Hope for the Days When You Feel Like You Got Nothing Done

My eight-year-old always stops and says “hi” to his baby sister when we pick him up at the bus stop. He climbs straight over little brother, who blocks his way and clamors for his attention. But he lingers a while over Elise. He smiles and grabs her hand while she coos.

Our four-month-old is teaching us all the art of savoring. She’s showing us how to slow down a bit, to stay in those the little moments.

But oh, how I fight it. It takes an intentional choice to be present, to look my kids in the eye, and focus. To stop thinking about what I have to get done. To stop scrolling through my phone.

A few weeks ago I shared how I felt overwhelmed as I navigated life with three kids, but I think another translation of that statement is, “I’m not getting enough done.”

It’s how we base our worth, isn’t it? The dishes are out of the sink. Check. The laundry is in the washer. Check.

But what if we put a check mark next to the time we spent cuddling the baby? What if we added another item to our to-do list: roll around on bed with five-year-old.

What if we placed as much value on the time spent loving others as we do to getting that work project done?

When my firstborn was a baby, I didn’t savor the time. After leaving my full-time job where productivity was measured in numbers, I felt like I had no compass or boundaries. It took years for me to navigate a life with no commute or schedule.

There are still days when I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing. But every now and then, God gives me a glimpse into his heart. He shows me what’s important, even when I’m forgetful and stubborn.

Jesus was intentional about every moment he spent on earth, but he didn’t rush. And perhaps more importantly, he didn’t make people feel rushed either.

Last week I went through a short study highlighting seven things Jesus said before he died, and what struck me was this: He loved people right up until his dying breath. He didn’t check out emotionally or ignore the people who stood there mocking him and watching him die.

Even while he hung there and suffered, he thought about his mother. He made sure his family was taken care of.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

 John 19:26-27 NIV

Time spent loving others is never wasted.

When we take our last breath and the people around us look back on our lives, they won’t remember how clean we kept our house. And I’m not saying the never wash another dish, although that would be perfect, wouldn’t it?

They will remember the way we loved others. They will remember the relationships we formed and spent time cultivating.

With each child God gives me, he’s teaching me. And baby girl is teaching me how to savor. She’s teaching me how to love all over again.

 

Joining these link-ups: #ChasingCommunity

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9 thoughts on “Hope for the Days When You Feel Like You Got Nothing Done

  1. It’s so cliche to say, but our children are our teachers, aren’t they? Mine are still teaching me, to this day. (Mostly humbling things, ya know? 🙂 ) Thank you for this reminder that dishes don’t make memories. Always a pleasure reading your words, Abby. ((xoxo))

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  2. This such a beautiful post, and Jesus doesn’t rush. Oh, I learned that the hard way, I was always feeling rushed. People rushed me, faith appeared to rush me, I felt so rushed once at a healing service, I was so turned off by it. But i sought Jesus and found that rest and grace. Love that little baby, she won’t be little long.

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    • So true, Becky. They grow way too fast! This likely will be our last, so I am taking time to enjoy it. Thanks so much for stopping here and sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I love this. I think because you and I are kindreds in this “I must earn my right to slow down” mentality. God is driving it out of me with His truth that I don’t have to measure my worth by what I’ve done, but by what He’s done for me. Oh…I think I need to tweet that. 😉 Love you, sister…your words always bring me back to Jesus. xo

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  4. Abby,
    Yes!!! Savor these moments. Everything in God’s plan for you doesn’t have to happen today – that’s why He gives us a lifetime. Each stage we are continually being transformed and recreated. This season of Mommyhood is so brief. I never look back and say I wish that I had gotten more projects done, I always look back and savor the unhurried, unrushed moments and my kids do too. Wonderful post!
    Blessings sweet momma of 3,
    Bev xx

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    • Bev, yes! I don’t ever look back at the time when my two oldest were babies and wish I’d hurried more. Lord, help me. 😉 We are slow learners, aren’t we? Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here, friend. xoxo

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