(Previously published October 27, 2010)
I sometimes don't know where to begin these days.
I have so much going on inside my head. Swirling. And it is hard to put it all together.
That being said, I'm not so good at multi-tasking anymore.
My husband so gently pointed that out the other day. He was sweet about it. Making only an observation. Not in a critical way, but in a wow, here is another side to cancer kind of way.
As it unfolded.....I was sitting at my desk doing something. I can't remember what. My sweet hubby was at his desk, too.
Luke came in the room to share with excitement, his grade on his Language Arts quiz. He was speaking in general to both me and Barclay, standing in the middle of the room, brimming with happiness. Seth was also in the room telling us something about football. (this was later retold to me, as I don't really remember these specifics myself.)
And as Luke walked out, Barclay looked at me, called my name to get my attention and said, "Did you hear Luke?"
I hadn't. My focus was on something else.
And Barclay said, "You really can't multi-task like you used to, can you?"
Sad, but true. I can't. I can do it a little, but no where near the hands and head in many directions throughout the day kind of wife and mom that once was a mere 6 months ago.
Before chemo, I could hear everything going on in the house. I was in tune to the heartbeat of our home. The screen door squeaking announcing one coming or going, the laundry buzzer telling me the next load was ready for folding and drying, the phone ringing while a child needed help spelling a word all the while I was sweeping the kitchen floor (ok....I'm not much of a sweeper, so that didn't happen as often as was needed!) But you get the idea. I could multi-task.
I can't anymore.
My focus has to be on one thing for me to truly make progress, understand, and respond.
I've heard it called chemo brain. Others call it age. But since I'm only 38 and I say that loosely (only that is :) I think I have to stick with the chemo part. I think I officially have chemo brain. As the chemo runs throughout the body, it slows everything down. The body becomes sluggish. And that is how my brain often feels, sluggish. Almost like it can't process as quickly as before. Can't remember as well.
It has been an adjustment. A learning curve. A lesson in slowing down. In being intentional.
That is a word that has been before my heart for the last couple of weeks.
To actively put your mind on something with a purpose. To stay directed and focused.
Before, I could do this in many areas, at once. Now, it seems, it is one thing at a time. And if I don’t stay intentional, that one thing doesn’t get completely done.
I believe Jesus was intentional as He walked this earth..fully man and fully God. He was so in tune with His Father’s heart and desires. He intentionally found time to pray. He would break away from the multitude, go into the mountains and pray. Even He needed to be with His Father, to hear His voice. To commune.
“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” Matthew 14:23
And He was intentional about who He spent His time with whether it was the sick, the lost, the broken-hearted or His disciples. He knew He needed to teach the disciples and His time with them was guarded. He had a job to do. He didn’t get off track in that job. But in the bigger picture, He came to touch the hearts of the lost. To give them a glimpse into the Kingdom of God. To show them He is the way, the only way way to the Father, to eternal life.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23
His heart was one of compassion and love. An intentional love. He loved intently - everyone. And even when He hung on the cross, was in excruciating pain and suffering, His heart was moved for the thief on the cross who humbled himself before the Lord.
“And Jesus said to him (the thief), ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
Even in His greatest hour of need, Jesus never lost His purpose or His focus because He was rooted in His Father and His love.
I want to be intentional about the way I live life. That doesn’t mean that I direct the show, on the contrary, that means that I have to be still enough, undistracted enough, quiet enough...putting God first in all things, so as to hear from Him about His intentions for me and my life. My time with Him has to be guarded.
Then His intentions become mine. Not only in the big picture: Marriage, family, ministry....but the little one....laundry, meals, house cleaning, football games, rest, correspondences, blogging etc...
And once again, I see this very nasty thing called cancer as a blessing in my life. Cancer has further rooted me in God's Word, drawn me closer to my Savior....by the power of the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to stay focused....not on many things at once....but on the one that matters most...God.
And when my focus is fixed on the author of my faith. The very one who defines, created and perfects my faith, then all else is in order because God has set the order and the very heartbeat of my heart.
There is order on the outside....because there is order on the inside, in the innermost place of my heart and soul. In my Spirit.
And this thing called multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning...being intentional with each task with the love of Christ always before me, within me and surrounding me. With His purpose setting the compass on this journey. As my day is laid out before me and the many things calling for my time and attention, may each happen as God orders my day, directs my focus, and my heart is in tune to His.
“Seek first the kingdom of God.....”