or make something with my stacks of scrapbook paper and stickers. At the very least, I should write a blog post! But honestly, all I wanted to do was curl up with a big mug of tea and watch Star Trek. I LOVE being creative and it feeds my soul on so many levels, but lately I have found myself too tired to even do that which I so dearly love.
 
While I sat talking about this with Josh, I was struck once again but what a producer I am. I have constantly struggled with this.
 
As a child I loved to read, but I often find myself disregarding this hobby as I get older. To sit in a chair with my feet up and a good book seems like to lazy a way to spend an afternoon. If I have nothing to show for my time at end of the day I feel like I have failed.
Eight years ago I learned to sew. It started out as a fun challenging outlet for my creative side, but in effort to justify the cost of fabrics and patterns I found myself attempting to grow a business. After I few years I had found a decent level of success, but found myself loosing interest once I had turned something I enjoyed into something I had to do. I thought I had to make it into something big to make it worth while. I have since found a level of entrepreneurship that works for me, but it is a constant battle. Every new design I create I find myself wondering if I should produce it for sale. I have to remind myself that creativity is worthwhile in it's own right.
 
I know that some people struggle with this more than others. That “Type A” personalities are notorious for taking control and not knowing how to unwind. But I think it's deeper than that. I think it's something that has been in all of us since the fall. It's why God put the Sabbath into the ten commandments and why we struggle to observe it.
 
We are scared that if we stop producing we will no longer have worth.
It's why I find myself texting my husband through the day to tell him all the chores I have accomplished.
It's why one of the first questions we ask when we meet people is “What do you do?”
It's why we feel resentment when we feel our contributions to ministry are being over looked.
It's why we identify with the brother in the story of the prodigal son.
It's why we LOVE Proverbs 31.
It's why we feel Martha got a bad rap.
It's why the first thing I think when something goes wrong is “I am a failure”.
If I am not producing I am not needed.
If I am not producing I am dispensable.
If I am not producing I am not lovable.
 
I started writing this post a few days ago and then came back to it. And while I was being honest and genuine when I started I realize now just how much I was censoring myself. Because talking about turning hobbies into careers is safe and even a little humorous. But talking about the deep down fear of failure, that fear that we are not enough, is ugly and uncomfortable. We don't like talking about it because it feels like we are fishing for a compliment. We don't like listening to it because it his a little to close to home.
 
So we sit quietly in our homes, slaves to our to-do lists, Desperately trying to prove we have worth. Listening to the lies of the deceiver who says our value is determined by the size of our laundry pile. So we throw ourselves into achieving pinterest perfection. Or we give up and stop even trying and give into laziness. And either way the serpent has won because he has convinced us that God can't be taken at His word.
 
I have value. Not because of anything I have done. But because on the 6th day God made mankind and pronounced it “very good.” And if I love my children no matter what, how much more does a perfect God love is wildly imperfect children. Because Sabbath isn't about do and don't but accepting that if I stop working, God will still provide, and still love, and still be good.
 
And so I'll watch Star Trek and sew dolls and color in coloring books and make notebooks and do the dishes and fold the laundry and sit in my big chair with a cup of tea and pray.
    Because grace says I can.

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