After many many months of cleaning this site I am finally back in business!

I’m just so excited and want to apologize to anyone who has stopped by here only to be frustrated by the sloooooow loading (oh, that would be me.). Also if you have tried using the contact me form I don’t think that was working either! I just checked and it’s working now, so if you have tried to get in touch and have not heard back feel free to send me something now!

Anyway, I’m in the throes of book edits due in two days BUT I am just so excited to have this little space good to go again. Woohoo!

Welp, that was interesting

SO! I get back into blogging and discover the reason my blog runs so slow is I was HACKED. My sincere apologies to anyone who had trouble in the midst of that. Everything is cleaned up and Lord willing I/it/we will get back to normal.

The moral of the story is you really shouldn’t let anything just sit around idle or things will go wrong. Just like a vacant home or a body that just sits around all day, turns out a blog will also completely fall apart if you ignore it. That’s what I get for letting so many years go by without checking in to my dashboard.

Anyway, just popping in to say that! Hooray! I hope things stay healthy and clean.

When Life Feels Fast

Picking up where I left off two weeks ago! Wow.

And so it was with me. That new commitment of very regular doctor’s appointments was so significant (even though in the grand scheme of a well-ordered life it wasn’t) that it caused me to really start considering if I wanted to live at this pace indefinitely. A few weeks is one thing. But six-to-nine months is another. And considering those six-to-nine months would be the last months of my boy Charlie’s time in high school — that was enough to make me start praying for a change.

There are so many contributing factors to feeling overwhelmed in life. Lots of people walk around feeling overwhelmed, either at times during the day, or during say basketball season — or even longer seasons. I spent a LOT of my early mothering days have those feelings because Paul and I had our first four babies really close. That’s an intense season. But in those kinds of times you recognize that it’s this way because you have a baby who will eventually start to sleep through the night. Or a toddler who will be in bed by 7:30 pm (who am I kidding, my boys were in bed sawing logs by 7 pm and it’s a TOTAL sanity saver).

But to feel this way day after day after day isn’t healthy. When there isn’t a clear “this too shall pass” it’s time to really consider what needs to change. Maybe it’s time to outsource cleaning, or lower expectations for certain chunks of time. But to just live like that without coming up with some kind of a plan is a recipe for total burnout.

Life is funny that way. One minute we have a schedule that works just fine and then something shifts and there you go. It no longer works. And that’s okay. I think it all caught me by surprise because for so many years my stress levels were dictated by having small children. Who knew you could still be stressed without babies and toddlers?! (probably lots of people).

What I learned through this journey (thanks for bearing with me, dear reader) is that ultimately, you have to be at peace with what your limits are. You can only answer for yourself, for what your own abilities are. There’s nothing wrong with looking around at what other people have going on, but really how can we ever know all the in’s and out’s of anyone’s circumstances but our own. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. And try as you might to make decisions and schedules based on what someone else can handle (so and so seems to be able to do all these things and then some…) you really don’t know what extras you may or may not have that someone else does not. Don’t compare! It might compel you to operate outside your limits of sanity or maybe even just outside of what God wants you to be doing.

When Something Is “Off”

Early on this school year I noticed something really interesting. One of my boys needed to start seeing the doctor on a regular basis for a medical condition (nothing really bad, but very time consuming). It was in the midst of this that I realized I had been operating at the outer edge of what I could handle. I would add several adjectives before the word “handle.” Because we’re talking about the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of life. And practical as well.

On paper, I could “practically” handle this additional commitment. You can easily schedule a doctor’s appointment after school. I have enough big guys to help watch the smaller ones. I have a car. Etc, etc etc. This is what I reasoned as I considered why this all felt so exhausting.

But mentally, as I was considering all this, I visualized a line, with some kind of horizontal graph type bar on it. What I could peacefully (without having a panic attack) handle was “here” (hold up both hands like you are describing a fish you caught). But by adding ANYTHING ADDITIONAL to my load, it pushed me to here (hold up your hands to describe that same fish but bigger).

That’s not good.

Yes, I could get to the doctor and run to get lab work and then go back to the doctor to get the prescription and then to the pharmacy and then back again to pick up the meds. I could do all of those things, but what it meant was something had to give. Unfortunately what was giving was my ability to cope with things like getting us all out the door on time in the morning. And being nice. And not crying.

Now all of this is for my own recollection and everyone is different. I kind of struggle with the idea that someone is reading this and rolling his eyes and thinking that this poor woman quit her job because her kid started needing some meds. And I realize that not everyone is free to just stop working when life feels hard. But this is something different than that. I should probably point out as well that my full-time job had much more of a volunteer quality to it. The people who teach at our private school are so generous. It’s a school that is basically a group of families who have decided to educate their children together. There isn’t tons of money for the staff and administration, so everyone who works there does it because they feel a real call to build and support the school and students. So by saying I quit, I’m not saying I was able to just walk away from tons of money. You might consider this whole conversation to be more about walking away from a wonderful, beautiful volunteer type opportunity. It almost felt like a vocation, which is something we will discuss further.

What’s interesting to me is that when we are at some kind of tipping point in our life, it’s usually one little extra drop in the bucket that makes the different. The final straw, after all, is just one straw. It’s not necessarily a whole wagon full.