There's something to be said for a quiet life.
In our world, it doesn't happen often. We have to make a decision for it to occur, like giving up our electronics. Going on vacation.
Or sometimes, we're forced into it.
I fit in that category. I had major shoulder surgery 6 weeks ago. It's one of the hardest surgeries I've ever had. And given all the difficult circumstances I've been through in the past couple of months, I made a mental decision to give myself a few weeks off from life and just recover. Emotionally and physically.
I planned the surgery during the summer so it wouldn't interfere with my kid's schooling.
And I have to say, I was amazed at what it felt like to let myself off the "I always have to be productive" hook.
After taking care of everything I could before surgery, like asking my church for help with meals, I planned on recovering.
What a difference.
Dealing with such strong pain post surgery wasn't easy. It made me miss my mom all the more because I'm still a little girl at heart, wanting my mom when I'm not feeling well.
But when things were tough, I kept telling me to give myself grace. That's what I would do for someone else in these same circumstances. So why not apply it to me?
Too, I remembered that God promised not to give me more than He could get me through.
When I needed to cry, I cried.
When I needed to just play a silly video game, I did that.
I learned not to give in to the guilt that crops up....
"You should be more productive."
"You should be strong."
"You shouldn't need help."
That wasn't easy.
I lost people I loved dearly. Grieving takes time.
I was in pain from surgery. I had to get through it.
I needed time to think.
To process everything.
The entire past year.
Slowing down has confirmed what's important in life.
Do the bills need to be paid? Yes.
Do calls need to be made? Yes.
Does the car need to be fixed? Of course.
Life goes on. The mundane and routine goes on.
But ultimately, being in a loving relationship with family, others and God is what really matters.
I'm very thankful I have no regrets with my mom or father-in-law. They both knew how much I loved them. And I spent several weeks this past year caring for both of them.
Of course I miss them.
But I'm thankful for the love we shared.
And I'm committed to loving those around me now. My husband, my kids, my extended family, my friends.
We don't know what life holds around the corner. We need to live with eternity in view. We need to love while we can. To build memories.
And sometimes, we need to take a little time off, for quiet, reflective thought. To focus on what's truly important.