This mama needs a heart fill up. My heart was low this week. It was in need of a fill up. Just like the way I drive my car, my heart is often on empty while I keep pushing through the miles without taking the time to do what I really need…fill up! I am not sure what it was. Maybe it was the after-Thanksgiving rush. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday push to consume and save. Maybe it was all the Christmas decor messily spread throughout our home. Maybe it was the fact that I have a baby that refuses to sleep through the night. Regardless of the exact reason, I felt slow this week. I felt unproductive. And mostly, I felt plain tired. Mondays are my clean-up days. On Mondays, I mostly regroup from the weekend rush and get the house back in order. Sweeping up all of Nala’s golden hair, dusting, reorganizing, folding laundry. This Monday none of that seemed to happen. So the rest of the week I felt behind and questioned how it seems like I only seem to be able to take care of Hudson and make dinner in a full day when most people are out in the world being productive and busy and important. These are the lies I tell myself.
On Thursday, I got my much needed fill up. The rain almost stopped me from getting what I really, truly needed, but thankfully it did not. Thursday was the day I went to visit my students at the school I taught the past two years at. The night before when I looked over the weather forecast, I thought to myself, if it is rainy really hard in the morning, I will just reschedule. And it was rainy really hard in the morning. The easy thing would have been to just choose another day. The students did not even know I was coming. Just my one teacher friend knew. While this was the easier thing to do, I really felt God tugging on my heart to go. So I went. While I was stuck in rainy LA traffic and had a screaming 5 month-old in the back of my car, I questioned if I heard God correctly. But I kept driving. When I pulled up to the school, it began to come down even harder. I quickly wrapped my oversized scarf over my head, draped a blanket over Hudson’s carseat and ran towards the school’s entrance. I felt slightly crazy. Why was I doing this? But literally right when I pulled open the metal gate, two students called out “Mrs. Capel!” and ran towards me, grabbing Hudson, and helping me get out of the rain. It was right when I heard that “Mrs. Capel” that I knew I heard Him right. This was where I was supposed to be on this rainy Thursday morning.
From that moment on, I was filled up with so much love. It came in the form of hugs, smiles, and “we miss you so much”. In a lot of ways, I have not missed teaching. I have not missed the tremendous stress, the endless grading, the repeated disciplining. However, I have absolutely missed them. They were absolutely the very best part of my job and I miss them daily. I miss them so much that I do sometimes wonder if it made sense to leave the school. But then I look at my sleeping baby on the monitor as I type this and I know I made the right decision. I miss all of my students so much, but I know I would miss even more this precious time I get with my little Hudson and for that I am very grateful. I am learning that you simply cannot have it all or do it all. I wish I could. But I can’t. I think I will always be in a season where I will be missing something or someone. And that is okay. While it is okay and even good to miss what we no longer have, I hope that I never miss things too much; that I prevent myself from soaking in all the good things I do have. Because there is a lot of good to be soaked in.
I left that Thursday afternoon, with my heart filled to the brim. I drove away feeling so thankful I went. So thankful for all of those kids I got to teach. And so thankful for Hudson. Sometimes we need fill ups. Actually, daily we need fill ups. I daily forget who I am. I daily need to be reminded of the promises of God in scripture. Because the reality is the world is hard and messy and not always pretty; and each day the chaos of the day can cause me to forget who I am in Christ. This daily fill up typically comes in the form of reading my Bible, praying, and being alone. I am a fan of being alone. But, I am learning that being with good people also is a big source of encouragement, energy, and love for me. Thursday was full of good people and rain. I am thankful for both. And I am thankful I listened to those whispers to go out.