One Month Later, Getting Bogged Down, & Why I Need My Community

It is easy to get bogged down with life. With the business of life and the busy-ness of life. With the dailiness and the ordinariness of life. With hectic stress–if that’s your life–and with boredom and mindlessness–if that’s your life.

It’s easy to get bogged down.

It’s easy to forget that there is more to life than all the tasks on our to-do list we manage to cross out, all the things on our “someday” list we won’t ever check off, all the things that flit in and out of our brains and never make it onto a to-do list at all.

I wrote those above lines back during Lent. That’s how bogged down I’ve been. Most of my Lenten blog posts were left half-written.

In fact, I signed in to Texas Schmexas today and realized it had been nearly a month since my last substantial post. How can that be?

Actually, I can tell you how that can be. My child turned one, my in-laws were in town, my mom was in town. We had a stomach bug or food poisoning or something just plain old yucky, myriad colds and allergies and other hangers-on. We had a missions day with our church, we’re teaching Sunday school this month, and the hubster’s semester ended, which means finals and grading and baccalaureate and commencement. We had Mothers Day. We got our garden started, eaten by bugs, started again.

Don’t get me wrong: we’ve had some awesome community thrown in there, too. Last weekend, for example, we had our friend Hazel’s first birthday party, a moms’ pampering day with my girlfriends, a trivia night fundraiser for Hospitality House, and our monthly potluck after church.

Oh, and it is supposed to be 88 degrees today. Blech.

During this season in my life, though, I’ve realized something. God has provided what I’ve needed when I’ve needed, and God has provided it through my community.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me how I was doing in Sunday school. I wasn’t doing so well at that moment and I told her so. I felt like I had to, even though I’m not a very confessional kind of gal. This friend does, as fate would have it, happen to be a professional counselor. She looked at me, touched my arm, and said, “Do one thing every day that brings you joy.”

Joy.

I needed that right then.

A few weeks after that, at a women’s reading group I attend at church, the leader looked at me (and at my friend Carol, who is the only other thirty-something member of the group) and said to us, “You two are miles ahead of where I was at your age.” Now, this woman is the mother of five successful children, all out of the nest, and is a leader in our church, an MFA-graduate, a poet, and an award-winning public school teacher. She inspires me, and I don’t say that about just anybody. So when she looks me in the eye to say, You are doing a good job, I believe it.

I also had a friend tell me recently that maybe I needed to get better at saying ‘no.’ The thesis can wait if it needs to, she said. If blogging was stressing me out, let it go, she said. If the to-do list was stressing me out (I am queen of the to-do list after all), get rid of it. Things that are important will get done, she said.

I didn’t get rid of the to-do list, but I listened to what she said. And I thought about it a lot.

Sometimes we need our communities to step in with some encouragement, with some guidance, with some love. I hope you have a community like that. Because otherwise, life can bog you down.

Or maybe that’s just me.

All of that to say, sometimes Texas Schmexas is on the back-burner. I’m still thinking about community, and talking about community, and, well, living in a community. But not writing about it here. And that’s okay with me.

Hope it’s okay with you, too.

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6 comments on “One Month Later, Getting Bogged Down, & Why I Need My Community

  1. Liz's Dad says:

    love you Liz and looking forward to hugging you soon. Good blog and good advise for us all!

  2. Sara says:

    Good for you! Back burners are good… they use time to transform ho-hum into savory.

  3. Melinda says:

    Oh, I just love Sara’s comment! It’s going in my keeper file. A very long time ago I had a wise friend tell me I needed to learn to say no to some things or risk getting burned out on everything. She also added that by saying no, I was giving someone else an opportunity. I’m a slow learner but I do think of her advice often.

    • elizabeth says:

      I like the idea of giving someone else an opportunity to serve by saying ‘no.’ Why is it that at most churches, there are maybe a dozen people who pretty much do everything to keep the church ministries running? To go with the Pauline metaphor, where are the toes and the ears and the teeth and the kneecaps?

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