Years ago...years, like when Sophia was a baby...
...one of the guest speakers at our church singled me out like she had something to say. She stared at me for a long moment, like she was tossing the words around in her mind, then finally said, "You know, hon, God just wants you to relax."
At the time, I was doing anything but relaxing, which is what I've been doing for most of my adult life. But it was the third way God had tried to get my attention with this one little message...
I'm very stubborn that way.
But we have to work. I have to achieve. I need to get. stuff. done.
It's how I'm wired.
I have to confess, I really didn't listen. I think I thought I did, but if I'm honest, I didn't. I always put an insane amount of pressure on myself...and about two weeks ago, I started to realize it's not getting better. It's only getting worse.
I started to look at how I spend my days. And I started flipping through my notebooks and all the things I hadn't achieved that were on my to-do list. No matter what I did, I always came up short. There were never enough hours in the day.
The biggest weight, I admit, is the idea that I need to be marketing my books now. (The first novel releases February, 2012) And I've been trying to come up with all the things I need to do to make that happen...and not once have I asked God to come alongside me in this venture. Not once have I even asked myself "What do you want to do?"
Instead, I've filled my days with "shoulds" and "have tos." Because I don't want to be the reason my books don't sell. I want to know that I've done every single thing I could do get the word out about my Sweethaven series.
My angst over the whole issue started around the time I asked myself "What Matters?" Which brought with it even more questions...And more confusion...
Then this week, one of my very favorite people in the world told me she was going to live. it. up. this summer...and I had no idea what that meant. I sat there, dumbfounded, trying to envision it and no images came to mind. Then on three separate occasions, I spoke with three separate (amazing) women and over and over the word returned...
Adam says I don't know how to do that. I don't live on a Hawaiian beach--how am I supposed to relax? What does that even mean? What about all the STUFF I have to do?
I don't have all the answers, but this is what I've realized for sure... I cannot do everything on my list, so that means, I have to let some stuff go. I have to take the pressure off...like my very wise friend said, "you have to think less about the "GOT TO" and more about the "GET TO." (Thank you for that, JW.)
I never think about the GET TO.
Tomorrow is my kids' last day of school and you know what? I don't want to spend our first summer in our new house sitting in front of my computer worrying about who is finding out about my books or worrying that I'm not doing enough with my blog or being concerned that I haven't figured out the tech side of all the things I want to do.
I actually want to relax.
And make our house a home.
And go on hikes. (Because we live in Colorado now.)
And spend time with my friends.
And go on a real vacation with my family.
And find out what kind of tree this is...
...because it has the most beautiful blossoms...
And make art with my kids.
And go on morning walks with Sophia.
And remember how to ride a bike.
And eat dinner outside.
And write and write and write.
Because there are lots of stories in my heart.
And I'm starting to see the truth about me + the internet.
We don't always get along... because when I'm online, sometimes I'm inspired (there's SO MANY great things out there...) and sometimes I'm overwhelmed (there's SO MANY great things out there...)
And I get sidetracked. Distracted. Because I want to write books and make layouts and papercrafts and take art classes and learn how to take better pictures and yes, even connect with people because my days are free of adult conversation.
So, I'm challenging myself to relax about not doing everything on my list. To spend my days setting up our home. To stop putting the pressure on. To be the mom/wife/friend I've been wanting to be. I'm still going to blog, but once I hit "publish" I'm going to get up and walk away... because life isn't meant to be lived in the confines of a computer.
My word for the summer...Relax.
What about you? Do you find this difficult? Do you struggle to let things go? Do you constantly have more things on your to-do list? How will you find time to relax this summer?