Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Busy? Me? No.

If you ask me what I'm up to these days, a little of "this" and a little of "that" would probably be my answer. But if you were to dig deeper, you would find that my "plate is full", very full.

I'm not complaining about having a
full life. This is what I like to call it instead of "busy". To me, being "busy" usually brings to mind a picture of somebody who is scurrying around, frantically trying to do too many things at once. And while it may be said that I am doing "many things" (sometimes at once, but usually just consecutively), I certainly am trying to keep my head about me while working hard at the noble tasks that God has set before me.

I recently read that the Japanese symbol for "
busy" is a heart with a slash through it. Ugh. How ugly it looks to be busy- a canceled heart, simply heartless.

I also recently heard someone say that "busyness" is not of the devil, it IS the devil. Now that may be a little extreme, but I believe that there is some truth to it.

Once a person usually finds out that we
homeschool our children I can almost guarantee that they will say one of two things almost immediately: one is to inquire about how my children will obtain proper "socialization" if they are not out at a school for the better part of their day, and two is to sigh from deep within their soul and exclaim how "busy" I must be.

Busy? I really wouldn't describe myself as busy. Again, busyness to me conjures up the image of a frantic life. A power struggle between a certain situation/commitment/responsibility and the person trying to "do" that very thing. When we are busy we are trying to control/be/do it all at
any cost.

I'd like to think that one of the aspects that separates a busy life from a full life are a couple of things...
  • The task at hand is a noble one. It is a responsibility or activity or situation that will bring good to my family and friends (and hopefully, the world around me). It may be that I was brought down this path by God Himself. Otherwise, what sort of satisfaction is there in the end for simply "doing" for the sake of "doing" (or often times, "keeping up" with those around us. And yes, I find this is often one of the reasons that people are busy doing the things that they are doing).
  • The responsibility at hand is one that has been deliberately chosen/accepted/welcomed into ones' life. We embrace the situation in which we are working so hard and so well at. We are not victims simply being tossed back and forth by the waves of circumstance which we have sailed into.
  • Our heart's attitude. Again, the image of the slashed heart. I believe that we can have a full life without having a busy heart or spirit.
As someone who likes to be productive, I do often fight against that urge to "do more". I was feeling this tug particularly strongly at the start of the school year. You know, this is the time when parents carefully choose which activities their children will be participants of for the upcoming school year. I was feeling very stressed out about trying to find an activity for my four-year old to take part in. It turned out that our budget just didn't allow for any professional instruction. I felt the same way about my six-year old. Certainly taking ballet alone couldn't be enough? I felt the need to add more. After careful consideration we decided against piano lessons. She was slightly disappointed but the let down soon faded into forgetfulness of the original notion of something "new".

Now, I can look back at those situations with peace and contentment, knowing that God did not desire to have those in our life. I believe I can now see those reasons. And I have to say, that I am chuckling a bit. As it turns out, Nicolas was offered a spot in the Soccer Class at our Monday Homeschooling Classes at the Lutz Museum even though he wasn't a "five-year old". I was thrilled at his chance to finally have some instruction and team building. But, there he was on Monday, paying close attention for a while and then running off the field to be with me at the picnic tables for a snack (big surprise if you know anything about Nicolas and his eating habits!). And that's how it went... on and off the field for the whole 50 minute session. I jokingly told my friend during our lunch time that day that I was glad that I didn't actually spend money to have him NOT participate in something that I thought he needed so badly.

And as for those piano lessons... I am quickly realizing that Sophia couldn't possibly have taken on another activity that required anymore mental or fine motor skill use than what her very generous first grade curriculum is already providing. By 2:30 you will find her in a puddle of exhaustion and it seems that only a bike ride is able to bring her back to life until bedtime.

I am reminded of Proverbs 15:16 and 17 which says,
Better a little with the fear of the LORD that great wealth with great turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.

And I know for sure that there would be turmoil in my heart, and hence in my home, if I willingly chose to put a slash through my and my children's hearts by becoming busy.

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