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  • brittain sobey

purpose in productivity


so because we were going non-stopped for so long preparing to move, and then moving, and then working on the house before our stuff arrived, and then unpacking our lives and doing more work on the house... i wanted to halt all house projects and just veg. we have been working our rears off, it's time to just take a break and relax. i wanted some family time. i wanted to watch some good old netflix. i wanted a break.

and then i realized that as i stopped going at 100 miles an hour working from when we woke until when we went to sleep - anxiety came back. funny, huh? i thought if i could make it through the last six months of insanity preparing to move and then getting settled in, i would be home free with anxiety. and i did make it through! but as soon as things calmed down, it gave my mind time to think again, and time to dwell on the big what ifs. and the big what ifs are TERRIFYING. what if we made the wrong decision? (we didn't) what if david regrets leaving and resents me? (he doesn't) what if we don't find a church in our area? (we did) what if we don't make friends? (we have started to) what if this house is too much for us? (i won't think this in february when i'm snowed in) what if i can't handle being pregnant again? (not there yet) what if i break after having another baby? (stop assuming the worst) what if we can't get pregnant again? (see previous point) what if we get pregnant with TWINS? (god will sustain us) oh my oh my oh dinosaurs. all the what ifs!

so i realized the thing that had changed was my level of productivity. once i felt like we were at a state that i could live with regarding the house and settling in, i relaxed. the doors and trim upstairs? yeah. they can wait. that million item long to-do list in the office? yeah. it can wait. i started just taking nap time to relax. i didn't want david to do projects after he got home from work or on the weekend; i just wanted him to be with us. and it didn't have to be house projects that we were working on, just anything really. i just wanted it all to stop and for us to just be.

but here's the thing. i realized that i'm not wired to just be. and maybe this is something i need to take to the lord and be delivered from, but i really feel better about life when i get things done. they don't have to be big things. just things.

i realized that if i started using my time to be productive, which can mean any number of things, not just house projects productive, the anxiety couldn't creep in as easily. so during nap time i would meal prep. do a load of laundry. clean up the kitchen. make a grocery list. organize a closet. catch up on bible reading. you know. normal stuff. but when sabina woke from her nap, i didn't feel like i had just wasted two hours of my life staring out the window trying to relax. that ended up stressing me out more (not getting something done). so once i let go of my perceived need to relax or take a break and instead decided to tackle just a few things at a time, i felt much better about life.

also, david has to do at least one thing a day pretty much regarding the house. it can be a small thing, or a bigger process broken down into small steps that can be checked off one day at a time. but he likes to keep hacking away. and i need to let him do that because it's good for him. and what's good for him is good for us, and for our family. so instead of being like NOOOOOO. i can be like: ok. and then afterwards lets do something fun as a family. like. get the kiddie pool out and play in it with bina. go on a family walk. play on the floor together. read books. we can do both. it's not either or, it's both and.

in light of recent events, i've found myself really feeling the burden of raising sabina in a god honoring way. i feel like i'm not ready for this task. i don't have all the answers. but i want to be equipped to dialogue with my daughter about god and about life. where is god when mass shootings occur, when small children get eaten by alligators at disney world, when women and children are sexually assaulted. how do we show jesus and his love to this world that is so broken. what does it mean to love god and to obey him. what does it mean to understand that god made all of me (we're reading this book in preparation to have these talks with sabina, to protect her from unwanted touch). as parents, david and i decided we wanted to read books together to help us prepare to dialogue with sabina in the future. to discuss the hard questions. the gospel will stand, we can push against it. we can voice our problems and concerns to god. he already knows all of them. we don't need to shy away from the hard questions or issues. in fact, it is imperative that we address them. so one thing i can do instead of retreating into my anxiety is to take action. read a book! prepare for the battle for our minds and hearts, and for the battle for the minds and hearts of our children.

so i keep anxiety at bay when i keep myself busy with the mundane things. doing them as unto god. and for my sanity. i can do them by myself during sabina's nap time. i can do them with david. i can do them with sabina. but i have to take action, i have to do something. otherwise, i just sit back and let the anxiety roll in. and nothing good comes of that!

checked one mundane thing off my list today, with bina in tow: the grocery store.



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life with dogs and baby