intensely trivial


I have a dirty secret to confess. No, really, it’s bad.
Here it is:
I like tasks more than people.
My ambitions get out of control sometimes, crowding out the love. That’s what’s been happening lately. As I’ve become more engrossed in my midwifery studies, my heart has been pulled away from my children and my husband. I knew things were out of whack, but I couldn’t think straight to take steps to correct my ship’s listing. So (to my credit) I asked Dan for some honest feedback, and he gave me some, and it was a real bummer.
When things get busy or intense for me, I go faster. I run faster, I eat faster, I sleep faster, I read faster, I listen faster. I check everything off my list, but I’ve never actually been there in the moment, because I did it all so fast you couldn’t even see me. It’s a special superpower I have — along with the ability to deal with bodily fluids.
But God in his kindness allows me to ask questions of the honest, loving people in my life, and then they gently help me see the truth — that I am missing out on what’s important. In my all-fired hurry to meet my God-directed, God-blessed goals, I have shut off the love. And if I give my body to be burned and have not love, then all my accomplishment is but a harsh discord and nothing of beauty. Oh, I am so foolish sometimes.
It is my tendency to go to extremes, but this time I’m choosing to control myself and not dive headlong into condemnation. I’m pretty sure God is not asking me to stop studying midwifery, to homeschool my kids, to close my doula business, or to quit running.
But here is the first step I’m planning to take: Sleep more slowly. That is, take an hour longer to do it every night.
It’s possible that (ahem) listening to my body in this respect will increase my resilience to the point that I won’t be sleep-deprived-insane every day and I might possibly have the ability to focus (what a novel idea!) on my two precious children and my precious man. Maybe if I’m a little less exhausted I could say yes more often to the proposals that come my way.
And second: I need to make peace with the possibility of needing more than three years to finish my midwifery program. What would that hurt, really? (Really, I have to talk myself down when it comes to that prospect.)
I still wonder, is balance an illusion in this life? I bet there is no such thing as perfect balance this side of heaven, no matter how many Priority Living groups you’re part of, or how disciplined you are, or how many vacations you take. But it’s worthwhile to strive for more of it. The other alternative, to trample on people created in the image of God, is fearsome indeed.


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  1. * Terri says:


    Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  2. This is beautiful, Rachel. (((hug)))
    I came to this point in my midwifery studies a bit ago, as well. I feel okay with it taking as long as God needs it to, as long as my primary ministry (family) is being cared for first. If Precious Jewel is left behind in the dust of my fervor for helping birthing women, its all been in vain. :/
    You are an amazing woman.
    Speaking of love and relationships – lets get together soon. 🙂

    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Ann says:

    i get this. totally, rachel.

    ask eric sometime about what it was like when i was in nursing school…and i had my first big exam…and i freaked out on him and kaylie (lily and emily weren’t born yet)…not pretty. at. all.

    i found my “mojo” eventually…didn’t have time to run, or bake, or craft, or doing anything really fun…until later…much later. kept my eyes on eric, kaylie and jesus. not necessarily in that order…mostly with jesus first…and when i didn’t (or don’t)…that’s when everything gets all chaotic and not so pretty.

    back then i had not been influenced so heavily by the homeschool/stay at home mom crowd…not that being influenced by them is bad…certainly not…but my expectations of myself and what i thought i should be doing as a wife, mom, proverbs 31 woman were pretty low. thankfully. because i would have freaked out on my family more because i would have felt i needed to be an excellent wife, mom, proverbs 31 woman AND student nurse. ewww. disappointment all around.

    i graduated magna cum laude from wsu 1997, was president of my class…learned so much academically…and then worked full time for 6 months. haven’t worked full time in nursing since…never will. and balance came to our family…it just looked different as a part time nurse…AND excellent wife, mom and proverbs 31 woman. 🙂

    and this is why i’ve dabbled, prayed, thought about…prayed…talked with eric…prayed more about…returning to grad school/midwifery school….i don’t yet know how to manage my studies and be/do the things i know in my heart i am to be doing right now…and God hasn’t made it all that clear He wants me to be doing something else anyway. i’m content with His portion right now. 🙂

    i’ll be praying for you and your family…cheering you on from the sidelines…and watching how you navigate the next few years. yes, it’ll probably take longer than 3…so what? you wouldn’t rush a good loaf of bread, would you?


    Posted 7 years, 2 months ago

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