It’s rather like a drain that won’t… all the water is sitting in a big puddle and nothing is moving. Sometimes it feels like constipation! It’s always about being confused and overwhelmed, tired and stressed – the constant battle to process thoughts and feelings and simply stay at peace. After a busy week or two everything builds up and returning to the ‘to do’ list I find myself paralysed like a rabbit in headlights, unable to prioritise tasks and quite frankly not feeling like doing anything! Exhaustion meets duty and I am caught in depression in the middle…
Here I am wading through mud: I’m keeping going but I’m not enjoying it much at the moment! I took on extra responsibilities and seem to have some sheep following me, but I hardly know where I’m going myself. I’ve really enjoyed the release of leading and teaching at the Mercy Cry prayer day and next week we’ll be half way through the Lent ‘Introduction to the Prophetic’ course that I’m making up as I go along… (It’s all in there! Don’t worry!) Well the first 2 sessions have been fun and encouraging and I can only be myself 😉 But the funny thing really is that Monday’s topic is ‘Flow’ – and here I am writing a post called ‘All blocked up’!
I suppose it’s always a struggle to break new ground – especially ‘spiritual’ new ground: there’s a requirement to practise what you preach! If I am teaching others about ‘the prophetic’ – in the broadest sense of that adjective – then I am going to have to do it in a prophetic way… ie dependent on the life of the Spirit for every word and choice. It is never easy to step out and not be fully ‘in control’ or to feel anything but ‘on top of things’ generally… it seems trust is required! I do know I am ‘supposed’ to be doing this at the moment and therefore the grace and direction I need will be provided as we go along – because the Lord has never let me down in all my years of making crazy choices and He ‘doesn’t change like shifting shadows’ (good reminder, James, in chapter 1v17)
But it’s all too easy to beat myself up – ‘what kind of idiot takes on extra stuff when she is already emotionally spent?’ Well – perhaps a fool who is trying to follow Jesus! And if I get it wrong it’s always OK anyway… I may push myself too hard, but I’ll always reap as I have sown. Plus it’s in my weakness that God’s power can shine as the light comes through the cracks – so it’s good to be a ‘cracked pot’! But what about a blocked drain? That symbolism isn’t so pleasant, perhaps… 😉
Feelings are hard to handle, all tied up with physical symptoms (tired! headache! didn’t sleep well!) and battered emotions. We’ve had a weekend away visiting Becca which was both lovely and gruelling – I want to write about that tomorrow. Meanwhile Sam has been struggling with a broken computer and his growing overdraft: he’s upstairs playing death metal and in no mood to talk to me. He carries piles of food from his house to our house and leaves it in the kitchen every morning, meaning to eat it all but actually as good as starving himself. He won’t get the internet in his own house until next month so I have to watch this charade – and there is nothing I can do! I’m learning to get on with my own life and say nothing: the secret in dealing with other people is always to let go of false responsibility and cancel all imagined debts they seem to owe me – even if that person is my son who has a brain tumour.
Thankfully his broken computer got fixed on Monday, otherwise he would probably be borrowing my machine right now and I wouldn’t be able to write this. It’s as I write I can process and get the ‘water’ moving again, so a week of not being able to speak it out is what has made me feel this ‘blocked up’. If I don’t talk at length to a good friend or see my counsellor even journalling doesn’t really crack it – I seem to need to blog. I haven’t had either time or ease of access so have pushed it down to the bottom of the list. But unless I remove the obstacles from the outflow pipe and let all the frustrations out, pull out those dead leaves from the drain and let the water go – allow myself creative expression I suppose – I remain stagnant and unhappy.
Work/life balance is a problem for everyone. Jesus promised if we learn from Him, walk ‘in the yoke’ with Him, we can find ‘rest for our souls’ – or as the prophet Jeremiah has it, ‘Ask for the ancient path, where the good way is, and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls’ Jer 6v16. Jesus seems to have been saying He IS the ‘ancient path’ and the ‘good way’ when He quoted that in Matthew 11! Though I am fully convinced of that truth, putting it into practice is another matter… I can sit still for hours but nothing will get done that way and I’ll still be anxious at the end of the day! Yes, I know – ‘wait on the Lord and renew your strength’ – which is pretty important when I need inspiration for some of the things on my list. But there really are things that cannot be left until tomorrow or next week when I feel like it, as anyone who has work deadlines knows: no food and no clean underwear doesn’t make my husband happy and Sam wants his benefits form sent off yesterday.
Part of it is just accepting there is simply too much to do these days. I don’t even have a 9-5 paying job to constrain me – though sometimes I think it would be easier than juggling this self-employed housewife, carer, administrator and overworked Professor’s PA role with the things I want to do and need to do for my own sanity! “No time” to go to the gym or to blog is just not a good excuse for not looking after my own peace of mind.
Now water of my thoughts, get moving in a positive direction with energy and purpose, and stream of my heart flow gently as I drop the burdens and false responsibilities. If I look to the Lord and ask for help there will be wisdom and direction – enough for each day, one thing at a time – whether emails or reports to write, meals to cook, toilets to clean, bills to pay or… drains to unblock! There are times to act and times to rest, times to fast and times to feast: there will probably be a long list of outstanding ‘things to do’ staring back at me for the rest of my life, but the peace of the Lord is always available in the turmoil if I will simply do ‘the next right thing’.
And on this occasion it was breaking my blogging silence. And now it is having a nice cup of tea – as I hear Sam descending the stairs…