Both my kids play hard. Really hard. They learn hard. Alexis runs hard. William learned to roll the other day and he has barely stopped since. They are on the go. They go go go go go as long as they can. They don’t like to stop. They fight it for all it’s worth. Then they fall hard.
They seem to have got it from me. I have a tendency to go go go as well.
I’ve learned the hard way that doing too much leads to burn out, so I’ve been limiting my “burden”, “workload”, “activities” so to speak. I mean, I do have two under two (although I can’t say that for long!). It’s supposed to stop me from being overwhelmed and help me do the bit I can easily manage. It might work if I stopped picking things up again and again and again. I say, “no I can’t do that” but then it eats away at me so I try anyway.
It caused a bit of a stir when I suggested that Corey and I would not be throwing a birthday party for our daughter Alexis this year because we did not want to overload me at this time. What’s the big deal about a tiny little party? We ended up saying yes she can have one and a lovely family member is hosting it and organising most of it and another family member is doing the catering and another family member is doing the cake. Delegating was the only way it was going to get done and it’s meant to limit stress as much as humanly possible and we’re looking forward to it and it’ll all be good. Yet I am stressing about it. I’m trying not to. Have you ever noticed though that when you try extra special hard to not stress about something that you find yourself stressing about it more than if you’d probably just let yourself stress about it a little bit in the first place?
I have a problem with stress. I know this. Most people know this. Hey there’s probably a blind China-man in the middle of France somewhere who is aware of this. There’s only so much that saying, “don’t stress” can do though. I start to think that people who are saying, “don’t stress” are saying, “there’s nothing to stress about, stop being so stupid and precious and over the top and get your stuff together OK, this isn’t all about you. Get over yourself”. It’s really awkward letting someone else do something that I expect people suspect I should be more than capable of doing by myself. I come up with all the reasons to justify why I can’t do it and why I need help and that just brings me down. I should be comfortable enough to say, “it’s just too much at the moment, sorry” and leave it at that. I should be OK to let people help me. Most of the time people do want to help. Most of the time people are OK with me saying it’s all too much (even if they think I’m pathetically weak they rarely actually say it). It’s not really other people’s perceptions I’m really afraid of is it? I don’t know. Nobody likes to disappoint those we care about but perhaps I wouldn’t feel compelled to defend myself (often unnecessarily) if I wasn’t battling with my own unrealistic standards of what I should be able to achieve. Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, I actually got both kids to sleep at the same time for a little while today (thank-you Jesus) and I really wanted a nap but I just couldn’t sleep. All the neighbourhood dogs were chucking a hissy fit at the same time and I’ve been a bit worked up and I have so many things I should be doing: party bags, cooking food for William, cleaning up from the baking I did, putting some cream on the burn from the baking I did, cleaning up form breakfast (whoops), preparing dinner, finding Alexis’ birthday presents and wrapping paper and wrapping them up, replying to text messages and emails and things like that. I also should journal/pray/read/blog all those things I’m meant to be doing for the simplify your life challenge… I just can’t. My body is sore. My brain is tired. I’m weary. I just had to stop. I needed to rest. So I did.
I stole my iPod back from the nursery, grabbed some headphones, and started listening to some old favourites. “He Will Carry Me” from Mark Schultz came on. I have always loved this song but for some reason I’d forgotten about it. I’m thankful I found it again today. So I lay in bed listening to it over and over again.
I’ll put the YouTube thing for it at the end of the post, but here’s some of my favourite lines.
You’re strong, I’m weary
I’m holding on but I feel like giving in
But still you’re with me
When all hope is gone and I’ve been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need
He will carry me
I know I’m broken
but you alone can mend this heart of mine
You’re always with me
You never said it would be easy
but you said you’d see me through the storm
I wanted to blog about the song and how awesome it is and how awesome God is and instead I ended up writing out all this angsty stuff again. Argh. It’s ok. I’m not going to delete it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. My head’s a little messy, I’m a little tired, I don’t always make sense, sometimes little everyday things like baking a couple of cupcakes or doing dishes are incredibly difficult. Sometimes things aren’t that great and even though I have nothing really bad to complain about and life is good, sometimes I need a break I need a rest, life is too much, the day-to-day battles have tired me out and I need to be carried for a while.
My daughter, bless her, struggles so hard against Corey and I at the moment. Every morning and night she’s pushing the boundaries to the max. She wants to watch TV, she doesn’t want to eat her food, she doesn’t want to have her nappy changed, she doesn’t want to use the potty either, she wants to sit on the couch and drink a bottle, she’s tired, she doesn’t want to admit it. She wants to sit on her brother’s head, she wants to wake him up when he’s sleeping, she wants to have ice-cream every night and she doesn’t want to be told no. She doesn’t want a bath. She doesn’t want to get out of the bath. She doesn’t want to get dressed. She doesn’t want to get undressed. She is working out she has free-will but yet she is learning she has responsibilities. She has been having trouble with her emerging eyeteeth since before William was born (he’s on solids now, so, yeah, it’s been a long time) and she is sick of being in pain. Life can be confusing for her sometimes and sometimes she is mean to me because of it. I still love her. I love her more than I ever thought it was possible to love someone who, quite frankly, is just take take take take take sometimes. She is amazingly precious to me and although she lashes out at me and fights against me when I try to take care of her I am always there trying to protect her and to comfort her.
When she finally realises she’s exhausted Alexis drops to the floor and lies there. She buries her face in the floor and just lies there still and sobbing. We try not to let her get to that point but sometimes she just keeps pushing. When she gets to that stage and one of us picks her up and carries her to bed she gives the biggest hug ever and kisses us as if to say, “thank you. I’m sorry”. Of course it’s nicest and easiest for all of us when she realises she’s getting tired before she gets to that point. She stands up at my legs with her hands in the air and says “down”. “Down” has always meant “pick me up”. It started as a mistake and ended up a running joke but “down” will probably always mean “mummy/daddy, carry me”.
Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to drop the bundle to realise I’m tired? I get physically tired a lot but I’m talking about emotionally tired, weary, drained from doing the same old thing over and over again. Tired from making the same old mistakes over and over again. Disappointed from trying so hard, too hard, and still not getting it right. My life is so much easier when I can turn to my Father in Heaven (God, my earthly dad is still very much alive and kicking) and say, “daddy, carry me”.
Whether or not I think I should be able to cope with something or not, if I can’t then I can’t. I can, however, choose to give it to Jesus instead of letting it bring me down. Like a little child, I can just throw my hands in the air and say, “down”.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”