This weekend was amazing.
The fact that both of us thought it was amazing is even more amazing.
Then again, when God is involved, why would I expect anything else but amazing?
This weekend, my husband and I attended a marriage conference put together by our church. It was the first marriage conference the church has ever done. You couldn’t tell, though. Everything they did was good. (Except for maybe the asparagus that came with dinner)
But this post isn’t really about the marriage conference.
The time spent at the conference, while wonderful, was, well, time spent. I would even say it was time spent well. But, it was still spent.
You see, everyone is given the same amount of time. We all get 24 hours a day to do with what we need to do and what we want to do after the need part is taken care of. While many use the excuse, “I don’t have time to __________” (fill in the blank with what pertains to you) the reality is often a person doesn’t make the time.
But this post isn’t about time management either.
Time isn’t the only thing we have to manage. The most organized person will eventually burn out if he/she doesn’t include rest and play time in a schedule. By nature, some people are more high strung and always seem to have plenty of energy while others need more frequent breaks. The latter group not only has to manage time, but they also have to manage energy.
I am in that group. So are others who struggle with a variety of illnesses including MS (my invisible illness), depression, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome to name just a few.
Think about it this way. When you wake up in the morning, you are given ten one-dollar bills. Each time you do something, you have to give a certain number of bills away, depending on the energy level it takes to complete the task. Some tasks are “cheap”–making the bed, making toast for breakfast, or feeding the dog. Other tasks, though, are a bit more expensive. These might include carrying laundry down a flight of 16 stairs to the basement laundry room, grocery shopping and carrying it in the house and putting it away, or going to the gym to get some walking in on the track. One needs to be careful to not spend all the dollar bills too early in the day. If that happens, there is little to no energy left to make dinner or walk the dog or even carry on an intelligent conversation with your husband. One has to be always mindful of how many “energy dollars” are left.
What does all of this have to do with the marriage conference we attended? The marriage conference, while excellent, was expensive in terms of energy dollars. I spent all I had and had to borrow from the next day’s energy dollars. Of course, just as in regular finances, when one borrows from a future paycheck, that paycheck will then be short. Today, my borrowing caught up with me. I had no energy dollars left and none from which to borrow–those hadn’t hit the bank yet.
I often wonder if my family thinks I am lazy when this happens. Of course, they never say anything. My husband lets me sleep the afternoon away while he does the dishes for me and relaxes in front of the television–alone. It bothers me, though. I used to have a lot more energy dollars to spend. Five loads of laundry a day didn’t even make me yawn. Now, I’m struggling with one trip up and down the stairs. Something as simple as sorting the laundry wears me out to the point that I am rendered too exhausted to even get one load done.
Accepting this new normal has been a difficult learning curve for me. That is probably also true for my family. For many, they only think about spending TIME; I have to think about SPENDING time. I keep being reminded of Jesus’ words to Paul when Paul asked for the thorn to be removed from him: “My grace is sufficient for you.” Since God never changes, His grace will be sufficient for me as well.
Even if it is taking me a long time to learn that.