Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dancing in the Presence

You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand there are pleasures forever.
                                                                                                                                                            Psalm 16:11

I began reading a new book, Dancing With My Father by Sally Clarkson. I began to think about how much I live each day with (or without) the joy of the Lord. In the book, the author prays to be released from "the burden of striving."

To that, I say, A-MEN. So often, I live under the weight of that burden. Striving, always, to be better. A better wife. A better homemaker and housekeeper. A better cook. A better runner. A better friend. A better mom.

I compare myself to every other woman I see. 

She always looks so cute and put-together.

Her house is always spotless.

She is seen serving everywhere in the church.

She parents so intentionally, and does an amazing job of homeschooling her kids.

What happened to her baby belly?!

I try, and try, and try again. I make lists. I make lists of lists that I should make. I resolve to change this, purpose to improve that. I promise to become more consistent, more organized, more patient, more giving, more serving. More on top of everything. And then, because I am human, I fail. I fall short. The laundry piles up, the blog goes unwritten, the four-year-old wets his pants, and a last-minute order for takeout is placed. And I, once again, feel horribly and dismally inadequate.

It isn't that I'm slogging through each day, depressed and defeated (although that can describe how I feel on some days). It's that I am so busy trying to accomplish, to achieve, to impress, that I never stop to just enjoy. I don't play with my kids because I just have to sweep the floor and fold the laundry. I don't watch tv with my husband because I just can't leave those dishes for the morning. I don't drop everything to call a friend who comes to mind, because my nap-time to-do list seems so much more important.

I focus so much time and energy on planning how to order our lives, and working to order our lives, and lamenting how much our lives are disordered, that I leave no time to dance. To sit in the presence of the King and dance and shout for joy at the wonder of all He has done. 

There is a balance to be found. I am charged to be excellent in anything God calls me to. It is part of my calling to create order, to make my home a place of beauty and rest, and to train my children up in the ways of the Lord. All of that takes effort and time, thoughtful planning and intentional execution. 

So, how do I find that balance? Where do I draw the line between how God wants me to spend my time and energy and the pressure I feel to be perfect? 

How do I live the Mary life, and "choose the better thing?" 

How do I silence the accusations of "not enough" and learn to remain, basking, in the presence of the King? 

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