By Libbo Crosswhite
It seems necessary to start off by letting you know that I’m writing this in my parked car in the back of the Kroger parking lot on my way to a birthday party while my oldest, Mary Thomas, takes a nap. Whew!
The early fall has always been a special (the adjective I use when there isn’t an adequate adjective that means jam-packed, exciting, and exhausting all at once) season. Back to school is a type of New Year’s celebration for many of us. We tell ourselves that this year we are going to do things right. We are going to start fresh—new classrooms, new clothes, and a new list of resolutions.
I envision a spotless house, precious, well-behaved children, and a flavorful meal that’s somehow also non-GMO (whatever that means) when we all get home at the end of a long, productive day. What I end up with is a screaming toddler who only wants to wear a tutu to school, a 4-day old bottle in my couch cushions, and a bag full of GMO from the drive through on the way home after a long, exhausting day. A week into the new school year, I’m deciding next year is a better time to get my life together.
One of my coworkers shared a video with me right before the school year that had an eager lab puppy trying to catch about 20 tennis balls at once. He was so focused and energetic, but there just wasn’t enough energy or space to catch all he wanted to catch. I loved it so much because I’m that puppy.
I feel like I have tennis ball after tennis ball to catch, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep it all together. Yes, I am often overwhelmed and sometimes question what on earth my purpose is in the fast-paced world. But, I try so desperately not to lose focus on the precious moments right in front of me.
A few nights ago at the dinner table, Clay casually mentioned (for the third time) his pants at the cleaners that I have failed to pick up. For three weeks. One more week and they were going to be someone else’s khakis and Clay was going to literally have no pants to wear to work. I immediately dropped my face in my hands after a day of what seemed like a lot missteps and mistakes.
Without skipping a beat, Mary Thomas got out of her chair, walked to her room, came back with a pillow and told me, “Daniel Tiger says rest is best when you don’t feel good, mom. Take this pillow and rest.” Who says TV isn’t the way to raise your kids? What a beautiful reminder. Rest is best. Not just physical rest, but true, genuine rest at the feet of Jesus.
I have to remind myself often that I cannot let myself believe the lie that I am too busy to sit and rest at the heart and soul of who I am. I am His. And the truth is that today I am enough. You are enough. Because that’s what we long for in this life—to be enough.
I find myself looking in the mirror a lot lately asking myself, “Who am I doing this for? What am I trying to prove and who I am trying to please?” It’s an important step for me in making sure my priorities are straight and to keep my sanity, all while loving and serving my family, my kids at school, and most importantly, my Savior.
Often times I let the enemy distract me from the deep riches that God has laid before me. A family that I adore, a job that I love, and the ability to wake up every morning knowing that I am loved and enough not because of a single thing that I will do that day.
The Samaritan woman at the well who all but begs Jesus for a taste of the living water He offers her in John 4 always comes to mind when I think of my inability to keep it together That’s me—I’m thirsty (and let’s be honest, often times salty, too) for approval, acceptance, and for the ability to feel accomplished at the end of the day, but I will never be satisfied until I begin to fully rest in the living water that Jesus offers.
I have been filled with a richness beyond measure—a baby boy that eats more than any human baby I have ever seen and already wears the same size as his 3-year-old sister, a toddler that makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis, and a husband that still lets me watch endless episodes of The Office.
Life is good and it’s only because of what God has laid before me. Perhaps, it’s fleeting and I have to come to terms with the fact that my joys on earth are temporary, but praise the Lord for his promise of rest in Him alone. Today, I choose joy. Today, I choose to rest at the feet of Jesus (in the Kroger parking lot).
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay live in Brandon and attend Pinelake.They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 2 years old and a son, Russell, who is 6 months old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy.