I am a doer.
In every personality profile I have ever taken this is a constant theme. Achievement, success, goal-oriented, focused, capable, high capacity...whatever you call it, I do. In all of this I very easily slip into human-doing mode rather than human-being.
Well, let me be the first to admit...having a child throws this whole, 'getting-things-done' stuff out the window. Sure, I still do...a lot. I work full-time, cook almost everything from scratch, workout, clean the house, have a social life...I get plenty done. But I am not nearly as efficient as I used to be...and I have far less time on my hands now that I have a tiny person who has their own needs and agenda.
So, because I am a doer I have started getting up early...and I mean early. 4am early. Yup, 4...in the morning...everyday. I get up, work out, shower, get ready, make lunch, make breakfast, get Immy ready, try to drink a cup of coffee without having to microwave it three of four times [that, my friends, is a rare day], and then get out the door to get to work on time. And even while I get up at an unholy hour every morning...time flies. It gets filled with all the things I need to DO in order to start my day!
Now, the reason I can get up so early is because I am a morning person - by 9pm I'm making my way into bed with my book...and by 9:15pm I am usually drooling on my pillow with said book draped over me. As a pastor I always tell people to give God your best time. If you're best in the morning, spend time with God then. If you're a night owl hang out with God in the evening. This used to work great for me...until I had a child - who takes up a considerable amount of my morning.
So, in the midst of getting ready I tried to squeeze in my devotional time. I value this time and I love to read God's word. Except lately I had found myself putting it off, or rushing through it, or settling down to start right as Immy starts to cry. It became another thing to DO. And truth be told, because I actually wanted it to feed my soul rather than be something I do for God, I just didn't do it.
However, recently I purchased a lullaby album that sings through Scripture so I could listen to it with Imogen. Turns out I liked it so much I started putting it on in the morning while I was getting ready. And my soul came alive. These sung words felt like water to my parched soul. They stuck in my head, sunk into my heart, and soon I found myself hearing them in my dreams and waking up to them in my head. They rang over my work and stayed with me during my commute.
I had felt so guilty that I had not been DOING my devotionals that I didn't realize that God was graciously GIVING me what I needed. Instead of reading God's word so I could learn it or know it or study it, I received God's word so it could encourage me, sustain me, renew me, remind me, guide me.
I teach a lot about seasons - especially seasons of life. And I see parents with young children struggling around issues of faith. They just don't have time to DO one more thing...sometimes parenting requires being a human-doing than a human-being...or at least there are a lot of doing moments and fewer being moments. Yet, to be with God, to let God give to me, to receive and be blessed...this has filled me up in ways that I could not have done for myself. I am soaking in God's word - I am finding being in the midst of doing...and the being is becoming louder and louder.
In this season of life I need to find new ways to be with God, to be in God's presence. I highly value reading scripture, but the truth is in this season my brain is tired, my body is tired, and my soul is tired. To get through my day requires enormous discipline on every level. And when it comes to spending time with God...well discipline just feels like a soul-draining word if it means doing more. As I let God's word be sung over me I realize that just being there - frazzled and frantic as I may be - is enough for God. He can take care of the rest. I am finding in this season His yoke is easy and His burden light...if only I would stop trying to do for God, and instead be with God.
For my other weary travelers out there...my doers...I invite you to look around and see where God is giving you the gift of His presence...and all you have to do is receive it. Soak it up, and let it refresh your tired soul. Be a human-being for a moment...you can always get back to human-doing eventually.
PS - For those who would like to check out the lullaby album you can find it here.