Friday, September 21, 2012

The Back Burner

In the crazy, busy season of our life that we are in, my friendships have often taken a backseat to my "to do" list and to the people that need me the most (k, d, and c, not to name names...) It's not that I don't value my friends, I do!  I am a social, energetic person who loves being around people, but the longer my "to do" list becomes, the less time I spend outside of my little bubble.

We are getting prepared to move away from WI, a place we have to come to regard as "home," to a new city in MN.  As we get ready, I find myself putting off cleaning the fridge to hang out with a friend.  Or not worrying about the laundry, so that I can make it to the bible study on Friday mornings.  Grocery shopping doesn't HAVE to be done on Wednesdays, since a friend happened to be available for a play date that same morning.  I took the kids out on a long walk because I wanted them to enjoy the trail near our house, rather than getting that long workout in....I am more flexible about my schedule, more engaged with the people in my life, and in general, feeling more happy about the relationships.

It's sad when it takes losing a relationship to make you value it. But as the busyness of life grows in it's demands, I continually put people on the back burner, waiting until there's a little more time to fit them in.... telling myself that we'll have them over for dinner when things 'settle down.'  And as I really begin to lean more heavily on God for comfort these days, in my time of need... it dawns on me that I have done the exact same thing with Him.  My own Creator.  Not realizing that eventually, time does run out.

I have set Him aside while I focused on things that "had" to get done... getting ready for school to start, lesson planning, packing lunches, exercising, getting stuff put together for a non profit I am involved with...

Is it easy to put Him first? Obviously not.  Just like it isn't easy to find a balance between relationships and the stuff that ACTUALLY *has* to get done. But I am guessing the joy that I am experiencing, the peace even in the midst of my exhaustion and sadness over leaving.. it's because my priorities are finally re-shifting back into place.

It takes constant discipline to keep things in the forefront of our minds. God tells us many times in the bible  to "seek first the the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33) to "have no other Gods before Me" (Exodus 20:1)  but living it out practically is much harder. I'm finding that the more I read His Word, the better I do. It sounds silly, easy, ridiculously obvious and simple, but REALLY reading His word takes time!  Something most busy moms just can't afford to set aside.  But finally, I have learned, and will likely have to learn again and again and again, that I really cannot afford not to.


  1. Oh Steph, how glad I am for you. I love the part that says, "the joy that I am experiencing, the peace even in the midst of...." Wow. Such growth I see in you. It has been a privilege to grow with you and I'm going to miss you so much.

  2. I sooooooo get this and it soooooo epidimizes what my struggles have been recently and I can't BELIEVE what a difference that being in God's word can make! What's more, I think you are right about relationships and how losing a relationship can remind you how important they are. I have a sense that those of us who are going to miss you daily are going to grow closer, because when I see Reba, I'll remember you, and when I see Bethany, I'll remember you. And when I'm going to MN for a weekend or a week during the summer, you will be one of the first people I think of to call and say, "How can we squeak in a visit?"
    This journey is never an easy one, and you'll have days when you will wish you were back in Egypt~doing your regular routine that you found comforting and safe and familiar~but God is sending you into a new land, and land for Reid and Steph and their beautiful children, and you will grow into a totally stronger, more faithful, more mothering, more Christ-Centered version of you...
    One of my favorite songs by Sara Groves is Painting Pictures of Egypt:

    I've been painting pictures of Egypt,
    Leaving out what it lacks,
    The future feels so hard and I want to go back,
    But the places that used to fit me,
    Cannot hold the things I've learned,
    And those roads were closed off to me,
    While my back was turned.

    With that being said, remember that Brownie/Girl Scout song too:

    Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold...

    I'd like to think your Mt. Horeb friends will register in your heart as "platinum"...:)