So, when we don’t know who we are in Him and we build our house on that slippery and fickle sand, our thoughts might stink because we aren’t sure what we’re doing so we just operate without a plan and suddenly find we’re over-booked.

If we don’t know our purpose, what we are called to do in this life, then we’ll search for it by saying “yes” to everything because maybe we’ll find it.  Or perhaps we don’t want to think about our purpose or our pain or our anger so we fill our schedule and all we have to do is run, run, run. Or maybe we just don’t want to upset anyone so we say “yes” and squelch down that gnawing feeling that we shouldn’t have but tell ourselves we’ll be fine.

Do I sound like I know what I speak of?

I do.  All too well.

Last spring, I had a revelation that led me to step back from everything.

I found myself with more “down” time which led to more “think” time which led to more “get-responsibilities-around-the-house-done” time which led to a more peaceful and relaxed mother and wife who could also find an unwrinkled pair of pants for her children and not have to unload the dishwasher while making dinner and helping with homework all at the same time.

Lo and behold, I snapped less.  I loved more.  And I lost the frantic that had perched on my shoulders for much of the past two years.

In the becoming of a pause, I found peace.

When we move so fast that we can’t even finish a thought, we’ll remain a jumbled vessel of unfinished thoughts that lead to simply surviving instead of thriving (from my dear friend, Katrina.  Can’t take credit for that one.)

I chose to stay home with my children because I wanted to be home with them as their caregiver.  (This is not a judgement upon others who don’t make the same choice – I’ve been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom.  I get both sides of the equation and see no reason for this issue to divide us as mothers.)

But when I’m constantly running, and often in the name of ministry, and my kids are in childcare while I’m in a meeting then we run errands and then we pick up our oldest at school, we find there are days in which we aren’t home all day long.

So we return home, all of us at the same time and often weary and in need of a snack, to find baskets of laundry, a dinner beckoning to be made, homework that needs help completing, and a dishwasher that needs unloading.

And maybe you’re better at this than I am but this is where my thoughts start to stink.  Suddenly, I find myself lamenting that “I’m the only one who ever does anything around here” which is completely false. I go down a spiral that threatens to damage and break the hearts of those I love the most.

All because I chose to over-schedule our family.

And our kids feel it, too.  According to a study by the American Psychological Association, over-scheduled kids feel “sad, worried, and frustrated”  because “their parents don’t spend enough time with them”.  This can also equate to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and sleeplessness.

So if our thoughts are stinking, could it be because we’re running too fast?  Do we need to lay some things down so we can all just breathe a bit?

What happens when you give yourself a moment to pause and breathe?

For more reading on this subject, please check out Kevin Lehman’s book, It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil: Creating a Happier & Less-Stressed Home.  Love. It.

Please join me on Friday as we learn tools to help us to know when to say “no” and when to say “yes”.

Thank you for journeying with me, sisters.