It’s a Friday afternoon in the middle of April, and I’m sweating in my hoodie and jeans at a swim lesson. The humid air is almost stifling, feeling a bit to my physical senses the way life feels to my emotional and introverted self.
In the last several weeks, we have faced surgery, move news, Easter, and scheduled another surgery. Add in homeschool, homework for the regular school kids, re-doing homework when the toddler attacks, and oh, dinner, laundry, errands, sleep…
I am tired. Spent. Yearning for quiet, prayer-time, answers, time with my husband.
Problem is…none of it is happening without more effort on my part.
Exerting effort when I am exhausted makes me cranky, but not putting in the effort for prayer or quiet or sitting for 10 minutes with Fence before we both crash makes me even crankier.
It’s been weeks since we had time (made time?) for Chickadee to swim, something that she loves and has helped her in a rough several months. Today, we’re here, and honestly, as much as I hate the interupption to the afternoon and the dinner that still needs prepping as soon as we step in the door, I am glad we made the effort to be here. Hard things are upon us, and a few more weeks of being able to swim will hopefully help Chickadee come out on top, still positive and hopeful for new things this summer.
I need to do the same for myself, make the effort to do what gives me life and brings calm, so I can also face the next several weeks with grace and strength. God-willing, I can be a source of strength for all these little people who will undoubtedly have several meltdowns between now and settling into a new place and routine.
My brood has been learning some key life lessons this week, taking every ounce of grace and energy I have, plus my introverted word-quota for the entire month. We’ve covered respect of self, others, the beauty of body and soul, respect for bodies, self-defense, the importance of good family relationships before friends… I am so glad to have these conversations with them, to guide them and build them up. But you guys, there aren’t enough quiet moments or Oreos or Doctor Who on Netflix to recharge me. Or are there?
Maybe not Oreos or Doctor Who episodes, but there are quiet moments. Hiding in the stillness of the moments before the boys wake and tummies growl for breakfast, there are my quiet moments. Before Small Fry was born, I often woke up by 6am to pray and declutter my head and the counters, prepping for the day. I’m getting back into the habit, because those minutes in the stillness are life-giving. God breathes beauty into my day with the sunrise, and fills my heart with grace in prayer. The “Heroic Minute” challenge hosted by at the Saints 365 blog is inspiring me to get up even when I’d much rather not. Those short minutes really do make a difference in my day.
Of course, I still want a day of going nowhere so I can sew and declutter and sort our homeschool books. Tomorrow’s forecast, full of winter storm warnings, just might deliver the “stay-home” day I need.
Most days, by the time I have 20 minutes of solid quiet, it is 9pm and I would rather not bother with words, spoken or typed. It’s probably part of being an introvert mom of 6 kids–there is not ever quiet here. I think, for a little while, I’m going to be quieter on the blog, until we settle down again and, routines kick in again. I do have some creative projects in the works, which will be exciting to share soon. Pray for us! I pray for you, too.