This past week I had one of those days. You know the one. One where you feel that you are failing in several different areas. Not doing any one thing well. Your kids are misbehaving, and you feel that you are failing at being a good mother. Your husband says a few critical things throughout the day, and you feel that you are failing at being a good wife. You look around at your house in which there are things out in every room, and you feel that you are not being a good housekeeper. You know those days, right?
Thank God, in my feelings of defeat and failure, I went to my room, closed my door, and began to pray and seek God for wisdom on how to change things. What God revealed to me very quickly was that even though the circumstances might have been wrong and worthy of a reaction or discipline, the way that I was reacting to them was wrong as well. The main culprit, God showed me, was my lack of a nothing box. What in the world do I mean?
Over a year ago, my husband and I went through a marriage Bible study course by Mark Gungor called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage where he talks about men’s brains and women’s brains. Men have a nothing box. When they are stressed or even when they are not, they go to their nothing box where they can think about absolutely nothing. I, as a woman, do not have a nothing box. My mind is working all the time. It is full of ideas, things I can do, blogs I could write, home projects, people I want to call, plans I want to make, etc. It never turns off. Therein lies the problem.
I have no nothing box! Now don’t get me wrong. I love having a creative mind with ideas I can do and projects I can make. Carl says he wishes he had a dollar for every time I said, “Hey, I have an idea.” Sometimes when I say it, he gives me that look. I am quick to remind him that this is one of the things he admires about me, and he truly does. However, sometimes I wish I could turn it off.
I don’t want to be brain dead, but what I realized is that my mind is in such a state of what I could be working on or projects I want to do or people I need to call that I get stressed out just thinking about it. What I realized in that room just for those few minutes is that I need to change my focus. God comes first, then my family, then others, then my home. I need to say no to some of these thoughts and more yes to my family, my husband, etc. I need to be less worried about what centerpiece I could put on my new coffee table and more about going to the grocery store so we can have food for our family. I decided one or two ongoing projects were enough, and I need to say no to other projects until I have finished one of my current projects. How hard is that going to be!
On Thursday night, we host a Bible study here at the house. Carl was discussing with another man how we plan to build a garden up in the upper part of our yard. Yes, this is what we want to do and what we have talked about. Normally, the thought of that would have been overwhelming to think about doing that on top of projects we have already started. My two current projects are building a home office for my husband and sewing valances for my kitchen and living room with fabric I have already purchased. The garden will have to wait.
I don’t know about you, but it feels good to scale down and to say no to busyness. My mind would like me to think that tiling my hall bathroom or finding a centerpiece for my table are needs. I do want those things, but I need to be able to know when to say enough is enough, focus on one thing at a time, and get my priorities right. Since I made that decision, my spirit has been more at peace. My mind is still going, but I am saying no more often to it. That feels good.