Taking a Break

“Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”  Proverbs 17:1

 

Rest.  It is necessary and vital.  Most times it is neglected.  But our body and mind feel it when ignored.

 

My husband and daughter began school this past week and it was a stressful week.  We all had to get back a schedule and getting up early. A new school year brings excitement but is also nerve-wracking for teachers and students.  

 

My daughter had a lot of tears and it affected me.  The stress caused me to throw out my back (again).  The pain from the spasms were excruciating and moving made it worse.   It was depressing and upsetting because I was in bed all day for 2 days.  But I knew I needed the rest.

 

I began to feel better and tried to go to the grocery store.  As, I walked around the store, I realized it was a mistake to have gone out.  My back began to tighten and saw soda was on my grocery list.  I saw a store employee in the soda aisle and asked her if she could put them in my cart.

 

This employee named, Patricia, put the soda in my cart.  I told her about throwing out my back a couple of days ago.  Patricia asked, “why are you running errands?  You know your limitations.  Rest and ask for help.  My husband is on permanent disability because of his back.  I hate to see you go down that road.”

 

Society teaches us to be self-reliant and if you rest, you are lazy.  Especially us stay at home mothers, people already think we sit around and do nothing all day.  So you are constantly trying to prove your value because you do not get a paycheck.

 

Besides physical work, mental breaks are important too.  A lot of creative people take breaks because sometimes, there is just nothing to create.  And that is okay.  By taking breaks, it prepares you to be ready when you do need to create.

 

Mother Teresa spent a majority of her life dedicated to serving the people who were sick and impoverished.  A biographer showed her typical schedule in his book.  One would assume that she spent all day serving others. 

This was her schedule:

4:30-5:00 Rise and get cleaned up

5:00-6:30 Prayers and Mass

6:30-8:00 Breakfast and cleanup

8:00-12:30 Work for the poor

12:30-2:30 Lunch and rest

2:30-3:00 Spiritual reading and meditation

3:00-3:15 Tea break

3:15-4:30 Adoration

4:30-7:30 Work for the poor

7:30-9:00 Dinner and clean up

9:00-9:45 Night prayers

9:45 Bedtime

 

Her day was busy, but she took the time to nourish herself and her soul.

 

A friend reminded me of the airline emergency plan speech, where if the oxygen masks drop from overhead, you put yours on first then assist others.   Remembering this is difficult but it is necessary and vital.  God rested too.  Let that soak in as well.  

 

Lesson Learned:  God rested, so I need to as well.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for trying to do too much.  Help me to delegate and ask for help.  Show me areas that I need to take breaks from and even eliminate.  Remind me to take care of myself and not to sweat it when life becomes overwhelming.  Heal us of our infirmities and make us whole again.  Thank you Lord, in Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

I’m not the Only One

I’m not the Only One

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

In  September of 2002, my husband and I had been married about 6 weeks. We went to the Grand Canyon with some friends. We flew back to Los Angeles. He boarded an airplane with his friends to go hike Half Dome in Yosemite and I left the airport to go home because I had to work the next day.

I stayed with him until his flight left. There was a call for he and his friends to board their flight. I began to tear up because I was going to miss him. A woman saw me crying and walked over to me. She asked, “what is wrong, honey?” I told her, “we  just got married and this is the first night I will be away from him.” She said, “well, ain’t that sweet…but give it 10 years and then you will be happy when he leaves.” I didn’t laugh, I cried more.

Fast forward from that moment to the present, we had just celebrated 15 years of marriage.  My husband’s friend ask him to help their family move across the country.  He asked me if he could help him and I said, “have a great time!” So those woman’s words in the airport, kind of came true.

Part of me couldn’t believe I was glad he was leaving. Guilt set in and I thought I was a horrible wife for wanting some space. And then I wondered if he could take our daughter too. I love them both to the moon and back but for the love of God, I just wanted time alone.

The enemy began to tell me more lies. I began to think that I was the worst mother in the world. I see social media posts of friends with their children explaining about how much they love being home with them and how they do not want the summer to end. And I feel like the biggest jerk for feeling annoyed at my husband and daughter.

