Thursday, May 27, 2010

The beauty of Thy peace

I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer: Warning- it's very possible what follows could be seen as a rant. I don't intend it to be that way, but a warning none-the-less. There, if you get to the bottom of this post and think "Wow! She really ranted there didn't she!" I can point to this disclaimer and say, I told you it was coming.

The other day I came across a blog written by a stay at home mom. I'm going to straight up admit I have not read her blog so I can pass no judgement on it's content. What I do want to discuss though is her blog description:

Confessions on motherhood, from an overachieving, stress junkie stay-at-home mommy with a sweet tooth (and a Martha complex)

She even has a little badge that you can put on your blog if you'd like to identify with her Type A stress junkie approach to life.  And in trying to figure out why the whole thing hit me wrong, I put my finger on the idea so many (even myself at a time) buy into - that stress coupled with overachievement is a good thing- something "badge worthy."

I remember when I was younger and I had my daytimer full of meetings and events and I rushed from one place to the other telling others how little sleep I got the night before as some sort of indication of my value. It was as though I believed that the busier I was, the more important I was. As though to say if you're not stressed, you must not be doing it right. And I hung my hat on my achievements.

Fast forward to the 30-something me -- but please keep in mind that I do not sit here on some lotus pillow in an enlightened state of Zen adulthood. I still get stressed. Just ask LK and he'll tell you about the other night when I was rattling off in a 90 mile an hour fashion all the things I needed to have accomplished before we left town. There are times when stress just happens.  And my daytimer is still full, especially now that kid's activities are added into the mix of my own.

So what's the difference between the type-A stressed out mommy and the approach I'm suggesting?

The difference is balance.  It's peace. The difference is now I recognize the stress and work to remove it rather than glorify it.  The difference is now, while my daytimer is full, it is also balanced.

To me now, the words of "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" perfectly sums it up:
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
till all [my] strivings cease;
take from [my] soul the strain and stress,
and let [my] ordered [life] confess
the beauty of Thy peace.
Back in the jam-packed-daytimer-crazy-stress days I hated the word "still."  The song "Be still and know that I am God" made me shutter.  To me I had the whole lack-of-motion-mediation thought going on when I heard the word "still" and I hated it because, let's face it- I'm an active person.  Someone once asked how I fit everything into my day- my response was that I don't sit still very easily.  So the thought that still could be anything but annoying didn't register.

I still don't like the word all that much but I can understand it better.  The way I see it now is that "still" does not mean I can't move- because even when I'm sitting still some part of my body if still fidgeting.  But instead, I try view it as an acronym.

                                                          Love the

Because, if I love Him, I'm going to trust him.  I'm going to let him order my life and my priorities. I'm going to see that hanging my hat on my achievements, that living life to the point of becoming a "stress junkie" doesn't show the world where my values lie.  But if I live a STILL life, then my actions will show what matters most.

So today I'm adding a badge to the side of my blog. A badge to remind me that it is the beauty of a God ordered life, a life that comes from living with a STILL state of mind.  The life that I want to strive for, not the life of a stressed-junkie, overachieving mommy. So if you identify as being someone that has this state of mind, or identify as someone who wants to have it, please feel free to take the badge and put it on your blog as a reminder to yourself that stress and overachievement is not the mark of a successful woman, but having a STILL life is.


Michelle said...

Oh, Kate, I love this "rant"! :) Great things to ponder and take to heart. I read a blog in which the lady has a picture hanging in her living room that simply says, dwell. I think it can apply too. It is a decorating blog none the less, but her style is very peaceful. Perhaps you could make one for your wall that says "still". Oh, and btw the disclaimer was not necessary :).

Kayla said...

Great post to ponder over!

Gena said...

Kate, I love this too! I don't think I want the banner that claims to be a type A stress junkie with fifty thousand balls in the air. Enough with the super-Mom complex. I gave my daughter's teacher a gift card to Panera today. I did not bake her five loafs of homemade bread and mod-podge all of her students' faces into a 12 by 12 wallhanging worthy of the Louvre. Nothing against Moms who do. I will be adding this badge to my blog.

ptagoddess said...

Proud of you

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