In Which I Reflect that it's Good to be a Heffalump

Nothing makes me happy like a productive day.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. God made me with a bent toward organization and efficiency. It's fun for me -- a sick fun, maybe -- to see how much I can accomplish in one 24-hour period. I remember a day when I cleaned my whole house, did all of the laundry, made a menu and a grocery list, shopped at the neighborhood Vons and baked some homemade bread -- all before 6:00 PM. (Do I need to clarify this was before I had kids?)

If I were brutally honest, I would admit productivity validates my sense of self-worth. It makes me feel competent and valuable.

It also enables me to make a god out of my To Do list -- maybe even make a god out of my own capabilities.

Donald Miller has a simple but wise profound today. He ruminates on the fact that God is known for frustrating human efficiency, and we are wise to thank Him for it. Even the act of sleep -- which can look like a waste of time to those of us focused on the urgent -- reminds us that God is in charge, not us. That we are the creation, not the Creator. That life is more about our be-ing than our do-ing.

I needed that reminder today, because lately, my productivity has dropped off the charts. My body is swollen with 31 weeks of baby. I cannot move fast. I cannot keep up with my children. My frame is not designed to carry this much weight. The simple act of walking up a flight of stairs takes my breath, and an hour at Target exhausts a full day's allotment of energy. I feel more Heffalump than human.

I. Am. Frustrated. And bored. I'm tired of sitting still.

So I needed the nudge to remember God's priorities. It's more about reading a book to my toddler than cleaning the bathrooms. I might not be able to take my kids to the park, but I can laugh at Connor's Lego stories and listen to Natalie's enthusiasm for the latest Puppy Place book.

I can fix my eyes on Jesus, the author of my faith. I can pray for my husband, for our future. I can treasure each day as a gift, savor each tiny jab in my ribs for the miracle that it is.

I can be still and know that God is God and I am not.

I am only Kelly. And for now, that is enough.


  1. Great post, Kelly! I love that sentence: God is known for frustrating human efficiency, and we are wise to thank Him for it. That's good stuff!

    I also feel validated by productivity. And that's why it was incredibly liberating a couple of weekends ago to go on a scrapbook weekend and not complete ONE single page. Instead, I did a number of things that were life-giving to me and I came home feeling energized and refreshed.

    It's hard to not let my to-do list dominate my day because I like structure and order, but I'm trying to give myself a little bit of grace when everything doesn't get checked off. It's harder than I imagined it would be.

  2. I loved that Donald Miller post - I've been thinking a lot about the rituals he talked about. He's definitely a favorite. So applicable to the now of my life.

  3. Wow! Ok, again. WOW! I will look at productivity and scratching those things off my to do list differently. It is ok when God call me to bless my husband by running errands for him instead of painting the hutch. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you to me today. :)

  4. I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, but today I had to comment to tell you that this was a blessing and heavenly reminder to me today.

    As I sit here after an afternoon of sleeping looking around my mess I was feeling quite disappointed in not feeling well enough today to get anything done.

    And I was still feeling that way until I got to the sleeping part of your post. God almost has to put me down some days so I remember to sleep, to rest, because if I wait until everything is done.... I'll never take care of myself.

    But I remember those pregnancies days of being bored of being bored, and wanting to get up to clean and couldn't. I didn't find God very funny during those months.

    Good luck to you. Now I return to stealth reader status! ;o)

  5. Oooh Kelly! What a gift that you've come to this understanding! I wholly identify with the 31-week Heffalumposity. The last few weeks of each of my pregnancies, I made a point of really slowing down to pour time, attention, and love into the older children, doing my best to relish every moment of time before the new kid arrived on the block. Enjoy!!

  6. Yes ma'am. Me too. Amen. Oh yeah. High five. You hit the nail on the head! It's a chance to really evaluate how much of the LIST is important, too. And I love Dana's thought on how best to spend the precious energy you do have, although I know it's tough when your instincts right now are probably to nest and focus on the little guy. :) Not much longer and then you'll be VERY productive in a very, very purposeful way, but also very much in a position to lean on God for strength, too. Oh those precious days. THESE precious days. Do not let your head get ahead of or in front of your heart!

  7. You are only Kelly and for ALWAYS, that is enough. ;-)