The Checked out Mama

I sat at the traffic light totally zoned out. I let my mind wonder aimlessly down a road of stormy clouds to a place of rainbows and grassy pastures. Yearning for more. But unsure of what more I really wanted.

I daydreamed so long that the car behind me grew restless, honking his disapproval obnoxiously long and loud.

And as my mind registered the green light now turning golden, it hit me. I was simply going through the motions. Of motherhood. Of marriage. Of ministry. Of life!

I had gotten myself into a bad habit of escapism. Finding the art of avoidance more enticing than the feeding and caring of my family.

My fingers itched for a digital device when bored. My phone becoming the perfect evasion plan. A way to ignore the chaos and cacophony of motherhood.

Then there was my laptop. I could tuck behind it and completely avoid talking to anyone. For hours! Or until the bickering began. Which seemed to happen within mere seconds of my fingers touching the keys.

I consistently chose my To-Do lists, library books, and work catalogs over taking time to read with my kids.

I wished for bedtime simply to have the house still and carve out some peace and quiet for myself. If only life had a Mute button!

But the worst offense of all. I had a growing insatiable fondness for scrolling through social media rather than doing personal devotions or spending time in God’s Word.

And the more I thought about it, the more it made my heart ache.

I hurt with the knowledge that I had knowingly pushed away my God and my Friend. Choosing to daydream; craving diversion more than craving time with Him. I had gotten out of the habit of regularly communicating with the Lord. Of seeking Him and looking for answers from His Word.

I still prayed, but even my prayers seemed filled with hollow utterances, asking for my wants and my needs, not taking any extra time to listen to His heart, His plans, or His desires for me.

And so I humbly acknowledged my error. I admitted to myself and to God my avid desire for leisure over doing what I knew I should. For choosing the easy way out instead of the path set before me.

Then I asked Him to forgive me. To make me more like Him.

And I wish I could say that this all happened years and years ago. But the reality is, it happened LAST WEEK.

You see, we are a sinful people. In need of a Savior.

We miss the mark so often. And yet, God, because of His marvelous miraculous love, offers us unwarranted, unmerited, and undeserved amazing grace. Over and over again. In the form of Jesus.

I have come that they may have LIFE, and have it to the full. – John 10:10

And so here we are. With a new week and a new chance to run the race set before us. To direct our focus on Him and for Him.

Yes, it will most likely be difficult. And challenging at times. But it’s better than just checking out and merely going through the motions of living.

Because He has so much more for us. Guaranteed.


“Life is not a dress rehearsal. We have one chance to love, one chance to truly live!”

– Ted C. Kingsbury


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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