09 Sep 2016

The one thing we should never hoard. Like ever.

It’s noon and I’m jumping in the car to go grab a spur-of-the-moment donut. Boston Cream. Every time. And I get a text message from a new friend.

I’m in the drive-thru when I hear her voice pop up in my head and on my phone and she wants to know what I’m doing for lunch tomorrow. She suggests sushi.

I do not like sushi.

Not even a little bit.

I don’t like to feel like my food may be making eye contact with me.

But I like my friend. She’s a new friend and getting to know her is one of my favorite things. I remember this when she texts me again, “All I want is your time. I want to talk about God and life and writing and success and failure and moving on and being strong.”

And there it is.

It was never about the sushi.

It was about the raw time. The biggest gift we can give each other.

Being willing to spend uninterrupted hours together. We need so much more than that. Because we’ll all starve on a diet of 140-character tweets and Facebook updates.

It’s about being able to sit across the table from each other and talk about what success and failure mean and how we survive both. It’s about being able to dig into our lives and sift through the ordinary in order to really connect beyond the default, “I’m fine.”

It’s about being willing to be interrupted.

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If motherhood has taught me one thing it’s how much I dislike being interrupted. How selfish I am with my time. How much I want to hoard it. You think I’m kidding? My ideal Mother’s Day weekend would not involve my kids. It would involve me, a hotel room, a king size bed, Netflix on a loop, and lots of room service.

Motherhood has exploded my personal space, demanded my 24-7 attention and deprived me of sleep for a decade. And if I’m honest it’s made me resent interruptions. All I want most nights is for the kids to leave me alone once I’ve tucked them in so I can enjoy some “me” time.

It’s been like breaking up with myself — becoming a mother.

If you can relate. If you’re reading this exhausted. If you’re just so over this week, these kids, all the demands and the dishes and the piles of undone laundry then please know if I could come over right now and tell you how incredible you are, if I could pour you a hot cup of tea and rub your tired shoulders I would.

But I did write this for you. Because this is why God does it. This is why He sends these thing hurricanes to huff and puff and blow our lives down. I’m convinced that this is what it is for.

One day we will thank Him for it. It might not be tonight when you can barely think straight. But one day you’ll know that none of this was wasted. Not one exhausting bit.

Click here to read along with me and be reminded why.

Comments

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  1. 1

    This really spoke to me. My kids are at school at the same time for the first time in 12 years. I want to lay in bed and read and do whatever I want. But I never regret meeting up with friends or going to lunch at school. And my 4 year old refuses to fall asleep without me. And I’ve put him to bed over and over. But he just wants me do its ok. Keep writing and reminding us.

  2. 2

    Dear Lisa,
    This message has so blessed me this Monday morning. By the end of this weekend, I didn’t feel refreshed, I felt completely drained. Often times, between pouring into my daughter, building up my family, tending to my house, chipping away at never-ending projects, it can feel like I’m in an infinite loop of cook, clean, repeat–when will I have time for me, for my projects, for what I want to do?–As I drearily and wearily commuted into my office (finally some alone time!), all I had the strength to do was groan out to God. And in His loving and caring way He gently answered me with one simple word: STRETCH. What I saw as a demand on my time, God saw as an opportunity to s-t-r-e-t-c-h me and my family in our time, in our relationships, in our priorities, in our tasks, in our everyday living. A stretching that I know will lead to a higher, richer yield of the fruits of our labors: the fruits of life. This time and energy isn’t being wasted, it’s being invested and our Heavenly Father, the Great Gardener, knows to how abundantly bless us down to the very last drop.

    God bless you and your family, Lisa. Have a great day and a wonderful week!

  3. 3

    Im 60, and facing aloneness for the first time ever. I raised four children with my husband, and was heavily involved in their daily lives. But they are grown up and living busy lives of their own. They cannot fill all my need. I worked for a church as the administrative secretary for over 15 years, then was “let go” for no reason, they said, when the old pastor moved on. My best friend moved away seeking cancer treatment for her own survival. Good reason to depart. But this leaves me with so many, many quiet hours, no church, no bestie, and no idea how to begin again. I’ve never faced this before. Women who are in their 60s don’t seem to open to new friends at the churches I have visited. Oh they smile and shake your hand and say welcome. But they do not invite you to tea or call you for a lunch date. How do you say to a new church, “I’m lonely!” I was the center of a vibrant ministry team for so long, and I’m just at a loss.

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