March 8th, 2010

Being a motivated planner has its good side and its bad side.

Benefits?  Doing the strategic thinking ahead of time so that it doesn’t need to be done constantly.  Putting it on paper means it doesn’t have to stay in the brain, so there’s less chance of forgetting important things.  (In other words, if it ain’t written down, it don’t exist.  Hehehe.) Accomplishing more overall.  Getting ahead instead of always running behind.

Drawbacks?  For me they are that I tend to run on High while the energy lasts.  My mother taught me not to put off until tomorrow what I can do today, so I don’t.  Besides, if I stop to rest, I might not accomplish everything on that list.  And it will still be sitting there looking at me next week.  And I will be sorry.

Sometimes, writing it all down and looking at the big picture backfires on me.

In one way, these past few days have been extremely productive~

After Friday’s Kitchen Day, we now have a total of 24 meals in the freezer.  In addition to those, there are 11 side dishes, 9 (two dozen) muffin mixes, 12 (9×13) cornbread mixes, 8 (two dozen) buttermilk biscuit mixes, 8 pizza crusts (two meals’ worth for us), 3-4 gallons of pancake/waffle mix, 8 (9×13) gingerbread mixes, 3 (9×13) apple crisps (sliced apples and topping frozen separately), a 9×13 ice cream cake and about 10 dozen frozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough balls.  At our usual suppertime, we rushed the four oldest out the door to a Game Night at our friends’ house.  I still had several things I wanted to finish in the kitchen, but my four best helpers were gone, so I doggedly did what I could until I HAD to stop and rest at around 10:30 PM or so, and saved the last two tasks for the next day.  I kept telling myself that I would be so glad for all this work later on.  And I should have a sense of satisfaction looking over that list.  But for some reason, all I can think of is how fast it will get eaten and how soon I can turn more ingredients into meals.

On Saturday, I made the mistake of walking into the basement without sending a SWAT team down ahead of me.  I spent a good part of the rest of the day determinedly throwing away useless stuff again, organizing all the storage shelves again, and cleaning down there again.  Then I banned anyone under the age of 13 from entering that space without permission from me.  All toddlers have been banned permanently.  So just maybe, that job will stay done.  I suppose that is satisfying as far as it goes.  But why do I keep thinking about the winter dinginess in the rest of the house that is being shown up by the spring sunshine?

Lots of planning got done.  Every major thing I can think of that will need to happen over the next few months is written down.

I did get a rare nap on Sunday afternoon, but only because Joe made me lie down and I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to make headway on the pile of reading I took to bed with me.  And when I woke up, I thought, “Aha, now I am awake enough to get more research done.”

The past few nights, I’ve spent hours doing research, bookmarking interesting sites to look at later, rejecting sites that contain outdated information (before 2002 or 2003) or that smell suspiciously of quackery, finishing books so they can be returned, and making a list of books to order.  There is no one place I can go that has it all.  No one place has all the information, one comprehensive list of recommended resources, all the stories, all the small details I am looking for, that I will want later.  It is scattered throughout the e-universe, and I try in vain to gather it all up.  I feel like I am trying to scoop up precious water with my bare hands, losing more than I am keeping.  There is just too much and I can’t organize it all the way I want to.  And I haven’t even begun learning about therapy yet.  I was feeling like we had plenty of time…but…

It’s been four weeks since we heard the news about our Verity.  Those four weeks went by awfully fast.  And we only have to do that about four more times before we get to her due date.

That’s sixteen weeks.  Four months sounds like a longer time to me than sixteen weeks.  I know how fast weeks go.  Sixteen weeks to spring clean the house and property.  Plan and plant a garden.  Finish up the school year.  Take a family trip.  Finish the playroom.  Plan and organize the big annual picnic.  Build shelving in our room for Verity’s things.  Launder those things and organize them into the baskets (that we still have to buy) that will sit on the shelving.  Plan two birthday parties with meal, gifts, photo shoot and special trip out with mom.  There are midwife visits and other medical appointments ahead.  I will have to plan and pack and organize for the possibility that I will be in the hospital away from the family for some time.  I need to step up my training of the children to prepare them to keep things running while I am away.  I want to make sure to fit in Talk Time, one-on-one time with each of the older children.  There is always the routine stuff like cleaning and laundry and kitchen work.  More tasks will inevitably rise out of nowhere.

Time is speeding by.  There are only seven more piano lessons until D-day, because we’ll have to skip one for the picnic.  Only three more hair-cutting sessions (to make it come out right so that I am cutting hair close enough to the due date to not have to do it again afterward for a while).


I can read back through what I just wrote, and see clearly where I am off track.  I’ve been accumulating the weight of what I see is ahead for us over the next months.  Not only that, but I am bowed down under a load of what I’m just guessing will be added to that.  How foolish.  This is the ME that my family hopes doesn’t stick around very long.

People say that God only gives us what we can handle.  Long ago, I accepted that without much thought.  But I haven’t believed it for years now.  I know that His purpose for us is not to keep our lives manageable, but to show His power through our weakness.

So to restate the truth to myself~

The truth is, Joe and I have not built safe structures around ourselves to make sure that our life is always easy, safe, comfortable and pleasant.  We have wanted to remain open to whatever He gives us, because it is rebellion against Him to do otherwise.  And because He is Who He says He is.  He is our good, faithful, loving, sovereign Father.  He knows.  We don’t.  We trust Him.  We know that what looks like a risk really isn’t, because He is more to be trusted than we are.  And we want Him to show Himself through us.  Would it really bring Him greater glory to make sure we never face anything tough?  We want Christ to be lifted up in our lives, and not have others look at us and lift us up.

And so far, He has given us abundant joy in walking with Him this way.

Now here we are, facing an unknown that may at best be hard.  So, have all the rules changed, and now it’s okay for me to try to figure out how to keep it all manageable?  Keep it all under control?  And when my pathetic store of energy runs out, to go about as if I am burdened and defeated?

These past few days, I have been living as if it all depends on me.  I am exhausted, empty, weak.

Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”

So Susanna, put your hand back in your Father’s Hand.  He will give you all the understanding and all the strength you will need.  Rest, rest in Him.

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4 Responses to “Overload”

  1. Marci says:

    You are such a good writer, Susanna. I was hoping to get to the part where you got tired! What a refreshing reminder that oftentimes activity is a smokescreen for wanting to feel in control, when God is ultimately the One who is in charge of it all. I laughed and cried all the way through this post. Love you!

  2. Susanna says:

    You know I love you, too, Marci!

  3. I just want to say “ditto” to what Marci said. Not much time or brain power to respond but I am reading and praying for you!


  4. Joy Horton says:

    no brain here but ditto Marci & Rebecca! I love you, Susanna!

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