Well, that was fast. 2012, zoom. The first week of 2013, whoosh.
I keep forgetting that I have six kids now.
Silly, I don’t mean that I forget about the kids. With as much noise as they make that is impossible, and I’m constantly counting “onetwothreefourfivesix” just to make sure I know where everyone is. Usually they take up quite a bit of square footage, but other times they are deceptively compact and my train of thought runs like this:
“Six? Ugh, only six! Who are we missing?! Onetwothreefourfivesix, onetwothreefourfivesix, onetwo... threefour...five...six…oh, that is everyone. Okay…phew.”
What I mean is that I keep forgetting, or just have not really grasped yet, that I am a mother of six kids. Mine, for keeps. Life is a blur and I can hardly keep track of what day of the week it is (or, um, month) and the effort to slow down to enjoy life is in discord with the need to make sure everything that needs to be done is getting done. It's an incessant conflict. It makes for a level of frantic frenzy that I don’t like to have in my life. No matter how fast we go, there is never enough time to clean everything, read everything, learn everything, teach everything, cook everything, and still make sure everyone’s little toenails are clipped. It is a season of running, and as much as I love slow, simple living, it’s just not possible right now.
Some days I feel like I should be able to slow down. Ridiculously enough, it is on those same days that I also feel like I should get more things done, too. We multitask and and let go of non-essentials and still feel like life is a blur. We try to simplify but sometimes we just…fly. No simpli- about it.
I clean accidents in the bathroom and referee children and check the hard-boiling eggs on the stove and find myself burping a swaddled stuffed animal that has been left in my custody by our toddler and realize that I’ve lost my tea somewhere upstairs. It’s probably in the little girls play kitchen where several children have divvied it up among plastic teacups and are drinking it, filling up on the caffeine boost that I’m pretty sure I need more than they do. I switch to coffee and make it a double, out of sheer self-defense.
Sometimes I run, sometimes I fly.
Zoom. Did you see that?
I love the reminders to slow down. I need them, but I can’t always heed them. I can admire the beauty of our daughter’s crooked toes, but I can’t stop there because I also have to wash her feet. This is a season of running.
I ran into Proverbs after plowing through Psalms over the last several months. Something caught my eye while I was cruising through and I turned around to get a better look. It was chapter four, verse twelve, and when I read it I collapsed as one who finds an unexpected breather during an offensive push.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Oh my word. Tell me again!
If I run, I won’t stumble? You mean…it’s okay? I found amazing sanction this verse.
It’s really okay to feel like life is at full tilt and zooming by? It's okay that there are seasons that are just like that? Because part of life really is walking, but if you run because you have to…
…and it still feels like things are being left undone, untouched, unheeded, and underfoot…
…and slowing down means giving up, falling down, and crashing…
It’s okay to just…run.
If there is a marriage, a child, a life at stake, we must not be too late. Sometimes we have to run for lives to be healed. Sometimes we just have to run because dinner must be made so the children can be fed and work can be done and mommy can get to bed by midnight. He knows, and it’s okay. He is our rest in the running. He is the spotter that keeps us from stumbling.
Sometimes we have to run because the time is short. Countries shut down entire adoption programs and families are left in the middle, too late. Children are left as political pawns in the orphanages, and we have to run before it is too late to bring them home.
Sometimes we must run, as one who is anxious for the baton to be passed and grabs it with urgency, boldly rushing into the battle ahead.
Sometimes we run...sometimes we fly.