Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Excellent Life

"You told me to live an excellent life." she reminded me. "I'm trying, but I've lost my joy again. We sent truck loads of stuff to the dump and Goodwill. Housework is much easier now that I'm organized. I don't hide any more when the doorbell rings."

I laughed. "You've come a long way. I'm proud of you."

"The kids are doing better. Homeschooling done with a more professional attitude and schedule has helped us accomplish much more. It's lots of fun now. We're even planning some summer school."

"So where's the problem? Why is your peace all rumpled?" I asked. "How's your prayer life? Your Bible reading? Memorizing?"

"I'm only doing baby steps, but it's going really well. I love my quiet times.  It's just...I don't know."

She looked up at me and spoke quietly, "It's my heart. It feels broken.  My heart is tired of listening, working, teaching. I know it makes me a bad mom, but I'm so tired of little voices. Even happy ones." The tears began to flow and she sobbed, "I hate it that I'm a bad mom."

I explained all the ways that she is an excellent mother, all the ways that she is changing the world and doing good. Melissa is a woman after God's own heart. She has one of the most teachable, loving hearts I know. I watched her drinking a glass of lemonade from a pretty glass and eating a cinnamon scone from a china plate, the frown in her pretty face relaxing.

When she felt stronger, I went on to explain. "An excellent life includes some down time. How long has it been since you sat in the shade and drank a glass of lemonade? You need time, space and quiet to refresh. Your family will see it as a withdrawal from them. It is! But  it's necessary. You become depressed, harsh, exhausted, a cornered animal snarling and ready to attack without some time to do nothing. Kids need it. Husbands need it. You need it. Take a step back and relax. You're doing fine."

"YES!" she laughed. "Now what will that look like? Relaxing. I'm going to need to trade some babysitting. Or the kids can have rest time and I'll sit in the shade and drink lemonade. I could sit in the shade and drink a glass of lemonade from a pretty glass every day! All by myself! Or in the sun! I could get some color and fresh air! I can have the leftover scones, too, right? Oh, please say yes!"

No comments:

Post a Comment