productivity

May 5, 2010 by

productivity


i read a great book years ago called “having a mary heart in a martha world” by joanna weaver. it talks about the story of mary and martha, and about how martha sat at the feet of Jesus while martha ran around like a chicken with its head chopped off trying to get a meal together for her guest. most the time, i think moms feel like martha, like “holy crap, Jesus is at my house, and it’s a mess, and i’ve got to whip up something delicious, fast, and look at mary, just kicking back, talking to Jesus. awesome, mary, i hate your guts.” now, had martha been thinking, she’d have been like “Jesus, can you whip up some food and some wine so we can get this party started properly?” but, hey, maybe that’s just me. what Jesus taught martha was the better thing is to have a heart like mary, which was a heart that knew that the right priority in that moment was to sit next to the great Teacher, not cook.

thinking about this lately has made me realize the priority for me has to be the baby i’m carrying, my children, my husband, and my faith. nothing more, nothing less. it’s important for me to rest, and it’s okay to rest. and it’s important for to me to be able to feel well enough that i don’t want to rip someone’s head off or scream at them, which is essentially what i want to do, altogether too much (like tonight, when it was 6:45, and i hadn’t yet fed my kids dinner {yes, because i was painting} and someone apparently spilled greasy greek dressing all over the floor in the kitchen AND the foyer. and walked all in it and tracked it around because silly me, i thought it was water that had been tracked in. so i had to wash the floors. and THEN make dinner. and try to put my kids to bed before 10:00. aaahhh, one can only laugh…).

times like these have led to me being reflective on why it bothers me so much that i can’t get a whole lot done beyond the basics (because when i can’t, i chide myself and call myself lame, so i guess i’m a work in progress). as i thought about it, i realized i have this thing for productivity. it’s sort of like crack for me. i like it, i want it, i need it. it is GOOD. now, don’t confuse productivity with busyness. i do NOT like to be very busy. productivity is different. it’s efficiency. input. output. it’s when i can accomplish ridiculous amounts of things in short periods of time, especially lurking, looming items on my to-do list, or things i’ve been dying to get to. it’s part of my genetic code, this desire for being productive.

so you can imagine what it’s been like for me the past 3 months, feeling nauseous (times infinity) from sunrise to sunset, and not really going (or wanting to go) above and beyond the basics of feeding and diapering my children. i don’t want to do laundry, dishes, make phone calls, send emails, clean my house, make meals, play with children. ANYTHING. despite my very genetic makeup, i simply cannot be productive. i want to lay. on the couch. in silence.

you can also imagine THAT’S probably not going to happen. unfortunate and frustrating when you sort of want to throw up everywhere, but you can’t. and won’t. and then you have to…live life and nurture others. and treat them with kindness. and love. and patience.

so then, i’ll bet you can also imagine how ECSTATIC i am, because for the past 48 hours, i’ve been motivated! i feel (sort of almost) like myself, ish. am i still feeling sick? well, yes. but i feel like God has divinely intervened and blessed me with enough extra energy and esprit to bring me just a little bit of the joy and satisfaction i get from being able to clean the house, cook meals, do laundry, and heck, paint my living room! (more on that soon. it IS fabulous!) i cannot explain it any other way, because nothing is different. right now, at 9:36 pm, i feel gross. same gross that i felt at 9:36 am. but that’s just it- it’s not me that’s doing it. it’s him IN me.

despite a social and work agenda for the month that is absolutely staggering and on the verge of overwhelming (doctors visits for me and e, girls night out, work, couples group meetings, friends visiting from WA [canNOT wait], art gallery openings [also ecstatic], mother’s day, an open church meeting, a car wash/bake sale fundraiser [more on that to come], graduation parties, eli’s birthday party, and a 7-day trip to florida with two small children (which i have BARELY considered), somehow, God is giving me peace. AND energy. honestly, i’m exhausted just thinking about this month, it’s true, and part of me wants it to be june (please?). i’m too quick to forget how many things are not in my hands (ahem, all of them) and i’ve been grateful that God’s been teaching me to focus on the right priority. to be satisfied doing much, and doing little. to sit at his feet, and also to accomplish what i need to, when i can. just not when he’s visiting. i mean, let’s not be rude when Jesus stops by, right? ;)

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