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Going Through the Motions

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

“Welcome to my circus!”

That’s what I felt like as I brainstormed for this post. Sometimes things come together just right, and words flow with purpose and poignancy, landing on the page with poise and confidence, leaving my soul satisfied and accomplished.

Other times, draft after draft dies before it’s done, and big ideas fall tiny and stagnant. In what ways have I been growing as a person, mom, wife, and friend? How has the Lord challenged me in my walk? What have I learned this week worth sharing or encouraging others?


My reality?

In ring one, all the way from family-of-six to mud room, you’ll be amazed by the monumental piles of laundry that seemingly propagated overnight (laundry is the modern mom’s mouse plague). Washed that load four times now, I sure hope it’s enough because I’ve to get the undergarments clean YESTERDAY. And the dishes, vacuuming, garage, and car all hunker in the shadow awaiting their turns.

In ring two, we have on one side - just shy of 18 months - baby Haggie attempting to tame her three year old brother via tickles and fist thumps to the upper body. He, mostly absorbs the blows in a surprising feat of “if baby aint happy, aint nobody happy.” In the other half of the ring, first born son E alternates between sharing the Dallas Cowboys latest game stats and remembering his addition and subtraction facts, while M draws pictures for all of her friends and re-tells fac-titional experiences in an effort to hold her brother’s attention, all while dressed up as a Prima Ballerina.

Ring three will not disappoint. Here, Mom/Wife/Teacher/Friend/Sister/Ministry Partner starts the day feeling accomplished and organized. “I finally figured out how to balance . . .” she may have been overheard saying, right before two or three more things fell off the scale. She’s very eager to get back up and try again, but every so often, sitting and watching the familiar acrobatics is easier than sweeping the dust into a dustpan just sitting in front of the fan.

Okay, so I don’t actually keep a dustpan by the fan, but some days the way things work, it feels like an inevitable upset. Or like the meme that says cleaning up after toddlers is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos.

Sometimes I excel at keeping all the balls in the air, and my eyes on the Master. Other times, life simply becomes about successfully checking the boxes at the end of the day, and I’m running through the motions feeling good about myself for several days in a row before I realize how much time has passed since I sat down to be still and know that our God is God.

Juggling all the balls in the world doesn’t mean a thing if I’m doing it in my own strength, or for my own gain.

Please say I’m not alone?! Do you get going, doing, and patting yourself on the back only to realize your heart is a little blocked up and you aren’t listening (or hearing) the Spirit speak into your life? You’ve got a three ring circus (please hear me, I LOVE my circus and wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING), but your own third ring has replaced the circus Master. No longer are you in rhythm with the purpose divinely appointed you at this time, in this role, but instead you’ve decided, “I’ve got this. It’s not so hard!” Just to find no one really enjoys a circus without the Master. Rest and wisdom, peace and growth are replaced with toil and drudgery, confusion and exhaustion.

I think today I realized how far I had let it go. That even while the expectations on my life hadn’t changed, my dependence upon the Master had. I found myself in front, going through the motions, but not leaning into the Giver of Life and Strength and Purpose. Maybe you’ve been there too. Boy it’s icky. And I repent.

Lord, thank You for Your patience and kindness in dealing with me. I’m sorry for trying to do what You’ve called me to without You. Please forgive me, show me the areas I need to rearrange and let go, and please lead me in Your paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. You are worthy of all praise and honor, and I am humbled by Your grace and endless do-overs. May I return more quickly to Your feet each time I stray. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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