I do laundry in the middle of the night.
I finish school work after my kids are in bed.
I exercise at 9:45 pm.
I find time to read before 5:00 am.
I write when the sky is dark and full of stars.

Sometimes I get a little whiny. Usually it’s when I’m matching socks and the clock is ticking past midnight. I think something like this: Why do I have to fold laundry in the middle of the night? Or even worse: When do I get to do something I want to do?

These are the first thoughts down a slippery trail of survival.

Sometimes I catch myself and give myself a little lecture. It’s not about having too many tasks on my list or feeling tired and a little worn. Life isn’t guaranteed to be easy-peasy. It’s more about living fully.

Just because I think laundry should always be caught up and homework is finished before dinner time and dirty dishes aren’t left in the sink, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong when I’m matching socks at midnight or putting away the dinner dishes before I go to work the next day.

The world has a way of making me believe I’m a failure when I’m overwhelmed.

But what if — what if — feeling a little overwhelmed is a sign of living just where I’m supposed to be? I’m learning when the Lord calls us to do something, we will fail if we go at it alone. My calling is bigger than myself. I can’t do it all — write and teach and work and parent and and and and — on my own strength.

On the days when it feels too much, I need to find strength outside of myself. My greatest source of strength comes from joy. It is written: The joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:11). So even though I don’t feel like it, I will celebrate. I will find solace in pulling a pair of matched socks out of my drawer and having clean dishes to set on the table. Because life is so much more than keeping up. Life is about loving and healing and laughing and making the world a better place today than it was yesterday.

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  1. Linda, you always have the right words at the right time. Remember those words Ruth, you do love big. That's not a bad thing. Don't ever think you are a failure, you are not. God knew what he was doing when he put you and Andy together. Then He had a plan when He sent you the family you needed. His plan is working out for all souls involved. Hugs to you today (and every day you need one!) lc

  2. I, for one, am thankful you are up and writing when the sky is dark and full of stars. Your words are pure comfort to those of us reading them in the light of day.

  3. I love how you connect with the “sky being dark and full of stars.” This is how I felt when giving bottle feedings to my babies in the middle of the night. It was a lonely time, and I felt like I was alone in the world. We are not alone. We live, love, care, and nurture the seeds that will grow to become what they are suppose to be. What more can one do in this life? Better days will come. Things always change.

  4. Thanks for this oh so important reminder. Can't even tell you how many times I have been up, working in the middle of the night, caring about stuff for my family at home or at school, trying, as best as I can, to make my corner of the world a teeny bit better…

  5. I know that you take time to breathe, because only at the moment of pausing and breathing thoughts that support you can come. I hope that you get enough sleep.

  6. “Life is more than keeping up.” Amen to that! Joy through the hard. I appreciate you sharing your learning. We relate. I love reading the comments above. Life is about loving, something you do greatly and to which we reciprocate to you.