I’m not every woman

How can a day be this full without me splitting from the weight of it? How does this one woman with a weak will keep her eyes on the eternal when the temporal is so very LOUD all the time?

Just this morning, I got two kids to school (after warnings that I wouldn’t remind them what they needed to do, then disappointment, then a tiny bit of yelling after a boomerang wooshed within centimeters of my face when ALL THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING is getting snow pants on).

These are the mornings when the tears are freshly wiped dry before they jump from the minivan door and run into the building that will keep them for the next six hours, and every time I think What did I do wrong?

Then the two-year-old and I got groceries, which always involves a bit of shouting loud enough to fill the store (his, not mine this time) when the trip lasts longer than 20 minutes and he is finished with his cookie and is restless.

Then I drop him off with Grandma (oh sweet amazing grandma and wonderful freedom, but then am I really free?), race home, put away groceries, get supper in the slow cooker, eat a handful of candy, change into meeting clothes, and run out with my camera to the school building again, this time to take some photos for the yearbook, which is not started and is due in five days. I am sweating when I get back in the van and rush off to the meeting, for which I’m 10 minutes late, then come home and start the once-an-evening fight with the 6-year-old over homework, which I’m not crazy about either, but I’m not organized or creative enough to work out a homework exemption plan.

And now I think I’m partly writing this to get your sympathy.

Or to show what I accomplished today.

Which is not the point, but so much of this mothering is done invisibly, no? Sometimes I just want someone to see me.

While I was peeling the carrots for the slow cooker, right in the middle of this frantic day, I began singing.

I sang aloud, alone in my own kitchen, to stay afloat.

I danced through the prep while I glanced at the clock, singing truth louder than the din of busy:

I’m not every woman
It’s not all in me
I’m proud and guarded
When it comes to my needs

Try to keep the whole thing rolling
Try to keep an on-time train
This frenetic fascination’s really driving me insane

Anybody feel that?

I’m finite
I come to an end
I’m finite
I will not pretend

I still felt beat down by the end of the day. Its fullness, busyness and push wore me right down to the end of me. But then I arrived back here, in my neglected safe place, in this spot where I know I’m heard, valued, accepted, loved because He says it is so and it doesn’t matter what I did or didn’t do today. It matters not whether I measured up or found favor. For these tasks I’ve been given — yes, they’re important and valuable. But they do not make me important and valuable. I am worthy already. Worthy anyway. Worthy though I am finite, though days like this are too much.

Because like I learned in Africa, it’s when I finally come to the end of myself that I begin to see where He has been all along. When I can drop the facade of competence, of hustling and approval, then I see what he has seen all along: Worthy now.


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5 comments on “I’m not every woman

  1. Jules says:

    I love this! And I adore Sara Groves and how she makes beauty out of our everyday madness. It is all okay. It is all okay. It is all okay. You, friend, I have missed your voice. I am so glad to see and hear you again. Thanks for reminding me of God’s grace when I stumble.

    • Yes, her entire album (Invisible Empires) is like this for me — beauty in the madness. The first lines of the first song are, “Lay down your arms / Give up the fight / Quiet our hearts for a little while…” And thanks for asking me this weekend what I’m writing. I feel more myself now that I’ve found my words again.

  2. This is so poignant, Kim.

    And in a way, isn’t a relief to drop that burden? (It is for me.) I love the Beth Moore that says: You are not big enough to mess God up. It’s tremendously freeing to know it’s up to Him, not me. It never was about me.

    • Thanks, Kelly. Yes, it’s absolutely such a relief! I remember in Uganda two years ago, trying to hold on so tight and steer things the way I thought they should go, and then when I finally released my hands and surrendered, it was such a weight lifted. I’m not sure how I forget all the time how much it’s not about me. Thank God.

  3. stacey says:

    Love visiting and seeing and reading your words again, Kim.