The biggest change in my life this year is my lack of involvement. I'm taking some time off of being a part of things. No clubs, no mommy groups, no responsibilities, no commitments. (There is one exception: the women's Bible study at my church where I get encouraged and energized and cared for. I can't quit that, because it means so much to me.)
My small group of high school girls graduated last year, so I planned to take a year off of volunteering with the youth group. I've been helping for 11 years, so it was about time to take a pause. The idea slowly evolved in my head for several months before it came to fruition. I love getting involved in things, I love being part of a group, I love helping others, and I love a good cause. Where some people have a hard time committing and getting out there and saying yes to things, I have a hard time saying no. I used to feel guilty for saying no, but that's not really the case now. I don't like saying no, because I usually have fun participating in that book club, roofing that widow's house, helping with that church group, etc. It's all fun, but it was starting to clutter my life.
All that life clutter was turning me into a machine. I can honestly say I was almost doing it all. Being a homemaker, being a wife & mother, being a servant, being a friend, being efficient in so many ways, but I was doing instead of being each of those things. I was giving so much of myself and it felt good, but not in the right way. Instead of sacrifice and love and joy (even though those were sometimes there), I was feeding off of the attention it got me. What was the bottom line, the honest truth? Here it is: I feel loved when I feel needed. It's gross, but it's true.
My only option was to take a break from all that dysfunction. I have started by pulling out of all my obligations. From the outside looking in, I'm not sure things might look that different, but for me it is. I know that if I hear about that group that is starting or that organization that is forming, I'm not going to join it. I'm free from deciding what to join. The answer is no for now. That doesn't mean I'm not a friend or a mom or a wife or a sister or a daughter or a neighbor. It means that I'm only those things right now.
When I told a friend about what I was going to do, she said that she had done the same thing a year ago and it was the best she's done spiritually. For the few months that I've been free, I've had so much space to learn what being means apart from doing. I haven't found the answer, but I can say this: I'm like 1,000 times more happier and restful now. I'm focusing on receiving God's love. I'm focusing on what true rest means. I'm focusing on sinking in deeper into places that I already am. Pulling away from all those commitments isn't the solution and it won't fix things. It's simply giving me time and space to process my heart and to change how I approach things.
Dear readers, has this happened to you? What did life look like for you? Or, are you on the other side, needing to step in? Do you need to start looking up and reaching out to others? Any verses, advice, or perspective is welcome. Thank you for reading.