The (Many) Hats I Wear

I was downright exhausted the other day, and I couldn’t seem to figure out why. It was really puzzling me. So, I decided to take a quick inventory of everything I was currently managing, taking care of or am responsible for. I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote down a list of all the different hats I wear on a daily basis…

Mother
Wife
Writer
Friend

Then, I realized there were still other specific hats I wore in relationship to our youngest son, too:

Teacher
Advocate
Home healthcare aide
Medical care manager

But a quick look over the list made me discover that there were even more, much more personal hats that I wore that also monopolized some of mental and emotional energy:

Adult child of an alcoholic
Person with a disability (psoriatic arthritis)

Suddenly, my exhaustion was no longer a mystery. I had good reason to be tired, but I also discovered that I had left the most important “hat” of all off my list entirely: child of God (Galatians 3:26). And as such, I should be doing a better job of remembering to lean on my Father for help, strength, guidance and support (Philippians 4:13).

But the latter doesn’t just happen, does it? We have to be intentional about it. So, in an effort to do just that, I’ve made a personal commitment to become a better steward of me. Our physical, mental and emotional energy are precious resources that should be used and spent wisely. Likewise, how we choose to spend our time should reflect our priorities, too. While we often can’t simply throw one of the hats we wear by the wayside, we can certainly work to make sure we give ourselves the time, energy—and grace—we need to fulfill our various roles. We need to practice patience and understanding with ourselves, too.

I read a simple yet powerful statement the other day which I’ve since posted on my wall:

“I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.”

I don’t know who first said it, but I certainly needed to hear it.

The only way I can wear all of these various hats is by remembering the most important hat of all: the crown of thorns Jesus wore for me, so that I could rest in Him. Yes, we have all been created for a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11). We all have many roles to fill and hats to wear. But first and foremost, we belong to God (Isaiah 43:1c).

In the hustle and bustle of daily life when we feel exhausted and bone-tired, let’s remember that it’s okay to pause. It’s important to practice stillness. And we can absolutely enjoy the precious gift of His peace no matter how many hats we’re wearing (Philippians 4:7).

How many hats do you wear?
Have you ever stopped to take an inventory of them all?
I encourage you to make a list, too.
Sometimes, just acknowledging that—yes—we are juggling a lot really helps us to better understand our need to intentionally slow down and rest.

A Sticky Situation

I was fuming! I couldn’t help my reaction. I was red-hot angry. But then I took a deep breath and tried to temper my response.

Mark’s intentions were good. The results of his actions were just unfortunate—really unfortunate. And right now, I needed to carefully craft what my next few words would be, so as to avoid more unfortunate results.

Mark had been in the bathroom a long time—a very long time. So long, in fact, that I was worried. So, I walked down the hall and knocked on the door.

“Honey, are you okay?” I asked with my ear resting against the closed door.

“I okay,” he said. “I almost done…”

But I couldn’t help but notice the odd sounds coming from the other side of the door and when I noticed my shoes beginning to stick to the tile, I knew something was up.

“Honey, Momma’s coming in…”

And as I opened the door, that’s when it hit me. The smell was so overwhelming I could barely breath and there was sticky coating on everything in the room.

His own embarrassment and good intentions had lead him to completely drench everything in the room—and I do mean everything—with air freshener. The toilet seat and lid, the shower curtain and bath rug, the bathroom sink and counter—and yes—even the floor, all of it carefully and completely covered in a copious layer of (thankfully, environmentally-friendly and all-natural) room deodorizer.

I wanted to scream. What a mess! What a complete waste of money! What in the world?! But apparently I didn’t have to scream. No words were needed. Mark was able to read my reaction loud and clear. My facial response said it all.

But then—as I watched his tiny smile drop into a frown—I tempered my reaction.

How I felt was completely valid. It was a mess. It was a waste of money. But Mark’s intentions were absolutely true, valid—and good, too.

And in that very moment, as I stood in a standing puddle of room spray, I chose to practice grace. I gave myself the space needed to craft an intentional response that would take into account Mark’s own innocent actions. In short, I felt anger. But I didn’t lash out.

Grace to Grow On: Ephesians 4:26a

Practical Help:

Don’t always go with your gut. Try not to react to how things initially appear. Sometimes things can get lost in translation, so try to look at true intent instead.

Recognize that people make mistakes. They screw up. They hurt others. But take the time to appreciate that the results don’t always accurately reflect their real intentions. And when you discover those, let them guide your response accordingly.

In other words, purpose to practice grace.