Dear Sister, (On Being Productive)

Dear Sister,

Apologies for the silence.

I went on a last minute (yet, long awaited) trip to The Netherlands last month (as you may have seen on Instagram), celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary (which was actually, nearly, two years ago) and in search of my heritage and inspiration. The fields of tulips did the trick. The buildings that looked as if they are all topped with hats did the trick. The glorious European food did the trick. The bikes, with bells, along the canals did the trick. Time away with my hubby did the trick. (I’ll be sharing a Travel Guide soon).

Coming home, as always (or “re-entry” as I like to call it), never fails to hit hard.

But here I am a few weeks later, with only a few days of school left for the children, wasting a lot of time.

Yes, you heard me right. I’m wasting time. In this day and age it sounds frivolous. As if I’ve got a deck of hundred dollar bills in the palm of my hand, and I’m shuffling them out into thin air. Time, we are told, is our greatest commodity. Of course, I feel guilty. I feel upset at myself, at times, for not making the most of every minute. Cranking out content and creativity. Doing all of the should’s at home and beyond.

But, who says making the most of every minute must appear productive?

Productivity and the appearance of it, are two vastly different things.

Can we be productive when it appears that we are not?

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This has been a season of shifting for me (Maybe you find yourself in a shift of sorts too?). A few major changes, in my life, happened at an excruciatingly slow pace. While others have happened over night–such as suddenly having teenagers. Even this natural progression has brought sizable shifts. Having teenagers shifts your schedule, just as having a baby does. (Who knew? I didn’t. Heads up to you, if it’s coming!). This season of parenting, for me, seems to be the most demanding (two teenagers, two in elementary–all in sports). Thus, I’m letting shifts settle and I’m settling. It feels pretty unproductive, but I’m becoming more and more OK with that.

This might not be my year, my season, to say a lot, to show a lot. It may be a time to observe. A time to process. A time to just be here.

Could it be that our presence–being present–fully engaged–in our lives could be a form of activity and productivity?

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I believe that we can be productive without producing something visible to the world or for the world.

 

Lovely One, we can be productive in producing change within. Producing love. Producing care. Producing meals and laundered clothes. Producing forgiveness in our hearts. Prayers with our lips. Hope and courage in the embrace of our arms. There are many ways we can be and are productive in which the masses will never (nor should they) bear witness to. This doesn’t make the work any less important. It makes it sacred.

I wonder what slow and sacred work you are about? It’s not for me to know. It’s for you to ponder. To realize. To, perhaps, now see it in a different light.

Maybe, like me, you feel like you’ve been full of excuses. But I reckon you are making choices. When life hits hard, I choose to be gentle with myself. It’s a choice, I’ve decided to make. I also choose to keep moving–small steps or big–sometimes it depends upon the day–in the direction of my dreams and calling. We can do both. Don’t let the bossy internet deceive you or tell you otherwise.

I choose to see it more like this: I’m not making excuses; I’m making choices. This perspective gives us ownership over how we decide to use our time.

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I’m reminded of a quote from one of my all-time favorite books that shifted my thinking and begin to bring balance in my life regarding doing vs. being:

“Your best work is to listen, hear, and believe what He promises; to watch, wait, and see what He does; and then, by faith, worship, and obedience, to yield yourself to the One who works mightily in you.

One would think that no message could be more beautiful or welcome than this: that we may rest and be quiet, and that our God will work for us and in us. And yet how far this is from being the case, how slow many are to learn that quietness is blessing, that quietness is strength, quietness is the source of highest activity–the secret to true abiding in Christ.”

-Andrew Murray, Abiding in Christ

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Productivity and activity can’t always be gauged with the eye or in the natural.

Choose well.

I’m not wasting time, I’m choosing to use it differently in this shift. My work is sacred. And so is yours.

Loads of Love,

Trina

P.S. If you’re still reading along, leave a comment :) Blogs have gotten so quiet and social media so loud. I’d love to hear from you.

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Responses

  • Claudia
    Commented on May 20th, 2019 at 11:17am

    Thank join Trina! I’m going through such a moment in which I feel guilty on the days that I have off. But I’ve noticed that those are the days in which I enjoy, do my devotions and rest. Please keep writing! Love
    And blessings to you and your family

  • Trina
    Commented on May 20th, 2019 at 1:28pm

    Hi Claudia! I’m so glad you are beginning to see how much you enjoy your days off. We might not be “doing” as much on those types of days…but much is being done in us! xo . Trina

  • Jeannie S
    Commented on May 20th, 2019 at 1:38pm

    Thanks for sharing. I always go into deep thought after reading your posts. Love the Andrew Murray quote. Enjoy the season you’re currently in.

  • Trina
    Commented on May 24th, 2019 at 2:17pm

    Thank you, Jeannine…love leading others into deep thought! And yes, that Murray quote was a major game changer for me (the entire book was, really!). xo. T

  • Holli Short
    Commented on May 20th, 2019 at 4:14pm

    I Love. Love. Love. your words. They have been so helpful to me. Please keep writing.

  • Trina
    Commented on May 24th, 2019 at 2:16pm

    Thank you so much, for the encouragement, Holli! xo. T

  • Angel
    Commented on June 6th, 2019 at 11:45pm

    I enjoyed this article throughly. It reminded me that there is an “ebb and flow” to life that I need to respect. I shouldn’t try to control everything.

  • Anastasia | Mighty Memos
    Commented on July 4th, 2019 at 7:02am

    Thank you for sharing! You’re so right – rest is just as important and we can’t truly experience all that life has to offer if we’re trying to resist the flow of life and trying to control it instead. We are more than our productivity!

    Love + blessings and thank you for this timely post! x
    Anastasia | MightyMemos.com

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