Two Things at Once

I am woman, therefore I multitask.

For me, this was never more true than these past few weeks. Nothing like a move to crank up the productivity. I’ve been a force to be reckoned with (or to be avoided, if you’re one of my kids) as I’ve packed, taped, and labeled countless boxes.

I always thought multitasking pretty much consisted of two things: the head and the hands. That’s how it usually works for me anyway.  I teach a math lesson while crocheting something for Katherine’s Mission. I cook dinner while listening to the kids talk about their day. I crunch budget numbers while trying to fall asleep. (Don’t recommend this one, by the way.)

This past month I learned my heart can multitask too. Because all this time, it’s been full of two things at once. Sadness to leave those I love and excitement to begin this new journey. I never knew I could feel two extremes so fully, so deeply. It’s the strangest paradox, to have what feels like opposite emotions warring inside. I know this is where God wants us to be and I love it here, but I’m constantly thinking about friends “back home.” I wonder how they’re doing and I miss them like crazy.

The positive side of feeling two things at once is that you really feel alive. The not-so-positive is that when you’re not smiling you’re crying. Now, don’t laugh, but I wondered if anyone else ever felt this way. And don’t laugh again, but I thought of Jesus.

When I was a kid, I thought that Jesus (being true God and all) was ready to take on sin, the cross, death, and hell. That it was similar to how Superman bends a pipe. Sure, it took some effort, but it’s not like Jesus was going to break a sweat or anything. But that’s not how the Bible tell it. Jesus was in such agony that “his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44) That sounds pretty intense, and makes my situation feel like a walk in the park.

It also makes me view Christ’s journey to the cross a bit differently. Like me, He felt two opposing things at once. The desire to do His Father’s will and sacrifice Himself for sinners, and the desire to be spared such suffering. “Father,” He says, “if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.” (Luke 22:42) Unlike me, however, the stakes were higher and the price much greater.

This humbles me and makes feel a completely new set of conflicting emotions: Sorrow that my sins left Him no other way, and joy that He paid my debt for me. Maybe feeling two things at once isn’t so bad after all, because Jesus also shows me how to handle such times. Whatever comes my way – whatever joys, sorrows, triumphs, or failures, all can rest in this prayer to the Father:  Not my will, but yours be done.

Now it’s your turn to multitask. Read Luke 22-24 and believe this truth: Jesus did that for you.

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11 thoughts on “Two Things at Once

  1. I know you told me not to laugh, but I still did. I feel those opposite emotions pulling me just about every day, several times in the same hour!

    I mean, there’s Libs, who DRIVES ME CRAZY and seriously, I think I’m ready to give that little weenie dog the boot. But darn if she’s not cute as a button and ends up on my lap. Then there’s my kids and Dave and writing and my dad and…well, just about anyone or anything I truly care about can having me feeling joy one minute and fury the next. It’s when you stop feeling those extreme emotions that you think, “Uh-oh.” ‘Cause that means you don’t care anymore.

    So yeah, I miss you LOTS. But I’m gleefully beside myself, knowing how happy you are!

    1. Yep, I had that thought, too. The one about when you stop feeling those emotions, you stop caring. And of course I wouldn’t want that! But, ugh, I miss you! I had a dream last night that you came to the Sleepy Eye water park with me…probably to stop Noah from drowning. 🙂 These are the times I’m so thankful to have internet so I can stay in touch.

  2. I miss the whole Mayhew family, especially my good friend Debra. On the other hand, I am very happy for your new opportunities and the fact that you are geographically closer to almost everyone in your family — except for the South Carolina branch. I was very sad for about a week, but I am soldiering on and trusting in the LORD to send us another wonderful family.

    1. Oh, Ann, I miss you, too. I am thinking about Zion constantly and praying for everyone there. It’s a blessing to be closer to family and I’m really thankful for that – especially as I prepare to take Luke and Katie to ILC this weekend. But you and Bill and everyone else at church feel like family to me, too. So I’m looking forward to October when I can see some of you at the Women’s Retreat. The Lord bless and keep you!

    2. Ann, you and Zion are in my prayers……. The Lord, in His own good time, will send you another wonderful family….

  3. Multitasking is one of those double-edged swords—it helps us accomplish a great deal, but it also divides our focus, both of which can be positive and/or negative depending on the things we’re doing. The main thing I see about you, Deb, is that no matter what you devote yourself to, you give it 100% and your priorities are always in order, divided focus or not. I don’t know how you do all you do!

    1. Thanks so much for such a lovely comment, Lisa! I was thinking the same thing about you, Lisa. How do you manage to write a 92,000 word novel with everything else you do??

  4. Two extremes and everything in between. I know exactly what you mean.

    Sometimes I take on everyone else’s burden when I know I should turn it over to God. There’s a poem I love, and one part goes, “Why won’t you help, God, I want to know?” His reply, “I tried my child, but you never did let go.”

    You and your family will settle in and have the blessing of a physical new home town and your virtual old home town through internet connection. Doubly blessed.

    1. You said it exactly, Linda. I like to hang on to things for sure that God could handle so much better. I like the poem you quoted, too. That just about says it all! And yes, it’s so much easier to stay connected than it used to be. I am blessed.

  5. Oh, Deb, I so feel your pain. Leaving Sister Lakes was so so so bittersweet for us, but I was so thankful the Lord led us to Eau Claire where our family could all be together again. Selfish maybe, but having all of my precious children together with us again was a most wonderful, rich blessing from the Lord. I have so very many ties to Sister Lakes and our dear friends in Christ there… I love and look forward to seeing them from time to time….constantly keeping them in my prayers, but it truly is like being torn between 2 places, …just one more reminder that ‘heaven is the home of all in Jesus Christ’ … not life here on this earth.

  6. And I imagine there will be many more reminders of that very thing throughout my life. One of my friends said she would chose to be thankful for the time we had together instead of be sorry we had to leave. I love that. I’m much happier when I count all the wonderful ways God has blessed us. And yes, heaven is our home!!

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