Monday, April 20, 2015

How Many Hula-Hoops Can You Keep in Motion at Once?

I was the champion hula-hoopie (if that is a word) in my elementary school.  For the contest, my PE teacher told me I could stop because class was over and there was no need for me to continue with everyone out long before.  While I was super proud as a 5th grader, now I realize it was some nice hips that helped clinch the title.  

While I can still make the plastic circle spin, I find I could never spin it as long.  Not because of the lack of hips but because I can't seem to do any project for any length of time.  There is always an interruption of some type.  A fire to put out here.  A pot to stir there.  And dirty floors everywhere. 

While as a kid I had only one hula-hoop to manage, how contorted my body must look as I now desperately try to keep multiple hoops in the air.  There's a hoop for each responsibility I hold:  wife, mommy, friend, accountant, taxi driver, website and blog writer, preschool worship leader, and teacher.  Amongst others.

Author Joanna Weaver in her book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World describes a birthday card that she once received sharing a photo from the early 1950's of a young woman swinging not one but eight or nine Hula-Hoops around her waist.  Beyond the Greta Garbo shots, what captured Joanna was the face expression this woman shared.  Peace. The young woman smiled as though she didn't have a care in the world as she balanced all the hoops twirling around her body.  How could this be?

Ms. Weaver explains:
Then it dawned on me - I saw her secret.  "She found a rhythm," I whispered to myself.  "She established her center, then let everything move around that."  
That's exactly what I wasn't doing in my life.  All the things I'd been trying to accomplish were important, but I had lost my center. 
Rhythm.  Center.

Do you see it? 

I absolutely love this imagery.  Probably because I can relate so well.  Just a few years ago, I was desperate to keep multiple Hula-Hoops in the air on my own abilities.  Frequently a few would drop as they collided into each other.  Or, I got too tired swirling my waist around and around.  In desperation, I even attempted to move a few hoops to my arms and neck thinking reorganization would fix the problem.  To no dismay; the exhaustion level just increased. 

And one day, it all came crashing down.  Every hoop hit the ground in slow-mo with individual clanging thuds.  I fell to my knees and finally cried "uncle." 

My life requires a Center to keep the rhythmic flow of all I need to balance.  And, I need a strong Center to provide the energy for the multiple responsibilities that I hold. 

Sweet friends, this peace and rhythm will only come when we stop trying to be the center and allow God to move into the middle of all we are trying to balance. 

Is this scary?  Think you don't have time to get to know God on a personal level?  I get it!Oh, how I get it! 

You can read more of my fight with God in my free ebook "A Quiet Time, Worth the Time" and in the blog post, "What is Your Reaction to the Roaring River?".  

But if you don't let God be the center, it will all come crashing down.  Maybe not right now but sometime.  Because no momma is a supermom all the time.

Find the Center and then you'll find your rhythm. 

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.