Monday, January 14, 2019

Linger & Battle

Maybe this is trendy, I'm not sure and I don't even care if it is (ha!), but the past couple of years I have picked a word to focus on; kind of my own new years resolution.  It has worked for me.  The past 2 years I feel like "more" was my word (other years: "perseverance" & "rerooting").  Honestly, I still think that "more" will continue to be my word for a long time; the Lord is using that word as a mantra to teach me and grow me.  But this year two more words (pun not intended) seem to be continually presenting themselves in my mind: linger & battle.  I have prayed about these words for a couple months now and I think I am going to add these as my words for 2019 to focus on. At first linger and battle might seem completely contradictory, but for me they go together perfectly.Linger and Battle- Life with the Hawleys
Towards the end of that last year I knew that I was reaching my limits.  I have said "yes" to ev-er-y-thing for several years (like an entire decade); I cannot even list it all because it is just too much.  I have not had a vacation in over five years (I have not even taken maternity leave), and I am so weary.  I knew going into the fall that some serious changes needed to be made; I needed BALANCE.  People say, "you can't do it all" but that is wrong, or maybe I should say that it is an incomplete statement.  You can do it all, just not all at the same time.  I want to do all the things and enjoy all the wonderful things that life presents, just not all at the same time.   Additionally, I don't have to give 200% of myself to everything (and numerically, that isn't even possible).  I do not want to rush through life just checking off lists.  I want to be present.  I want to sit in the present, and not be taunted by my thoughts about what else I should be or could be doing.  I want to sit on the couch and be fully engaged in the story I'm reading.  I want to have a conversation fully engaged.  I don't want to kill myself trying to check off a list, and completely overwhelm my body by constantly going and never sleeping.  I want to be rested so that I can give of myself more completely.

So to linger this year means to me that I want to slow down, significantly.  I do not mean linger, as in to loiter, to be lazy, or to dismiss my daily obligations.  Instead what I mean by linger is to be fully engaged in the present.  I want to sit in the present and allow it to happen instead of hurrying through it.  I want to be led by my interests, not by a to do list or accomplishments or to do all the things at the same time. I want to follow the interests of my husband and kids.   I want to engage the gifts God has graced me with. I want to listen as well as to lead.   I want to not only eat three meals a day (which in and of itself hardly happens), but I want to enjoy the people and conversation around that table with me.  I want to make more time for tea parties and books with my kids than to do lists.  I want to use the gift of time and flexibility that God has given me to focus on my family.  I want to linger with my family so that they get my best, not my left-overs.  My family deserves more from me than a sleep deprived, overworked, weary woman.  All of this is me desiring to linger in the present.

In order to linger throughout the year, and to make that lifestyle change, I will have to battle to protect and fiercely defend my time and my choices.  I do not want to be catching up on emails at 2 am while my family sleeps and then completely dependent upon caffeine to get me through the next day, every day.  I want to say "no" or "not now" more.  Why do we applaud the person that stresses themselves out and seems to do it all?! They are running their bodies into the ground to accomplish everything.  I know, because I have been that person for the last 15 years.  Not only that, I have researched this topic for 15 years, yet I hypocritically do the opposite of my scientific conclusions.  Why?!  I always advise friends and colleagues to "be selfish with their time" (not in a pompous way, but to be guarded with your choices), and I NEVER follow my own advise.  This year I am.  I will be focused on my family more than others, and I will battle to protect my time to linger, to be present, to sleep more than 3 hours a night, to read a book for fun, to not be perfect and still be okay with that, to hustle for joy over business and accomplishments, to enjoy the life God has given me.

So this year, I am moving slower, I am going to battle to protect my time to linger in the present.  I will joyfully embrace the life God has given me in 2019Romans 12_2 Life with the Hawleys
xoxo Darby

1 comment :

StephTheBookworm said...

I so needed to hear and read all of this too! <3 I need to be present, I need to stop just running around and checking things off my to-do list... life is more than just those to-do lists.

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