Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am a Work Alcoholic!!

Hans and I were chatting the other day about workalcoholism. Not real sure that's a word, but you get it. Well, he was sharing with me that he has always thought himself to do really well in this area of balancing family/work. I used to think we did too.

Recently, at Family Life, we have had to lay off several people due to the condition of the economy. This means less people, but same work load. Hans has been finding himself coming home stressed out, feeling as though he just didn't do enough that day, and having a hard time being really present with us. This has been a topic of conversation for a while for us, and he just came to the realization that maybe he's a workaholic after all. Even though he leaves and says this work will always be here, and now it's time to go home, he comes home torn up over all he still needs to do. He confessed that their are many times it consumes him, and no matter how hard and diligent he was for that day, he still feels as though he should have accomplished more. Hmmmm.......

This got me thinking about myself and my struggle. I have been having a hard time too. We started school in August and since then I feel torn up inside also. I realized that at the end of the day I'm frustrated. I can work myself into a frenzy at night just thinking about all I need to accomplish the next day. Often times my day seems impossible before it's even started. Hans will ask me to voice what I need to do the next day, thinking if I just hear it I'll realize it's not as bad as it seems. Then I give him the list, and he responds by telling me that he's overwhelmed just hearing it, he explains to me how it seems extremely unrealistic to think that any human being could accomplish all that I have set out to accomplish in one day. When I return to my sane mind and think it through, I realize he's right.

I ask you then, why do I continue to put this pressure on myself? I can advise Hans all day long, to just make his list in priority, work diligent to the Lord, and rest at the end of the day by coming home and enjoying his family. The truth of the matter is that a large portion of my "job" is to love on, pour into, and care for our children. I know this is the right  "answer" so why can my heart not grab on to this truth and live as though it really is the truth?

It seems I start living in this dysfunction when my life is stressful or feels out of my control. Hello, six days out of seven my life is stressful. This stress isn't going anywhere, so I must break free from this lie! This is why I love weekends, summer,  people who visit form out of town, or when friends just pop in. For some reason my heart gives my brain permission to rest and enjoy.

I think the frustrating thing for me, is that with six children four of which are homeschooling, two toddlers running wild, laundry, meals, and sanity, there just isn't a whole lot of time for anything else. Why do I think I should be able to have my coffee time with God, workout, blog, school, play with the babies, lunch, clean, laundry, clean out a closet or two, organize my school stuff, cook supper, and oh, have something left for my husband when he comes home. This was my "to do" list yesterday, and when Hans heard it he told me that it was crazy. I knew the night before he was right, but at the end of the day I felt defeated because it wasn't all done. When the Lord called me to home school, I knew this meant sacrifices in other areas, Bible Studies, lunch with friends, spotless house, extravagant meals, meal planning altogether, (praise God for e-mealz), a shower; yeah, I'm not always guaranteed a shower until right before bed. The truth is my heart is willing to sacrifice these things for the call to home school.

I'm not sure of the exact definition of a workaholic, and most days we pull away form the work and say "no", but all the while torn up inside thinking about how we just needed more time to "do" more work. In context of looking at the heart, I think it's the same. So, today I recognize and confess that I am a workaholic.

God, I know enough to know that it's your power alone that changes me. I have just been ponying up and walking away from the work, but still feeling utterly controlled by it. I need your truth to change my heart, this is a heart issue. Continue to call me to Your truth, and let it change me, from the inside out.


Lorren said...

All I know is, you are doing a fantastic job and I am so proud of you! Be encouraged, because what you are doing is making a huge difference. What a legacy!!

Sending support and hugs your way,

mhutsell said...

Again, well said. I too want to be wonder woman and do it all. lord, just let me do what you'd have me do and do that well.

Dena said...

I've been really struggling with this. A sweet friend told me 3 kids ago to make a list of the things or activities I thought needed to be done. Then I was to run that list by my husband to see if there were things or activities on the list that just weren't that important to him so I could let those things go. Seriously, there is nothing on that list anymore that can be ignored. My husband feels strongly about cooked meals, clean clothes, attended doctor appointments, educated children.... Somehow I am mad at him when I can clearly read the list and agree those things need to be done. I wish somewhere in proverbs 31 it mentioned that lady got to sleep 8 hours a night!