I roll the pastry dough thinner, thinner. So soft and supple, elastic. It stretches into an ever widening circle until it can stretch no farther. The edge crack, break open and refuse to be made thinner.
And, as I look at the lump of dough on my wooden board, I think:
I am like the dough, stretched ever thinner till the edges start to crack and the world can see just how frayed they are.
Like the dough, I start off soft, but with overwork, I quickly start to crumble.
One more whine.
One more tantrum.
One more trip to the children’s clinic.
And, suddenly, I’m the one with the attitude, and toddler tantrums have nothing on me, you know.
So, how can I keep my edges from crumbling and cracking and myself from falling apart, fraying edge by fraying edge?
First, I can…no, I MUST…keep first things first. That tantrum-throwing toddler is more important than the errand I’m trying to run, the email I’m trying to type. I’m not saying my kids don’t need to learn to wait. What I am saying is that considering their needs when making a schedule is important. And, being their mother is my number one job right now.
Second, I can…no, I MUST…say “no” to things that are not important. There are some things I’m just not meant to do so that I can do other things well. (Or, so that I can do other things, period.) My friend Irene has a great way of saying it. She says, “There is only one Jesus, and it’s not you.” Meaning, Jesus is the only one who can meet all the needs of everyone perfectly. You can’t. Accept it and move on.
Finally, to make a perfect pie crust and avoid crumbling, the ingredients have to be perfectly balanced. So does my life. I need to balance time with God and time with my family, as well as the encouragement that comes from time with friends. I need the balance that comes from a good night’s rest. I even need to balance my blood sugar!
If you’re starting to feel your edges fray, spend some time today trying to restore some of the balance. Dip your toes in the well that is the Word of God, pray and let him show you how to bring it back together.