I know you feel like you are juggling 500 things at all times. And not just 500 small things. You’re holding your breath while you juggle 500 large flaming batons that are also probably covered in snot, or poop. I get it. You can’t just let that stuff fall down all willy-nilly and get all over your Cheerios-covered floor. In some cases, you might feel like you’re balancing all that while literally juggling children and babies.
It’s may be a part of motherhood to balance a baby on both hips, but there’s a danger in all that other baton juggling. But we also lose our ability to be truly still when we’re constantly overstimulated and over-committed.
The other evening, I realized that the reason I get bored watching TV in the evening is that I’m not multi-tasking enough. When did a talking, flashing box of technology cease to entertain me? Now I need the television, my laptop, and an occasional glance at my phone, too. Oh, and a snack. Because I’m not busy enough while I’m relaxing…
And just so you know, I’m talking directly to myself here. I am always trying to squeeze in one more task to get every ounce of productivity out of the day that I can. Right now, I’m writing this post to you, using my phone to manage social media mentions and comments for a freelance client of mine, checking email when it pops up in the corner of my screen, and finishing my lunch. Plus, the dishwasher is running and there’s laundry in the washer and dryer that I’m working on moving over and folding as I “take breaks” from working. Oh, and dinner is cooking in the slow-cooker on the kitchen counter. I feel breathless just typing it all out.
When I go this hard all day long, it’s too hard to slow down in the moments where it matters. I’m so tempted by the allure of multi-tasking that I’ve all-too-often looked away from my son’s smiling face to write an email. I’m so addicted to my phone’s notifications that I’ve snuck minutes of work in the wee hours of the morning while my husband snores peacefully beside me. Or worse, I’ve wasted precious date-night moments trying to multi-task when I should have simply shut the laptop and given my husband the attention he craves and deserves.
Even more disheartening is when I’ve caught myself multi-tasking time and attention away from my Father God. When I should be curled up at the feet of Jesus with my bible, when I should be quiet in prayer, deep in conversation with my Father, I find my mind running on a double track, making a to-do list on one side of my brain while I check off my prayer list on the other.
You do it too, fellow multi-tasking momma. And we’re doing ourselves and our families a disservice. We’re never going to multi-task ourselves into being more like Jesus.
In moments like this, I’m reminded that I’m often like Martha, working diligently to get things done, probably multi-tasking all the while, making a meal, cleaning up after her visitors, looking after everything in the household… while our sister Mary sits at Jesus’s feet.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:41-42
What’s important will not be taken away. God is faithful to bless us when we seek Him. He provides rest for us when we’re weary. He’s our hiding place. He has promised us peace.
This life isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. And things do need to get done. But I want to change. I am desperate for peace in my soul. I long to sit outside in the warm sunshine and listen to the wind as God whispers truth into my life. I want to remember what it feels like to breathe, really breathe deep, savoring the amazing creation we are as God’s children. I want to get back to a place where I’m okay with doing one thing at a time. Where I have undivided attention to focus on whatever I choose. When I can breathe.
Breathe with me.
I’m inviting you to join me, fellow-multi-tasking momma, as we turn off the technology and embrace a single-focus for today. Even just for one hour of truly passionate playtime with our kids. Even just for twenty minutes of prayer while listening to the water slosh during a moment alone doing dishes while dad puts the kids in the bathtub. Even just for five minutes of standing in the warm water of a quick shower before starting the busy day ahead.
Momma, let’s breathe today.