Thursday, November 7, 2013

Super Woman Went Down: Mary, Martha and Super Woman Syndrome

What happened to 31 Days?

Superwoman Went Down

Luke 10:38-4238 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Last month I took on a challenge to write a blog post daily for 31 days. Having not set into a regular posting schedule for my blog, I felt this would be a good discipline. Since God has been really working on me lately on balance, priorities, self-worth--(Jennifer, Jennifer - you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one), I chose the theme 31 Days in the Life of a Superwoman Sufferer to help me unpack what the Holy Spirit has been telling me in my heart. I was coming along pretty, smoothly despite a packed October schedule. The practice of writing has helped me process a milestone time in my life. Admittedly, there were nights I was posting with one eye open at 11:55 p.m., but I was writing almost daily and that was good. 

And then I went to Allume, a three day conference for Christian woman bloggers, and I got sucked into a black whole of information overload, fatigue, piles left behind that needed sorted out and urgent calendar events, like Halloween.

I have so much to share about Allume (more about this later). This was my second year attending and it felt like part blogger conference/part blogger retreat. The sessions were meaty and creative and I came way from then longing to find time to just write. The schedule was jam-packed from sun up until way past sundown. I met some amazing women and enjoyed heartfelt conversations and learning from their talents. The keynotes and mealtime gatherings were times of praise, worship and encouragement. Although I enjoyed networking, being inspired and honing my craft, By Sunday, I was ready to head home and be with my family. The month of travel had taken its toll. 

I headed home with every intention of blogging, continuing my 31 Days challenge, setting up a writing space in my home, etc. Then life, "catching up" and an Allume hangover of great fatigue caused me to push down the spring of creativity that was welling up within and move into "get er' done" mode.

After arriving home from Allume, I immediately had to load my oldest up and head to Girl Scouts. In the week ahead we had a chili cook-off at work, the World Series (congratulations Red Sox), the Breeders Cup Classic and the Florida v Georgia game. The RedSox Fan would be heading out on Friday and Saturday for his sports utopia and I taxied the kids to tutoring, a birthday party and a Daisy troop meeting. Our house desperately needed a cleaning after October travel led us to neglect the homestead. And I began a 21 day detox of all sugars, grains, corn, soy, peanuts, eggs and dairy on the day after Halloween (glutton for punishment I know, but it is needed). So, I spent much of last week in a frenzied fog. 

As I was trying to equip the kids for Halloween fun, I was struck with the memory of my mom sewing costumes until the wee hours of the morning for me and my brothers. I was Strawberry Shortcake, Ronald McDonald, a panda bear and more. Many handmade by mom. We had so much fun dressing up. With my birthday a week prior, October was always a festive month.

I honestly have no idea how she did it! Well, no time for sewing for me. My oldest wanted to be Katness from Hunger Games so we scoured the GoodWill for green cargo pants and black boots the night before Halloween. Amazingly, my parents had a bow and arrow (not sure why, my dad was never a hunter). My sweet five year old changed her mind several times from fairy princess to Batman to a witch (thankfully we already had these costumes) and my youngest was an army man (GI Joe) for part of the day and a RedSox player for the rest. We got it all together just minutes before we headed out for Trick or Treating. 

So as I began this week, with a round trip road trip to Charlotte, my mind and body were screaming for rest and quiet and order. I'm still climbing out from fatigue, brain fog, detox, piles of emails and work projects and school fundraisers and activities for the kids. I'm figuring out how to balance it all and am three feet under water looking to when I will be able to tread water at the surface. Despite a full, blessed life, I come to the end of my own strength. Do I buck up and press through as Martha did? (as I typically do) or do I listen to the spirit within that calls me to become a Mary and rest in His presence?

That is in essence what it means to suffer from Superwomen syndrome. The misguided thinking that we can do it all, we can push through, we can do it on our own strength. We forget that the most important place to be is at the feet of Jesus. We cannot harvest a memorable life without Him.

So, I meditate on the following verse which reminds me, and admonishes me, to rest and become quiet to find the strength to move forward and salvation from the heavy yoke:

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.  (Isaiah 30:15).