When Brandon and I decided to buy a home in need of some major TLC, I knew it was going to cause some stress, but considering my nickname is “JoJo” I assumed I would easily kick into Joanna Gaines mode.
I’m apparently more like the JoJo from JoJo’s Circus.
We’ve spent the last four weeks working relentlessly on the house with whatever free time we have and it seems like the to-do list is only growing along with my anxiety. The most frustrating part is I can’t just knock it all out with a day of hard work and dedication, there are a million road blocks preventing me – I can’t lift half of the things in my way, I don’t know how to use 99% of the tools, and eventually the hours of the day run out. I end each day feeling like I’m in a bigger mess than I started.
And the house isn’t the only “to-do” list I have. Work for my job is piling up and Christmas always brings a whole other list of demands to the table. There’s only one me and I feel like an extra 37 of me would be really helpful right about now.
Are you feeling that way this Holiday season?
Here’s the kicker: I’m noticing when the demands of life go up, the louder the voice of condemnation is becoming as well.
I work hard from the moment I lift my head to the moment I put it down, with little sleep in-between and I still feel like I’m failing.
I’m not doing enough.
I’m not living up to a standard.
I’m letting somebody down.
And soon enough, I’m going to hear about it.
If I’m honest, I’d say that is what motivates all my work lately – trying to avoid getting fussed at because I dropped the ball for someone.
But I’m juggling too much right now; eventually something is going to fall and someone is going to be upset. Dang, I guess I’m not even JoJo from JoJo’s Circus – that girl can juggle.
But what is the reason I’m so afraid of dropping something?
I decided to chill out for a second this morning and reflect on that question. If you find yourself in a stressed out season, maybe you should reflect on that question, too.
Why are we afraid of dropping something?
Why are we afraid of letting someone down?
Here is what I came up with this morning for me:
At the core of my fear of letting someone down is the belief that I’m not valuable unless I perform well.
Of course my head knows that isn’t true, but my actions are telling me my heart doesn’t believe it. (See When Your Head & Heart Think Differently)
If I were to “drop the ball” and miss the self-imposed deadline I’ve made for the house to be ready, make someone unhappy with my work, or have to hurt someone by saying “no” because I can’t take on another time commitment, I feel like a failure.
Because my self-value is apparently rooted in other people’s approval of “me” – which is actually not me at all, it’s just my work.
So now is a good time to remind myself who I am, because it has nothing to do with my work. Friend, maybe you need to read this out loud and claim it over yourself with me today.
I am a Child of God.
I am forgiven.
I am enough.
My work doesn’t define me.
People don’t define me.
My Father has defined me.
I am secure.
I am free to live at peace.
So if the house isn’t finished by February, my work is less than satisfactory, or my Christmas gifts don’t make someone cry they are so excited, I am still the same person.
I am HIS.
Are you HIS too, my friend? Let’s believe it during this busy season. If you’re not His, did you know you can be? You don’t have to perform for Him and he doesn’t add “to-dos” – he puts the “to-dos” to rest and gives you a deep breath of peace.
I’m breathing it again today.
If you feel like you’re failing at your to-do list like I’ve been, then I’m honestly a little happy for you. Because it’s a great reminder that the work that matters is already done.
Breathe in, breathe out.
You’re not your work.