I’ve had one of ‘those’ weeks where I’ve felt unsettled, wondering what I should be doing. My blog has been pretty much at the bottom of my priorities as I've dealt with other stuff. It’s been so low down the list of things I could do, I’ve even been wondering if it’s at all important.

There are lots of things I enjoy doing, like blogging. But the question is: what am I SUPPOSED to be doing? What does God want of me?

A few years ago, this question was very easy to answer. I had babies and toddlers and young children and older ones, all relying on me. Every moment of the day, and even of the night, was mapped out. I just went from one duty to another, the best I could and knew I was doing God’s will. There wasn’t much time to sit down and ponder: “What should I be doing?” I was too busy doing exactly what God wanted me to do.

I look back to those years and remember the frustration I felt at times, because my life was totally out of my control. Sometimes I just wanted to say, “Stop! I’ve had enough (at least for today). Let me off. I want to do something of my own choice for a change.” Of course, I didn’t really want to change my life. It was just the constant demands of family that got to me at times.

The constant demands... fulfilling my duties. Doing God’s will was very clear in those days. I guess it was good knowing I was doing exactly what God intended me to do. Those unending hours of duty were actually a gift, though I didn't realise it at the time. I didn’t spend time wondering… like I am doing today.

Today, I have lots of free time, time I used to yearn for. But I find myself wasting it. There are so many things I could be doing. But are any of these things really important? Are they what God wants me to do? Free time seems like such a huge responsibility.

So I have been sitting here praying and reading and pondering… and really, I have yet to come up with an answer.

And now a frightening thought has entered my mind. What if my life is about to be turned upside down? What if this quiet time is just a pause in my life that I should be making the most of? For it seems to me, that surely God will want more of me that what I am offering at the moment.

So many times recently I have heard people say, “God spoke to me and I knew I had to do...” Did He shout the words out? Not likely. How did they know? 

Will it be a change of circumstances that shouts out the answer loud and clear? And do I want that to happen? My heart skips a beat as I think about this. Perhaps I should just keep my head down and appreciate what I have. "I'm quite happy, Lord. Don't listen to me. I will find lots of ways of filling my time all on my own." Because when I think about it, there's lots of things I could put more time and effort into doing better.

But still I wonder...

 What should I be doing?

Of course, I'm not asking for answers. I'm just pondering, and wondering if anyone else has ever felt this way.
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  1. Yes, I have felt this way. I was just thinking a few days ago of how different things are now from when I had growing-up children. The funny thing is, I actually felt I was praying more back then than I do now.... because I had to MAKE time for it. I think I must be one of the biggest time-wasters on earth. So yes, I understand your pondering.

    1. Nancy,

      It's funny how when we are so busy with children, we yearn for some free time, and when we get it, we don't make the most of it!

      "I actually felt I was praying more back then than I do now...." Maybe we felt the need to pray more then, to help us get through the hectic days. I get distracted these days. I think I have all day to get around to profitable things like prayer. But the day passes without me doing all I could have done. I guess I have lost my sense of purpose. My days are lacking direction at the moment. Of course, when the new school term arrives, I will be busier. I will probably complain I never get a moment to myself!! Never satisfied.

      Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you understand.

  2. I wonder if it's extended holiday syndrome because I've been mostly busy with only some time wasting, but I've still felt unsettled as the holiday went on. This week has been more familiar with work starting up, again, but I'm yearning for the structure of the new school term.

    I've wondered about purpose, as well. That was one of the reasons I stopped blogging - my blog didn't seem to serve a purpose and it distracted me from things that I could see were a lot more purposeful. But, your blog has more direction than mine did.

    I always feel it when I've neglected prayer, too. I start to worry about silly, superficial things and life loses its focus. And, I've also put off prayer on a less-than-busy day, thinking I'll have plenty of time, later. I can do that with bibe reading (evenings work well) but I need to fit prayer in early or the day limps along. Another thing I've noticed is that being busy saves me from useless worry. I feel satisfied and things seem in perspective when I'm busy. Maybe, that's why too much holiday time becomes a bit stressful.

    God bless, Sue:-)

    1. Vicky,

      You could be right about holiday syndrome. Probably in a couple of weeks' time, when I find myself driving to town to take the girls to music lessons etc, I will yearn to be at home with more free time. I will know exactly what's expected of me!

      But I wonder if God wants me to do something as well as homeschooling. I feel drawn to doing something else that fits in around my duties of homeschooling and mothering. I have been using this time for writing and blogging and grief support, and generally keeping up with a whole network of people who are involved in these areas. I could quite easily keep busy. Some days I am over-busy. But is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Does any of this really matter? Yes, sometimes I wish God would just shout down some directions!

      I have been praying more since I've been pondering. Perhaps I should just be patient. The answer will come. I wonder if I'll like it! In the meantime your suggestion of keeping busy is an excellent one. There's always lots to do.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      God bless.

  3. You bring up good questions, Sue. And the answer to this one is:
    Yes, I've felt this way many times. Some of the thoughts you shared struck a chord with me too. Especially the paragraph where you say: My heart skips a beat as I think about this. Perhaps I should just keep my head down and appreciate what I have. "I'm quite happy, Lord. Don't listen to me. I will find lots of ways of filling my time all on my own."

