My week went down hill last Wednesday morning. Literally. I fell hard and momentarily felt like I re-ruptured my achilles tendon… I was in the kind of pain that burns and tickles simultaneously; I was exhausted from days of planning and preparing wonderful things until 1:30 am; and my monthly visitor had arrived. In short, I was a hot mess.

Wednesday afternoon, I had an appointment with Mary. She is my brilliant counselor. Also my professor, spiritual director, care-taker, truth-teller. {I praise the Lord for good insurance and trained professionals.} That said, I scooted into her office, one leg propped up on my chariot, melted into her couch, and broke. Tears flowed, words erupted: “I am so exhausted and I am in pain and I think I set myself back to day one of healing and I did it all because I didn’t listen!”

See, just before I fell that morning, there was this thought that flew through my head that said, you don’t need to.

You don’t need to.

You don’t need to one-legged hop up those stairs to greet your son. It is unnecessary. You have help. You are trying to do too much. You don’t need to.  And I hopped right through that thought and into the cement.

I so often get myself in trouble because I am doing too much. Doing the unnecessary. Not pausing. Not listening.

Mary’s challenge to me just weeks before was to notice. Notice what you are noticing. Could it be that the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the God that made your five senses, could be posted up just behind them, using them to speak, to warn, to connect, to prod… to communicate to you? Notice.

Despite my self-deprecation, Mary looked at me and with an empathetic smile but a sparkle in her eye said, “You noticed.”  As if I won, as if I accomplished something. No, I didn’t heed that little voice. I crushed it. But I noticed. Victory. Now the challenge was to notice, and listen.

So Thursday, I listened.

I had a revelation in the midst of stacking blocks with my son, that for weeks, I would respond cavalierly to friends who asked about my day things like, “I didn’t accomplish anything; Wesley is crazy and dumped cereal, drew on the wall and took a dunk in the toilet in the 5 minutes I tried to respond to an email.”IMG_20140911_100436

It wasn’t enough that I didn’t have two working feet; this little 2 year old man had overtaken any efficiency I had left!

And then I thought about that comment, “I didn’t accomplish anything…” And I was deeply convicted. I thought, if I had a coffee date with a friend, they would have my full attention, not me pausing to take calls or fill out W4s.  Not eyes wandering and back turned. No. Present. Listening. Engaged. And just because my little person is not yet incredibly articulate, he sees me. He needs me. His heart and mind are being shaped and his identity is being secured. Just because I have just one little man home and now “could get so much more done”, does my one little one need any less of me? Sure, I want to write and “accomplish” and produce and tick away just a few things off that list.

But then, what really is accomplishment?

And I looked hard at this little man in front of me, the one shooting down blocks with a Nerf gun and giggling hysterically. The one yelling “Turn OFF” anytime I picked up my phone. The one backing up into my lap from 3 feet away anytime he wanted a story read to him…

And I promptly rewrote my calendar. On Monday, Thursday and Friday, it says 9-12: Wesley. My best coffee dates of the week, even if they are laden with blocks and less coffee and more “mooeets” {smoothies}.  And victory. A whole lot of victory in that little man winning my attention. My whole self for that few hours of the week.

If anything, this tendon rupture is healing a rupture in my heart that has long been a misdiagnosis of what accomplishing anything really means.  Sure there might be interruptions, but no longer will my little person be the interruption. Being with him is accomplishing more than I could ever imagine.

2 thoughts on “Accomplishments

  1. Thank you Emily… for always being so honest and REAL in your blogs! I get so much from them personally! This one especially. I’m a “do’er” too…and I do not NOTICE or LISTEN enough to my body, my surroundings, and even, sometimes, my own 3 children. They are truly the BEST and I so vividly remember being in those years with 2 toddler boys and then 3 with my daughter… It can be overwhelming, but in a good way, right? So loved getting to know your little boys and watching my 3 children learn to be “kids” again in a time when sitting down and playing is often overlooked! Something about watching my 14 and 17 year old boys playing with your boys, building legos and playmobile pirates, along with some NERF… that just made me MISS those days so very much! So from one mom who is far beyond those days… Keep listening and noticing! It all goes far too quickly!!!
    Hoping you continue to heal and no more falls! 😉


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