Our life lately has been busy and full. Sometimes that fullness is exhilarating and sometimes it’s draining. More than anything it makes the highs higher and the lows lower. If you follow me on social media you know that I recently started working part time as a stylist and I also work one day a week at our church. I love my jobs so much! (More on that later.) It feels like we are finally getting in our groove and putting down some roots, a year after our move (yea, no one tells you how long it takes to feel normal again after a huge change).
I also took up the art of wall-building. Nice, big, sturdy, beautiful, well-insulated walls.
Have you ever seen a video of an Amish barn raising? That’s me building my walls.
My bricks are our busy schedule, my part time jobs, my housework, even my kids. My mortar is the mantra “I’m so satisfied in Jesus, I don’t need anything else.”
So you know how I feel about vulnerability. But really, who does like it? I don’t hate the vulnerability of sharing my story or my heart, that’s actually my favorite conversation any time, any day. What’s hard is to put myself out there, to hope, to risk being hurt, to embrace change. And here’s a newsflash--when you move to a new community and you have to start from scratch making friends...you’re vulnerable, like….All.The.Time.
You’re a sitting duck in pond of vulnerability.
It’s not at all terrifying. Oh wait--it’s friggin’ awful.
But recently I’ve been convicted that maybe it’s easy to say that I’m totally satisfied in Jesus, because I’ve eliminated the risk of finding out if that is really the truth. I think and hope that I trust in Him alone, but I’ve built up so many walls that any threat to my comfort would never even get through. I’d never know if I’m really satisfied in Jesus alone because I would never let it come to that. It’s way easier to just build this fortress of “busy” so I don’t ever have to know, would my phone ring with an invitation? Would I be lonely? Would I connect with the women around me?
Would I get hurt? I don’t know.
What I do know is that willingly letting our busy schedule become a vacuum of chaos so I can protect myself isn’t beneficial in any way. Not only is our family in a constant state of stress, but I’m not really living. I’m up in my tower of “things to do,” safe and sound and out of reach.
I’m not too busy for making friends, unless I choose to be.
You know when you’re at the eye doctor and you look through like a million combinations of lenses? I feel like our schedule-chaos and my loneliness and my fear have all been in this lense machine and it’s all been fuzzy, and then last week God clicked the right lens in place. And coming into view was a giant poster that said,
“Stop being busy on purpose, organize your life, leave room for people. You won’t regret it, you won’t feel like the rejected kid in the school cafeteria. But you won’t know until you clear some space in your schedule and heart and trust me for the rest.”
So my husband and I set down and we set up some perimeters for our schedule. We've established some structure for our lives, some healthy boundaries so that we don’t let one field flourish while the other withers.
You know what? It’s been really great so far. And at first I was honestly scared to share this post. I was nervous that I would seem silly or pathetic. But two things: a dear heart friend set me straight, and as I wrote I realized that busy schedules are an epidemic for women. It’s not just me being sucked into the vortex of “things to do,” and maybe just maybe some other woman out there needs a friend to say, “You are a friend worth having and it’s worth the risk to make some room so that other people can love you and you can love them.”