I subscribed to Emily Freeman’s newsletter, and as a result I got a PDF file of a “weekly guide” to A Million Little Ways. I’m trying not to read it all at once, because I find that I am having trouble remembering. I read something all at once, and then it’s drowned in the day to day life and only little crumbles remain. Still, I read day 1 and 2, both simply reminders of what was in the book: don’t Just, and don’t be afraid of limits, which serve to make you more creative and aware of God.
I Just all the time. I’m Just doing school. It’s Just physics. I Just did chores. I Just visited friends. I Just rested. I Just took a bath. I devalue everything I do with the Just–even when I don’t say the Just, I’m thinking it. And even when I stop saying the words, I have a hard time changing my attitude. I did Just do school today. Online school, at that. I struggle to see any kind of value in it, or to see anyway I might have had an effect on others, or even learned anything myself. In my mind, it has Waste Of Time stamped on it.
But yet I equally believe that God called me to it, and I have a lot of difficulty in squaring the two. I guess the idea is that I need practice seeing God at work. Even in the thing I call Just School.
The other idea is the limitations one. I’m all set to agree with this one, until she says stuff like failure, fatigue, grief and burnout can also be those limits we can accept as gifts. I’m NOT ready to accept that one. But she says limits help us draw lines, and limits help remind us to be human. In my mind, limits are something to overcome. But there is something kind of haunting in the suggestion that God speaks to us through limits. That not only can I NOT do it all, but that I shouldn’t be trying or valuing doing it all. That there is a value in refusing to try to do it all.
There is a part of me that feels like a failure for not being able to do it all–and do it all in a graceful, unstressed manner. There is another part of me that is desperate to be told that not only is it “okay” to not do it all, but that it is right, and good, and better, and true to not do it all. I’m scared to hope that it might be okay to not do it all, because what happens if I find out later that I’m wrong? If I find out I really failed by not even trying any more?
I want to rest, and I want to believe that God wants me to rest; I’m secretly afraid He’s going to be mad at me for slacking. What if He sent the limits? I am sure that He did. I am not sure how to hear Him.