Seriously. He has been amazed by me lately and I feel a bit guilty because honestly, what he is noticing is really what should have been all along.
It started some time last week. Have you ever had one of those days where you are just burning through your to-do list? Yeah, it was like that only I didn’t have a list.
I was just being busy. Actually, I think that is the wrong word to use. We all know we can be busy, even really busy, and not actually be accomplishing much of anything.
I was being very purposeful. I was looking for things to do. I wasn’t trying to be productive but it happened.
Pssst, side bar. What you read and meditate on has a huge effect on your state of mind and attitude and that in turn has a huge effect on your life. Start reading about contentment. And start pondering prayer. Your life will change in a very quiet but solid way.
Here is what I learned. If idle hands are the devil’s playground then laziness is the fertilizer for discontentment. Not doing work leaves your mind free to wander and think about all the stuff you don’t have but wish you did. Too many breaks between chores and you have time to ruminate on how he doesn’t really love you the way you need to be loved. A pause in tending what needs tending will make it easy to tend the hurts and perceived insults and wounds you’ve suffered, to concentrate on how you just aren’t appreciated.
But maybe that isn’t what happens to you. I will be honest that those things might happen in my mind and heart upon occasion but not often. You know how it really shows up for me?
Apathy. I just don’t care much about those things that really ought to be cared about because it is more fun to daydream about the things that I decide ought to be cared about. And rarely are they things that you can look at on the surface and dismiss as not being important per se, but in reality it’s devoting a lot of time and thought to misty things. Things that aren’t super substantial or carry much weight.
It’s like cultivating a diet of fast food rather than a palate that desires fresh fruits and vegetables. You are indeed eating and taking in sustenance but we can all agree that it is not the healthiest way to live.
Rather than just giving stuff a cursory swipe of my attention I was paying real attention to whatever task my hand found to do. And amazingly enough I was getting a lot done. And I even felt more energetic to keep going. (Now, lest you think otherwise, I am a pretty good housekeeper for the most part. I had worked out a routine to keep things nice and tidy in such a way that you could drop in unannounced and it would not have caused a bit of panic. But, things like that have a way of becoming a way to gloss over something with no thought or real effort. Intermixed with contentment and prayer you should try a steady consideration of glorifying God in all that you do. That is a real game changer!)
Back to my rockstar status. I had been pretty productive but still had some time left in the day. Two things about that last sentence. First, when I say “time left in my day” I am referring to time left before my love arrives home. Time is measured and used differently when he is home and we’re all together. Not sure how to explain it but it’s a marked difference in the blocking out of our day.
Secondly, I cannot tell you how many times I have muttered, moaned, and groaned over the lack of enough time in my day. In hindsight there is no doubt that it is much more of focus and time management problem than an actual dearth of seconds, minutes, and hours. I have actually had more time to read, snap a picture or two, blog, and do all manner of things while accomplishing so much other stuff like laundry and what have you.
So what did I do that day last week when I suddenly found myself with time on my hands and no desire or feeling to do nothing? I ironed his shirts. I know I am going to sound so spoiled right now but Rob’s main dress shirts go to the cleaners weekly. I haven’t had to do anything with them other than drop off and pick up for a few years now. If he needed a casual shirt (polo or short sleeve button up style) pressed he would pull it from the closet and I would happily iron. And I do mean happily because I fought that battle a long time ago to not whine or hate doing that task.
But see the gloss? I would do it when asked, even with a happy heart, but I didn’t invest the time to just go ahead and do it so that the shirts were hanging up waiting for him to need one. And I didn’t do it for any good reason other than I was “too busy” only the truth was I wasn’t busy doing anything other than looking busy.
Man, I sound ridiculous, don’t I? But what can I say? This is where I have been these days and what’s going on in my heart and mind.
This morning when he mentioned again how he was loving the shirts being ready in the closet and not knowing if I had turned over a new leaf or what, I just told him it was my own way of stepping a little further into being a grown up.
That’s what it feels like really. As if I am maturing a bit…seeing myself a little more clearly, learning a little bit more about God and how he expects his people to be his people. Funny how that shows up in such mundane everyday things.
I will confess that today I decided to amp up the rockstar-ness in Rob’s eyes so I did two things. I made a trip to the cleaners (without him asking) to drop off the shirts because he had planned to do it and forgotten.
I also took our sixteen year old daughter driving. We are never in any hurry for our kids to get their permit or driver’s license according to when they legally can but we have really procrastinated teaching this particular child how to drive. (Probably because we have been too busy…ha!) For whatever reason it has been difficult for Rob and this daughter to uhhh, enjoy the father/daughter bonding over driving instruction. She makes him nervous which in turn makes her nervous and you can see how this cycle can break badly.
So, today I turned it up to eleven and took her driving.
Sharing with Candidly Christian.