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“The chaos of my life consumed me and left me empty.”
“As for our days, they contain 70 years or if due to strength, 80, but soon it is gone and will fly away. So teach us to number our days that we might present to you a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 10, 12
A couple of years ago, I was in a meeting in an office in downtown New York City. A young woman rushed into the room, dropping her computer case, spreading his papers all over the floor, and falling into a chair near me. Tears filled her eyes, “I left my children at the babysitters in tears, my house is a wreck, I am behind at my job, and my life is a mess. Today, the chaos of my life consumed me and left me empty. Help me, please!”
We are in a time of chaos—politically, financially, health-wise our nations are in a crisis, many children are not home who usually go to school, those who homeschool miss their friends, outside classes and activities, husbands are home. Our lives and schedules have been turned upside down. Let us all agree that there is chaos raging in our world!
Then, there is the extra piled on work at home when we have all of our meals in our home and the messes gather. Finally, we as adults miss our friends, our community and the places out in the world where we refuel. Even a coffee with a friend in a cafe now seems a luxury. Do you feel the chaos mounting in your life? Piles in your home? Stress, and little bouts of anger bubbling up, and the feeling that you are failing at life can create irritability, and a disagreeable spirit. Then follows guilt.
From the vantage point of having finished 6 decades, I am more aware than ever that life flies by and often the years are filled with, “When this season is over, then I will live well.”. One day flows into another and then months flow into years. But somehow so many I know keep going one empty day after the other.
Much of my life was lived at such a fast pace, however, that I felt like I was always in a hurry to get some place or to complete a task. These overcommitted or crisis times turned me into more a drill sergeant than a loving companion. How easy it is to focus on all of our “to do’s” and to miss the magical moments of a sunrise, the soft fur of our precious dogs, the ways a candle flickers as we sit with loved ones just cherishing the moments and celebrating it together rather than gutting it out in frustration.
Busyness or task orientation falsely promises productivity.
Studies show that 88% of mothers feel severely stressed and overcome with anxiety due to poor time management and difficulty prioritizing. And I know it is similar for working women and also those who are moms,, single women, men in the work place and students.
In a hectic world that is over-stimulated, constantly on our phones, computers, social media, rushing here and there, never stopping, we are we losing sight of what is truly important in the midst of the balancing act just to stay alive in the game. My mind ponders the fact that we were simply not designed to multitask or to live this way. No matter what life you are living, it is the heart in the midst of the chaos that must be changed, even if the circumstances do not. We often try so hard to juggle one million ideals, and once we drop one, then another, we feel defeated.
As women, mothers and wives, it is absolutely crucial that we learn to breathe, relax, and focus and center ourselves on what should be prioritized. Life is short and ideals are constantly interrupted, so we need to be sure to focus on the most important ones.
Today, I explore the idea of managing the elements that add to the chaos of our lives, and the ways forward to finding peace and centeredness. May you find peace and rest and joy in the midst of your life as you reflect on these truths.