I expressed my guilt to my friends.   A lot of them said they were counting the days when school was back in session. Hmmm…so, it isn’t just me. Even my counselor told me that when her husband, who works from home, goes into the office, she feels like celebrating.

Maybe it is true, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I wanted a close knit family, where we spent all of our moments together.  But that didn’t happen. I love them deeply but not enough to be around them all the time. Life is about balance. The enemy wants me to feel isolation, that I am the only one with bad feelings. He reminds me of my history of Postpartum Depression and how rotten I could be around others.

But God reminds me that I am not the only one going through life’s ups and downs. He reminds me that I have a lot to be thankful towards and I can go to Him with my bad thoughts and anger ANYTIME. I can ask for forgiveness and a grateful heart for my life to change this complaining attitude. And still I have God’s grace when I feel annoyed when there are dirty socks and dishes left out.

Lesson Learned: I am reminded that there is always someone going through the same or worse than me. And there is still plenty to be thankful for in my life.

Prayer:
“Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for complaining about my life. But I thank you for your grace and mercy in the times that I fall short. Continually remind me of your goodness and blessing in my life. Give me a new focus when things are bad times and they are temporary. Remind me to fill myself up with your word and to go to prayer for help. (And thank you that school is starting soon…). In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Slow Down

“When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath, I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now.” Jeremiah 2:25

“Mommy, slow down so you won’t get so stressed,” says my daughter, as she is trying to catch up to me when I am walking. Her words stunned me. I stopped to breathe because I was holding my breath from rushing around so much. I can’t even remember why I was so frantic.

My daughter may only be 9 years old, but she seems to understand things better than I do sometimes. She said, “if you take your time, you won’t be so confused about what to do.” How does she get that and I don’t? Maybe because I believe the lie, that if I look and act busy, I will appear important and successful.

Just a few days later, I went to buy a bucket of paint for our fence. I had an appointment to attend in the next 15 minutes and decided to go to the hardware store beforehand to pick it up. All I needed was exterior white paint. How hard could that be?

I walked into the paint department and the sales associate was talking to a customer. No one else was there to help me. I began looking at my watch and let out a few deep sighs to get her attention. She ended her conversation and walked over to assist me. I told her all I need is a bucket of white exterior paint.

“Do you want flat, satin or semi-gloss?”

Huh? I just want to paint the fence, so it doesn’t look trashy.

I replied that I just wanted something that will last a few years on an outdoor fence. She went on to explain what each paint does and what would be best. I was looking at my watch, thinking about how I may be late.

We agreed on a paint and she said, “let me mix it for you.” She put it in the machine.

“Oh no, how long will this take?” I asked.  The salesperson replied, “just a minute and a half.” “Oh good, I have an appointment in 10 minutes nearby.” I replied.  She said, “Oh honey, you shouldn’t shop in a hurry.”

I laughed out loud. I said to her, “from God’s mouth to your ears.”

She proceeded to tell me how she sees customers all the time come in 5 minutes before they close and request 5 buckets of gallon paint, all in different colors. I told her how I have been hearing to “slow down and not be in a hurry” recently. She winked at me and said “then do it.”

I made it to my appointment with 2 minutes to spare.

Everyone is in a hurry. Life has become so packed, we can barely breathe, literally. Nothing good ever comes from being in a hurry. I even wrote a blog post about that too and I still forget and get caught up, like everyone else.

I was even advised by my doctor that I need to chew 30 times for every bite of food. She said that most of my digestive issues will go away if I eat more slowly and mindful, not in a hurry. That is without t.v., in a car or in front of a phone. I can’t remember the last time I sat down at a table and chewed a meal well. I usually gulp and then have a stomach ache every time I eat while I am watching television on at my desk at work while I work. And you know..it makes a huge difference. It is nice to enjoy a meal without indigestion or heartburn!

God is never in a hurry. There are reasons that good things take time. The busyness of this word, does not need to be the way we operate.

Lesson Learned: Being in a hurry may be the way of the world, but not the way it has to be for us.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being in a hurry and forcing things to come about. Remind us that time is relative when it comes to how you operate. Let us be mindful of our behavior and help us breathe easily no matter how stressful things may get. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”