Last night I did something I almost never do: I canceled on a commitment I'd made. It kind of made me a little sick to my stomach, but it was seriously the best decision I could have made.
It's been a crazy few weeks around our house (apartment). JP has been super swamped with school, meaning late LATE nights both weeks. He also does a men's group on Mondays at church, and I help with Awana Wednesday. Then we have small group on Thursday (last week, after which, he went BACK into school until some AM hour that comes after 12 and before 6). Anyhow, it's just been crazy all around: he's been busy and wanting family time, I've been doing it all on the home front, and Eli's been greatly missing his daddy. (On Tuesday he asked for Dada and when I told him he wasn't here he said "Dada his house. See dada two weeks" - which is what we've been telling him about his Nana and Pa, who, in fact, are at their house and are coming in (now less than) two weeks. It broke my heart.)
So, last night, JP was able to take a break from 5-9pm before going BACK to school to finish up his project. He said that he could really do with some family time. And I was torn. I felt EXACTLY the same way, but had my Awana commitment. I hemmed and hawed (cause that's what we do in the south) and debated over and over in my mind whether or not to cancel. And finally, I did (with that sick stomach feeling). I messaged my partner and the lady who is head over all the Sparks and I didn't make any excuses (if I ever, EVER had canceled a commitment in the past I would have felt the need for some amazing excuse - you know, the kind where you take the truth and make it sound a whole lot worse than it is). This time though, I told the exact truth - that our family was running on empty, we had the chance for a little time together before more busy-ness, and I wouldn't be able to make it.
They were super understanding and we had a great few hours together. We went to Cow-o-ween at Chic Fil A with our cute little zebra, and just enjoyed being together. It recharged my hubby to go back and get work done, and it refreshed my soul to get out and just talk to my best friend. Eli was also so happy to have Daddy home, he didn't even cry when JP put him to bed (I always get a few tears, sadly).
Anyhow, it wasn't anything huge that I did - just a small decision. And yet, it felt big. It was a matter of putting into action a truth that I feel like I have been slowly learning over the past year. I HAVE to prioritize time with and for my family. There are SO many GOOD things to do (like Awana) and I'm not advocating for not doing any of them, or for regularly skipping out on commitments. BUT, I also know that, when necessary, someone else can step in and temporarily take my spot at church, or in the other outside things I do. But no one can enter in and meet my families needs in the same way. No one can take on my role as Eli's mom and JP's wife (at least, no one better!) and I need to make sure their needs are met before trying to meet everyone else's.
I'm not sure why that little word, with only two letters is so hard to say. Probably because I seek people's approval so much and never want to let anyone down. I still don't want to, and will be back at Awana next week. But in the meantime I learned if something does HAVE to be put on hold, it needs to be the right things…
It was hard to cancel last night, but it was worth it. SO worth it.