The last two weeks or so have built up to the point of feeling like I'm drowning. I'm sure you've all been there.
My white board to-do list was literally full, with no room to write anything else. Each time I completed a task and erased it, I had to fill that space almost immediately with another to-do. I've had meetings, attended a baby shower, hosted a bridal shower, met with teachers about Griffin, gathered with family, planned Nolan's upcoming birthday party, shopped for multiple gifts, altered a prom dress, took prom pictures, altered my own shirt, wrote a heartfelt letter to a retiring teacher, baked tons of treats, studied a Sunday school lesson, and done all the tasks necessary to keep up with a house and children. That list is just from the last 2-3 days.
In addition to being overscheduled and overworked, I have been feeling the weight of so much going on around me. It just seems like nearly everyone in my little world has been going through very tough times. Unemployment, divorce, bankruptcy, seriously ill children, etc. My daily troubles are nothing compared to the burdens my friends and loved ones are carrying.
I often feel the emotions of people around me. I believe it's part of how God created me so I can connect with others. I genuinely celebrate with their joy and grieve with their sorrow. It's a gift. However, as with any gift, I have to use it as intended. This means I have to work to not be overly sensitive, which is hard because I can't just turn it on and off. I have to continue to ask for discernment so I don't misinterpret others. And I also have to beware of taking on too much of other people's negative emotions.
Last week I found myself carrying more than my share of the heavy burdens around me. God designed me to show compassion to people and to be inspired to take action when I can. But he never intended for me to sink under the weight of what only he can carry. I was reminded of God's offer for us to bring our burdens to him, and I know that means I have the privilege of carrying burdens to God on behalf of my loved ones.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30It almost makes me laugh to think of God saying his burden is light. He's just taking care of every person in the world. No biggie.
I've wrestled with the question of why my life is going well while others are facing such difficult circumstances. I think it's God's plan for people to support each other, and right now it's my turn to play a supporting role. I'm sure the roles will switch within these relationships in the future.
Maybe a little sooner than I'd like. Jared is getting ready to leave for a two-week trip. These two weeks that he'll be gone contain more activities, appointments, and events than possibly any other two-week period in our life that I can remember. Seriously.
I don't want to do all of these things by myself. I can't do a lot of them by myself. Do you know what I dislike more than doing hard things by myself? Asking for help.
I cherish getting to be the helper, and I loathe accepting that I need help from others. It doesn't really make sense. But it's the truth of where I am right now. And I'm pretty sure God sets up these stints of crazy single motherhood so I'm forced to ask others for help.
So for the rest of this week, I'm going to continue to relish being a supporter. I'm trying to trust God to take care of me and my kids after Jared leaves on Friday. No matter what craziness life throws at me during this dreaded two-week period, it all falls under the jurisdiction of God's "light" burden.
I'm just looking forward to getting back to normal crazy.