My name is Kelly and I suffer from “always-need-to-be-on-the-move”- itis. In laymen’s terms… I don’t sit well. I never really have.
I remember as a kid the worst punishment my parents could give me was to make me go to my room by myself. I always wanted to be on the go. Don’t get me wrong; God used this quality in a lot of good ways. I love people and quickly found ways to be around them and serve them with hopes of sharing the Gospel.
However, somewhere in my mid-20s the gift of energy God gave me quickly turned into a way for me to avoid, even fear, the quiet. I began to believe that if I filled my schedule and did a lot during the day, time would pass quickly and I could go to bed feeling truly accomplished. This was a lesson I also passed on to my children, and any time at my house doing nothing became a struggle.
By the time I was in my mid-30s, I began to find my identity in my busyness, and I used it to avoid dealing with hard issues that were happening at home. I became so good at it that over time I didn’t even realize I had made busyness an idol, and my need for being around other people was becoming a sinful chain in my life that sought to enslave me.
Then it happened. The issues at home became unavoidable. Eventually, my husband moved out and suddenly my children were only with me half the time. This meant that the other half I was faced with a quiet, empty house. In an attempt to avoid dealing with my feelings and actually spending time confronting my fear and shame, I filled my schedule. I ran from one event to another, reverting to my trusty coping mechanism—busyness.
It all came to a halt suddenly when a friend stopped me one day and said, “Kelly, you need to slow down. Take time to find the beauty in the mundane areas of life. Stop defining yourself by how busy you are. God will speak to you in the quiet.” Beauty in the mundane? God will speak in the quiet? I wish I could say I responded well, but my entire body shuddered.
It wasn’t until weeks later when friends cancelled plans and I had nowhere to go that I finally faced that quiet house. I didn’t really know what to do with myself, so I grabbed my Bible and found myself in Ecclesiastes. As I poured over the pages, I was reminded that King Solomon also did not like to sit still. He looked at life and wondered what the meaning of all of it really was, and he stayed very busy trying to figure it out. He tried everything his great riches and position as king allowed: great achievements, relationships, extravagant parties, and so much more. Although these things provided what he thought was fulfillment for a time, he soon found it all to be vanity…striving after the wind. It wasn’t until he sat in the quiet that he discovered the only thing that would provide true satisfaction in life: live for God, “for apart from him, who can eat or who can have enjoyment?”
So fellow moms, as we face 2023 I pray that we not define ourselves by our busyness but that we find the beauty in the mundane moments of life. For it is in these moments God often pierces the silence and reminds us that we are his and that only he can provide true fulfillment.