When Your Fruit Breaks You
I have always been one to push myself to the limits. I went back to college as a full-time student when my twins were four to obtain a degree in Music Business. One semester I pulled two consecutive all-nighters. In my early twenties, I trained horses and enjoyed role-playing scenario paintball events.
Now my life is usually chaotic because of after school activities with my teenagers, while simultaneously my elementary age kids are shouting, “mommy, mommy mommy!” I am teaching my teens to drive a car while teaching my little ones to ride their bikes without training wheels. The school needs volunteers, the church needs volunteers, the house needs to be cleaned, and healthy meals have to be made. My husband is busy working during the day and finishing up his MBA program in the evenings.
I was trying so hard to do it all and to do it all perfectly. Gradually, more and more things keep getting added to my to-do list– not just one time projects, but another extra-cirricular dance class, another after school club, the band has an extra rehearsal, youth group is meetings, another MBA class for the next few weeks. I was juggling all these plates, and I have just been waiting for them to start crashing down.
A couple of mornings ago I went out and the peach tree beside our driveway had a branch drooping to the ground. This is our second spring in our new house. Last year, we had a harsh, late frost that bit all the pink buds right as they were beginning to bloom. This year we were so excited to see the tree blossom and begin to make fruit.
Each tree branch is full of fruit, but to its own detriment. The fruit has become too much, too heavy and it is weighing the branches down until they are touching the ground. It is only late spring, and the fruit still has much maturing to do before it has fulfilled its growth cycle. The branches are not going to be able to withstand the weight of the fruit that it is trying to bear.
Too much and too heavy, the branches start buckling under its own weight.
My husband and I tried to prop it up to help support the weight, but it was no use. The branch began to crack and break.
All those plates I am juggling; I feel exactly like this peach tree branch. I have too much fruit I am trying to bear. There are too many things to do. I don’t have the emotional strength nor enough hours in the day.
Like the branch, I am getting very close to breaking. The beauty is that I realize this, and while I am still whole, I can trim some things from my life to make time for a less exhausted wife and mommy. I can take some time and remain whole. I can give myself grace for not being everything to everybody. Why do I think I have to say ‘yes’ to everything anyway?
I need to take some time for self-care. It is a simple concept, really. It is preventive maintenance. Maybe it is just me, but I have a really hard time taking care of myself before the needs of others. But I have to look down the road and decide where those choices are going to lead me. That makes the choice of taking care of myself a bit more justifiable. Learn to Breathe. Learn to give yourself Grace. Learn to do the things you enjoy for the simple pleasures of enjoyment. Learn to Rest. This is going to be a hard struggle for me.