The importance of leaving some slack (or, finishing weak in 2013)

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year 2014

 

It’s no secret, if you’ve read this blog, that I’ve been away for a little while.

It wasn’t really planned, but at some point, somewhere around October or November, I hit the wall. I suddenly had barely enough in the tank to do the things I had to do, with nothing left for the extras.

It actually started somewhere back in July. At that time, Anna and I were busy trying to help pull a worship leader’s conference together and Anna was trying to crank out some custom quilts for her Etsy.com store. On a high note, we also pulled off a nice little worship night featuring original songs with some friends at Hope Vineyard. It was tiring, but fun.

And then August, worship conference. Good, again, but tiring. And there was payoff. More confidence in leading, more confidence in playing.

September – more quilts, Levi starts Kindergarten, and Anna plans a friend’s wedding in full force, which occurred first week of October.

Around that time, we had also been following the story of Phoebe Fair, a 4-year-old girl who was battling an aggressive form of childhood cancer. She lost that battle and passed away October 5. For reasons I can’t totally explain, this was about the time I felt like I dropped to my knees to catch my breath and never quite got back up. Maybe it’s a feeling deep down that words are inadequate sometimes. Maybe it’s a deep seated fear within me. Maybe I just hadn’t given myself a real breather in too long, and it finally caught up with me. Nonetheless, that week was like a pause button.

A few more weeks of recovery, then at the beginning of November, one of my uncles took his own life. We decided we really needed to go to Virginia for the funeral, especially to be there for my Dad, whose brother it was. More time of reflection and contemplation. I went back for couple a EMDR sessions again to deal with the trauma of the situation.

The rest of November we tried our best to help my parents prep their house for my Sister, her Husband, and two young children to move in. Because of all the family trauma, we ended up somewhat short of the goal, though they did, in fact, move in. Then Thanksgiving, though it was fairly uneventful, and even kind of nice.

December came with little drama, up til Christmas, when we stayed with Anna’s family for a week. Sometimes, too little space can eventually breed drama, and this year was no exception. On top of this, almost everyone in the house contracted either a cough or fever or both. My fever lasted 5 days, Levi’s lasted 8.

The moral of this short catalog is to leave yourself space for the unexpected to happen. Give yourself room to deal with imperfection. As much as I know my own actions are to blame, for some of my shortcomings this year, I also believe that God was actively preventing us from getting much done. I believe he was asking us to slow down. So, here’s to 2014. This year, I resolve to slow down, appreciate the life I have and the people around me, and to make space for the things I really love.

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  • Rebecca Schulte Clark

    This quote has stuck with me, “In fact, I think I’m going to officially declare 2014 the “Year of the Sloth” so that everyone will be forced to slow down and make consistent, methodical progress rather than chasing sexy goals for a few weeks and then flaming out”–James Clear, entrepreneur magazine
    2013 was brutal, feeling like I was barely hanging on to the bullet train. Here’s to a slower new year.