I've been skimming lately. For about six months now, I think. I am living out of the shallowness that lies somewhere between the tyranny of the urgent and exhaustion, both physical and emotional. I don't like who I am when I'm this way. I tend to be an introvert, one who is quite contemplative.
I like to celebrate the joys in my life and I even treasure the mourning process of the sad times of the journey. But not lately. Lately, I barely blink at the really good or the really bad. (For the most part...) But I'm waking up to something again. I know that I prefer to live from my heart. That is not only how God created me (and you as well, I'd like to add)...but it's how I enjoy living life the most. Reflective...thoughtful...meditative.
It's hard - this living from the heart. Because it takes work. It takes a conscious effort on my part not to allow myself to just skim. When I respond defensively to my husband, boy is it ever easier to either write it off as PMS or as Kevin saying something that he shouldn't have.
The challenge comes when I force myself to think about why I responded that way. What is under the surface that caused me to say what I said or feel what I felt? Did he unintentionally re-prick a previous wound? Do I have the guts to tell him about it? To sit with it for awhile and not just sweep all I can under the carpet for the sake of keeping false peace?
How are you doing lately? Just getting by? Or are you able to really enjoy the good that comes and really work through the bad that sets in? As a mom, I really want to pass on coping skills to my kids that don't just consist of crying, yelling, or slamming the bedroom door (all of which I am guilty of, by the way). Because there's got to be more than that.
Because Christ calls me to so much more than that. He calls me to stick it out. He calls me to love. He calls me to live from my heart. He calls me to figure out where I am wounded and to come to Him for healing. He is close to the brokenhearted - and best I can tell, that is all of us in one way or the other.
So how can we live from our hearts? How can we really get out of life what we are intended to? I see only one way really. Be as connected to the Source of life as possible.
You must - I must - spend time alone with God...and on a regular basis. But how? I don't have time, you are internally screaming at me. You are going to have to set aside some time...it is going to be a sacrifice. You are going to have to get up earlier or stay up later or get a sitter or ask your husband or not watch that TV show or put down that magazine or refrain from checking e-mail just one more time...you are going to have to do something differently than you normally do to carve time out.
Because it is only when we slow down - and I mean slow down to a screeching halt of silence - that we will be able to hear the whispers...the wonderful things God wants to tell you about you. That you were specially created. That there is a bigger story and you have a part to play. That you are so loved you barely understand the half of it.
But, Moms, you must slow down to bring Him your heart. But from one mom to another - you'll be so very glad that you did. He's waiting...
Elisabeth K. Corcoran is the author of "Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul." She is wife to Kevin, and mom to Sara, 7, and Jack, 5 3/4. Her passion is encouraging women and she fulfills that through heading up the Women's Ministries on staff at Blackberry Creek Community Church in Aurora, IL and writing as much as she can. "Calm in My Chaos" (2001) can be purchased directly through her publisher, Kregel Publications at #1-888-644-0500 or www.kregel.com, at www.amazon.com, or through your local Christian bookstore. This column is original and not excerpted from her book.