sign on office door mum is working

Embracing limitation

I admit it, I’ve been jealous of people who have been isolating at home without kids during this pandemic. And all that talk about how we can binge-watch Netflix while learning Spanish and crochet and making sourdough after we’ve cleaned out every single cupboard… it grates. Yes, I have been watching more TV than usual and, yes, I have made sourdough (poorly), but having four kids at home means it’s a juggle to do all the things. All the things are not getting done.

Those four little people have put a serious damper on my productivity, and I struggle with the limitations of that… I struggle with limitations all together, but not in a good way.

It can seem like a noble pursuit to be always pushing against your limits. I’m still working my way out of an unhealthy mindset of ministry where a good girl is one who’s run off her feet, forever saying “yes,” and prioritising everyone else’s needs not out of love but out of obligation.

But it’s sin that has us forever pushing at the boundaries — dissatisfied with Eden and grasping for more, instead of being content that we already have everything we need. Not satisfied with being made in God’s image (Gen 1:26-7), the first Adam wanted to become divine (Gen 3:5). The second Adam (that’s Jesus) instead lay down his divine nature (Phil 2:6) to embrace the limitation of the human nature.

To be limited is a very human thing.

Continue reading

Standard

Working it out in you(r body).

For the longest time I’ve been trying to like exercise. I remember a moment, almost 20 years ago, when I was out for a jog (at that pace, I don’t think it merited the term “run”), and I was struck with a joyous realisation that I was finally being someone who I wanted to be. But I was getting married later that summer, so the wedding-dress motivation was strong.

Fast-forward through a couple of half-marathons and four babies and I am still working at identifying as a person who runs. I don’t do it for the wedding dress, or any dress, any more. I do it for the sanity.

I’m learning more and more that I have to work out my feelings in my body, that I need to deal with stress in my body, and more generally that I just need to be a person in my body – and not a person with a body.

Continue reading

Standard

Go slow

We used to joke that one of our daughters had only one speed in the morning: SLOTH. It was painful to watch as she struggled out of bed, dawdled her way through breakfast and the morning jobs, and then scrabbled to pull it all together as we headed out the door to school. No matter if she was first up, she was always the last to be ready to leave. It used to drive me nuts when we were in a hurry to go somewhere.

But these days, courtesy of the COVID-19 lockdown, we’re not in a hurry, and we’re not going anywhere.

I’ve recently finished John Mark Comer’s book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, which is all about “how to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world” (find the book here, or listen to his teaching on the topic here). And it was like a prescription from heaven for my heart.

Continue reading

Standard
children's library books on a shelf

Physical distancing doesn't have to mean social isolation

We all knew it was coming, but it still felt like a shock: the news that New Zealand is shutting down for the next four weeks to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. I’d been planning a little, running some scenarios through my head, but my brain was still left spinning when I understood that once I got the kids home that day, we were home for the duration. Of course, my first thought was to assess our supply of library books – only natural right? For a panicked moment I thought the library had already closed, but praise God we managed to get there before they closed, and boy did we stock up.

Because, let’s be honest, this is kind of an introvert’s dream, right?! You know, apart from the pandemic part of it.

As much as part of me would like to go to ground, hold my little ones close, and just read, garden, and bake my way through, I also know that I’m going to go crazy if that’s the only plan.

We can’t let physical isolation mean social isolation.

Continue reading

Standard