    I've actually said that to Him before so reading it here made me laugh. I think my fear was that if I told Him I had nothing to do He'd ask something of me that was too big for me to handle so I thought I'd cut Him off at the pass. I don't really like big changes. No doubt He knows that but I guess I figured reminding Him wouldn't hurt :)

    Sometimes I have inner promptings that will nudge me to do something in particular but there are times where my day is a big blank and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Sure, I can find things to do but is it what I'm supposed to be doing? Who knows! So I just give Him whatever I decide to do.

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. Mary,

      Isn't it funny how we want to make sure God understands exactly how we feel and what we are willing to do for Him? As if He didn't already know! The last time I had such a conversation with God, He didn't listen to me. He ignored my fears. Just as well. I'd be too scared to do anything if God gave me a choice. Whatever He plans is always perfect.

      "Sure, I can find things to do but is it what I'm supposed to be doing? Who knows! So I just give Him whatever I decide to do." That is so helpful! So instead of giving up and doing nothing, I'll keep working away doing what I'm doing, until God makes it clear He wants something else. I guess I'll have to keep listening in case God wants to tell me there's a change of plan!

      Thank you, Mary.

      God bless!

  4. Sue, I can so relate to this! From 2003 -2008. I was caring for my dear aging parents. They were still in their own home...a round trip commute for me of about two hours. But, I did all of their grocery shopping, took them to endless doctor appointments, sat with them when they were in the hospital..sometimes for weeks at a time. Filled all their meds and prepared their pillboxes, hired and fired their live-in caregivers, and on and on. It was a difficult, demanding and stressful time in my life, but I KNEW it was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Each morning when I got up to address one or more of their needs, I KNEW I was pleasing God...doing what He had planned for me each day.

    There was a lot more involved than I can include here...even in one of my "letter" comments :) But the point is, that after they both passed away in late 2008, I found myself wondering exactly what you are wondering.

    I allowed a year or so for grief, and also tending to going through their things and selling their house, etc. But, about two years ago, I realized that this season of my life was over, and.......now what?

    I constantly ask God this question as I waste time....and like others above think I have so much that prayer can wait, and that NEVER works!

    I think Mary is on the right track. Sometimes God gives us very obvious "stuff" to do for Him. We can see that we are really being called.

    Other times, it's pretty quiet. I think maybe just trying to be a more attentive wife, a more caring sister and friend, working at removing clutter from my home, so that I can live in more peace and simplicity..all these things are precious to God. We never know when we will be called out of "retirement" :) so to speak. Maybe God gives us these breaks to work on the little things we don't usually have time for.

    I often think that one of the joys...and perhaps trials!, of religious life is knowing each day exactly what God is calling you to do..whether to sweep the cloister or work in the garden, etc. When you are assigned, and give it your best, you are in God's perfect will.

    Out here in the world, we have so many choices and so many distractions, and it's so hard to really be sure..but I know that God is pleased that we care and are at least trying to find some answers.

    I think the one call we hear everyday is, "Love Me..." And if we can find a way to do that, well then, just saying thank you to a store clerk or smiling at an old person can be really important to God. Maybe sometimes we don't have to "do", but rather, just "be" ....For Him, and for each other.

    Thanks for blogging, Sue! You give us all so much to think about. Hugs across the sea.... xoxox

    1. Patricia,

      What a treat you have given me with your long comment! I settled down to read it with anticipation. You understand exactly what I was trying to say!!

      Five years of looking after your parents... how much they must have appreciated that. I think the only way we can do such a big job (with God's help) is because we love. And yes, there is no doubt you pleased God enormously. I can imagine there was a very big hole in your life after your parents died. Maybe you felt lost.

      Pleasing God.. I guess that's what we all want to do. How does He want us to do that? I used to know the answer to that question. Now I get up and think, "What does God want me to do today?" There are so many choices, all good and I can easily keep very busy... I like Mary's suggestion too: "I just give Him whatever I decide to do.." So I am doing that until I hear Him nudging me to do something in particular.

      I think the one call we hear everyday is, "Love Me..." Patricia, that is such a good thought. Maybe we're waiting for something big to do for God, and all He is asking at the moment is to make a difference in little ways like smiling, making someone feel loved and cared for, remembering someone lonely by writing a note...

      Life isn't always full on. Difficult times are followed by quiet times when we rest and enjoy, before the whole cycle begins again. God has got it all worked out perfectly!

      Actually, I think I have got things worked out a bit better now. I am going to continue blogging and writing and helping people where I can (as well as mothering and homeschooling!) until it becomes obvious I have another mission to fulfil. Perhaps it is a change we yearn for, when God really wants us to stay right where we are for the moment. Change might be frightening so I think, like Mary, I'll just make sure God knows I am quite content!

      Blogging sparks off so many wonderful conversations. I love how we exchange thoughts on so many topics, trying to make sense of life. Thank you, Patricia. I do appreciate you stopping and sharing with me, and for sending me hugs. They feel good!

      God bless you!


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