How Do You Do It? Part 1: Trust Your Yes
As I’m writing this it’s 9:51pm on a Tuesday and I literally just got my children into bed. Okay, that sounds bad, especially if you know that I have an infant and a three-year-old. Let me rephrase . It’s 9:51pm on a Tuesday and I literally just put my children into their beds and got them back to sleep. They were already sleeping at one point; it just wasn’t in our own home. I’m trying to prepare myself. Soon, this will be our new normal multiple nights a week. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. Those precious bedtime snuggles, the “Mommy, I love you” moments, and the sweet slobbery kisses from by babe will become fewer and further between. Mom-guilt? Check. Tired? Check. Hungry because I forgot to eat dinner? Check. Will it all be worth it? Absolutely.
I guess it takes a leap of faith to say that. Most people would tell me I’m crazy, and I can’t possibly know for sure. Maybe it won’t be worth it, but my believing it makes it more likely to be true. I do know this for certain, God says if you ask it in His name it will be done. I’ve been doing a lot of praying lately and that is my prayer, that His will be done. I pray that whatever it is I’m asked to do, and that I say yes to, that I’m doing it for the right reasons. I choose to trust that it will all pay off in the end.
For those of you just joining me on this blogging journey, I’m a teacher. I just recently started summer break, although if you know many teachers most of them will tell you it really should be renamed. I mean, break isn’t exactly the best word to describe it. I still waiting for that coveted 3-hour nap. Sure, I’m taking a hiatus from daily interaction with the kiddos in my classroom, but I’ve already sent over a dozen parent emails and hosted two meetings since school has been out. In addition, I’m prepping for summer math camp; preparing to adopt a new curriculum in two of my classes; I’m pre-signed up for professional development; mentally preparing for a 45 minute presentation to an entire diocese this fall; and, in whirlwind, God isn’t going to let you say no, it’s now or never kind of moment, I agreed to take over as a head volleyball coach…starting last week. Even as I write it, it sounds ridiculous that I moved back to Nebraska five years ago so I could “slow down.”
So how do I keep it all together? Well, I’ll be honest, some days I don’t. I won’t say there’s isn’t ever anxiety and stress because those feelings have been running amuck in my life for too long to have entirely disappeared. I won’t say all of the pieces of my life are perfectly picturesque either, they aren’t. I mean, if you saw the condition of my house right now, you would understand! BUT, I mostly feel like I manage to be a joyful loving human the majority of the time. So again, the question I am asked so often, “How do you do it?” Like most moms I’m sure, I take it one day at a time. But to be a little more specific, it starts with mindset and intentionality.
For starters, you have to trust your yes. I remember when I was young and first learning to play chess with my dad. I knew the basic rules but had zero strategy. I remember randomly moving my pawns as each game began, never looking more than one or two steps into the future. Finally, after what I can only imagine was hours of painful observation, my dad told me, “don’t ever move a player unless you have a reason.”
If you want to find joy in your life, don’t simply go through the motions or get pushed into situations because you don’t have a clue about where you are going or why. Don’t do something just to do it; have a reason, and guilt is not a reason ladies! I’ve struggled with this over the years as I’m a people pleaser at heart. I think a lot of women in general are conflicted by this because it’s simply in our nature to serve, regardless of whether or not we have anything left to give. For me personally, there was always a weight that came with saying “no” that hit me in the shoulders and sank deep into my gut. It caused me to often jump-up and say yes to each and every thing I was presented with, even when I knew it wasn’t healthy. I used to act first, and then reflect later, rather than reflecting on my decision first, and then acting later.
There is a difference in choosing to take action and then praying God will make the action successful, and in praying about what action to take, and then trusting that God will make the action successful. What’s important is that when we say yes, we know WHO we are saying yes to, and not just what. If you can feel confident in your yes to God, even if that yes is really a “no” to the world, then you are capable of anything. No matter how crazy it might seem to pass up a big job opportunity, or to take on fostering extra children, or to meddle in the business world with your big sister, you are capable of managing. If you ground your decisions in prayerful reflection first, you’ll have the confidence going into new adventures that will help eliminate stress, and can help reduce any anxieties that may come up along the way.
In order to take control of your someday, you have to first be open to the idea that the best vision of your someday, may not be the one that is presently in your head. Trusting your yes means that you take the time to reflect first, before jumping into new ventures. That way when things start to get crazy, you’re sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and you’re wondering what the heck it is you’re doing, you can go back to that moment and that feeling of peace you felt when you initially said yes. You can find strength and thanksgiving in knowing that what you are doing has meaning and purpose. I promise you will have a renewed sense of heart and energy.
Lastly, when you find yourself being asked to take on something you aren’t sure about, remember that it’s okay to ask for more time to respond, and it’s okay to change your mind later if you know deep down your initial decision is not in your best interest, or your family’s best interest. If you aren’t taking care of you, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else either. Trust that you will know the right thing to do when the time comes and avoid taking on guilt or caving to “obligatory” tasks if they put you in an unhealthy position. Reflect on your WHY first, and the trust you create in your YES will help to guide you through whatever frenzied state of life you might find yourself in.
Much love, AnK
Check back soon for How Do You Do It? Part 2: Find Your Sisters. Also, if you love what you’re reading, please share this page with a friend and drop us a comment! We are here for you!