I have been very productive in my work lately. I’ve worked with a team to craft curriculum for a week of camp focused on prayer. I’ve crafted liturgies for our congregation’s anniversary and to use during Lent. I worked a 14-hour day on Sunday – doing some of the most beautiful things a girl could get to do.
I have been attentive to my need to learn new and complicated things lately. I took a six-week course on the Israel/Palestine conflict. Every Tuesday, I drove 90 minutes round trip to sit at the feet of excellent teachers and learn. And I’ve read a couple books about various saints of the Church.
I have been attentive to my needs for a social life lately. I threw a fun party with a pretty table setting for the meal and a table full of craft supplies for afterward. I saw a movie with some friends. I have two friends in some pretty solid crises, and I’m loving them over text messages and phone calls from far away.
I have been attentive to my need for exercise lately. I started working with an app on my phone that dictates a 7 minute workout, and I do it nearly every day. If you are thinking, “Seven minutes is not a lot.” I say this: 7 minutes is 100% more than zero minutes – and me using the word “daily” when it comes to exercise is quite new.
I have established some new ecologically friendly methods in my life lately. I use flannel squares I can toss in the wash – instead of cotton balls. I use a bar of shampoo – instead of liquid in another plastic bottle. I use handkerchiefs – instead of Kleenex most of the time. I’m using bar towels – instead of paper towels in the kitchen. It takes a bit more energy, but I’m learning to change some things.
- The hairs on my chin grow wild.
- The craft supplies are still on the table.
- The sink seems to be birthing dirty dishes.
- My car is so messy.
- My desk upstairs has paperwork on it that likely has some overdue stuff lingering in the stack.
- My ever-shedding dogs need brushing (again)!
- The skin on my face has dry patches because I haven’t given it the regular moisture it needs.
- Pretty sure I don’t want to know what is in some of those containers in my refrigerator.
- I’m pretty sure the rain gutters are full or plugged somewhere.
- And poop-scooping? Let’s just say I’m behind on that.
I really can’t do it all.
Or at least I can’t do it all …well.
During Lent, I’m trying to be very honest with myself about some things. Confessional, I’d call it.
I am strong and capable, and I can do anything.
I am distractable and do not live with a team anymore, which means I cannot do everything.
(Okay, you are maybe thinking: If you were had laser focus and lived with a family, you would still not be able to do everything. I think you are right, but I’m acknowledging some old and new truths, here.)
I’m not feeling self-deprecating, here. I’m not beating myself up or dripping with shame. I’m just listing some truths that God is revealing to me about…me (again).
It’s confessional in that I’m searching myself, acknowledging the things that nudge up against me and have the potential to scoop shame on my head, and saying them aloud.
It’s confessional in that I have responsibilities lingering in paperwork stacks and home repair/upkeep and pet ownership, and if I let them linger too long, people and animals could suffer.
It’s confessional in that, in my life, after confession comes forgiveness. And just now, writing that sentence and typing the word forgiveness caused me to take a deeper breath, offer this physical body of mine an extra dose of oxygen. Knowing, as I do, that after confession comes forgiveness means I’m safe. And when I feel safe, I really can do anything.
But seriously, even being safe (saved) doesn’t mean I can do everything.