Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm learning

I have really felt God calling me to slow down. Not maybe so much in our schedule, but more so in my response to the kids.

Things can get crazy around here with a hubby that works a lot and 4 kids who are still pretty young. The noise level and demands are high. My kids are at an age where they are very dependant on me for help - with pouring drinks, wiping bottoms, making meals, seat belts, crossing streets, cutting food...the list seriously goes on and on. It really is exhausting.

And the smallest things slow us down. Way down. This mama who is on the go, doesn't like to be slowed down.

What I am especially impatient with is what I call, "drama". It's the tears because we can't find our favorite socks or arguing over what twin is going to sit in front of you, therefore refusing to get in the car or determining that you only want the green bowl, even though your cereal is already poured in the red bowl or taking our shoes off enroute to the store(and somehow losing them in the van!)... Yeah, these are the things that send my blood pressure up.

I really am impatient with these moments. But I have been quite convicted that these are the moments of motherhood. It's not always about serving a great meal, it's about serving some compassion when there are tears over socks. It's not always about creating the best family experiences, it's about using the day to day experiences to create the best family. It's in the small every day things that my character is being shown to the kids.

So for the past week I have really been trying hard to slow down. And I have seen it pay off.

Last night Caleb had his soccer party at Chuck E Cheese. We showed up with 50 tokens and then the coach gave us some more. Since it was just Caleb and I, I played a lot of the games with him. He loved it! Getting me one-on-one is a treat and he knows it and loves it. We would occasionally run into some of his teammates and they would say hi to him and try to talk to him, but he was being somewhat aloof. After he spent all his tokens and traded in his tickets he looked up at me and said, "Now what? I'm bored. There's nothing to do."

Are you kidding me? We are at Chuck's. I started to feel my blood rise at the ungratefulness, but took a deep breath and gave him some options of things that he could go and do. He started crying and didn't want to do any of them and just kept repeating that he was bored.

Now, this is usually where I start to get irritated. But instead, I tried to figure out what was going on with him. After many words on my part and lots of tears on his part, we decided to get his trophy and pictures and head home.

On our way to the car Caleb is crying and won't talk to me. I was starting to get frustrated again when he says, "I don't know how to say the words about how I feel."

Oh, my poor sweet boy. I pick him up and have him sit in the front seat with me and hold him while he cries. And then we start talking. Really talking. And I find out that he doesn't have any good friends on his team and doesn't feel like he fits in and feels left out. Stab in the heart. I felt terrible for him.

We ended up having a really good conversation. A really, really, really good conversation. A conversation that we wouldn't have had if I had been in my hurried mode.

These are the moments that I want to be remembered for. And they will only happen if I slow down. Thank you, Lord, for conviction!


Anonymous said...

It is hard to stop and listen to our hearts, when our mind wants to carry us far away from it all. I am so proud of you, your learning to listen to that small still voice of God's love and direction instead, and yes as you experienced the reward of giving your son a listening ear, and he will remember this time more than all the hurt for not getting anything else but he needs more is his mother's loving heart of understanding. YOUR A GREAT MOTHER! lOVE YOU Mama

Elizabeth said...

Have you heard of the Mother Letter Project? This post is perfect!

Real-life Family said...

You are a wise mother. I feel the same way, and I only have two kids! Drake will be off school ALL next week for Thanksgiving break, and I think your piece of wisdom has come at a really good time for me. I know this is going to be an issue for me, next week in particular. Thanks for sharing your heart! I don't know if I would have taken much conscious thought about this otherwise.

allboys4us said...

I loved your post and could really relate to what you shared...thanks!

Michele said...

Why do so many important lessons take so long to sink in? I am so glad that you are listening to that still, small voice.