“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” – Dallas Willard
This statement sounds nice but homeschooling three high energy boys, and leading a church with my husband, it has been hard to put into practice. It is easier said than done. As I reflect on the season of the global pandemic and how unnecessarily busy I have been in the past –I have to admit that I have enjoyed the forced, slow pace of this past year. My life has drastically slowed. And although I really miss PEOPLE, it has been nice to slow down.
When my schedule is maxed out and I am too busy – I find that I am waaay too tense for my own good and the good of my family. When over committed, I tend to miss details. I overlook special opportunities and teaching moments with my kids because I’m focused on the “next thing” we are running to. Being too busy creates an atmosphere that is hostile for the soul and our inner peace and calm. It always surprises me how busyness can creep up into our lives, slowly etching away at the peace in our family’s home.
Although I am expressive and emotional, I am the type of mom who can have that laser focus when I’m super busy. I am non-emotional. I focus on the task that needs to get done and I do it. My kids get dragged along at my mercy. I am more like a drill sergeant than a kind, nurturing mother. “MOVE!” “HURRY UP!”, “WATCH OUT!”, “DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME TEN” (totally kidding about that last one- but sometimes I feel like saying it!!!) These are common phrases that so easily spurt out of my mouth. My poor children. By the end of a busy day our family is stressed, tense, anxious and tired – but wound up all at the same time. It’s all a jumbled mess.
As we reopen our states, cities and communities I want to guard the un-hurriedness my family has experienced during this pandemic season. I do not want to rush back into all the activities we were doing before– filling my calendar with social engagements, errands, practices. I don’t want to be so busy that I do not have the space to breathe.
Here are some ways I will live slower on purpose:
1. Give Myself Margin By Starting My Routine Earlier
Maybe it’s because of the nature of my job or maybe I just simply don’t give myself and my family enough margin. I feel like it is very common for me to be rushing through life – my kids hurried and dragged along. If I start getting my own routine together earlier, I know I’ll be less rushed.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend. “I’ll be as late as it takes me to be kind to my kids” – She too is a Pastor’s wife with children and her presence is “needed” at church by a certain time. This statement got me thinking…
When it comes to being to places on time – I am a whole other creature to my children. I lack patience. To put it simply I am rude and harsh to my kids.
2. Treat My Kids With Kindness
Maybe the way I treat my kids is more important than our punctuality? I give others much more grace when they are late, then I do my own kids. When I think about it – I have more patience and kindness towards strangers than I do my own family at times.
Am I alone in this? Or are there more of us moms who could afford to slow down a little and care for the little souls God has placed in our care.
3. Give Myself Grace
I am writing this not with “mom guilt”. I know that I am forgiven and free to live in freedom and abundance of what God has for me. I write for vulnerability’s sake. Maybe I am not alone in this journey? Maybe you too, wrestle with finding the balance of busyness and being present. I also write for hope’s sake – That God is using this moment in history to redeem this part of my motherhood. God is using my journey through motherhood to shape and mold patience, gentleness, kindness and goodness into my character.
To all the moms out there, when we rush and mess up: There is HOPE! Our God is so very kind to us and just like the most amazing Father he is, he is using these moments to teach, redeem, and sanctify us!