The house is wrapped in the quiet stillness of the early morning. What? This mama does not get up earlier than she has to these days. Somehow though, after the early feeding of the babe, sleep had left me and I arose for the brief quiet before it’s time for up and at it again.

I’ve been thinking about two phrases of importance in my life — “nothing is urgent” & “be diligent”. It might seem that those have little to do with each other but for me, they have everything to do with each other. I’ve been working through these thoughts for a few days now and I’d like to attempt to share of few of them.

“Nothing is urgent” There have been days *in the past month* that I have had to say that over and over to myself as my mind starts to race through all that I need/want to do and can’t seem to be able to. I’ve always had this tendency but I had begun to hear myself saying everything with a tone of urgency and panic as if life would end, at least as we knew it, if I didn’t get it done. Were that the case, life would be over. Rather than enjoying what I was doing, I allowed my mind to run ragged with my lack of accomplishment. By simply reminding myself that nothing is urgent and in changing the way I word & tone what I need to do, I have been able to have peace in daily living again. And incidentally, if we are measuring, I have been able to do more!

“Be Diligent” {1. constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything: a diligent student. 2. done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking: a diligent search of the files.}

I had begun to believe that if I gave importance to “getting things done”, then I was being diligent but I think there is more to it than that. Lie- I make my world go round; I keep it all together. Truth- I have responsibilities; I have a husband, three small children, and a home (just to give some priorities). I am also a follower of God, who gives life. He has given me gifts and abilities that I love to use. My question lately has been, how can I be diligent in these things while tossing out the lies?

Every day, we realize that the way that we want live is a lot of work. And we want to live well; dare I say, we also want to work hard. I want to fall into bed at night with a body tired and a mind satisfied in knowing that I gave my best. Not decided by the standard of another but by a conscience that knows I have earned my rest. I want to be “attentive and persistent” in what I do.

The trouble is that I can so easily be driven to accomplish rather than to live. The activity might look similar, but the heart is different. Somehow , and I haven’t exactly figured out how, I want to be diligent in each thing that I put my mind, heart, and hands to. If I am working in my garden, I want to pull those weeds with gusto and sweat. If I am playing with the girls or guiding them through the day, I want to do it with love, care and enjoyment. If I am cleaning, I’d like it to be with a song. If I’m resting or doing a leisure activity, I want to it be with creativity and pure pleasure. Hey, I’d even like to do my mistakes and flaws well; I’d like to face them, change them, and be changed by them however that looks.

I know that these are lofty aspirations given my awareness of my track record. I already know that my own determination leads to the event of my repeated muttering, “nothing is urgent” and the failure of my body to keep up. I also know that the pendulum threatens to swing the other way into, “nothing matters”. Neither place is where I want to live.

This isn’t an expression of my having arrived, nor are my thoughts conclusive. Far from it in fact. Mostly, just an expression of desire to live whole-heartedly within the skin and life that I have been given. In Him. It is really hard for me to let go of good things. It’s hard for me to say that I need to move on from something, or let it rest, or set it aside for the future. And so I have a running list of good things, some great things. But those things want to run my life because I’m letting them. These past days and the next few are a practice of honestly looking at what needs to change and then slowly opening my gripping, clinging fingers to let those things drop. I won’t lie, it’s not easy for me because I have quite a collection. Somehow though, I am excited because I see the potential and freedom that letting go will bring.

I shared a guest post about a snippet of my journey last week that included some quotes. I’d like to share them here because they are ones that have been going through my mind as I work through all of this.

The great lesson…is that the sacred in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard.
Abraham Maslow

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
Alfred D’Souza

* About a month ago, I talked about my struggles with PPD. It was really hard and after I wrote that, it got worse. But, I am glad to say that it got worse before it got better for I am now much better. In fact, physically, mentally and emotionally better than I have done at this stage of postpartum with any of my children. I’m not going to get into all the details (it would take too long) but apparently my body has some imbalances that are treatable naturally through vitamin supplements. Five years worth of pregnancy and breastfeeding had a few negative effects that need to be addressed and not just gotten through. Thanks for your care and prayers.

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