Sometimes I feel like my babies teach me more about life than I teach them. Anyone else? Just me?Recently my almost three year old spent a week at “Grandma Camp.” I got to return home to a different routine, soak in my 6 month old and take a ‘break’ from my norm. It was funny to watch the week progress. I started with lofty dreams about how much I could get done, gaped at how “easy” life seemed with just one baby demanding my attention, and dreamt expectantly about all the time I’d have with my husband. As I look back, I can’t but laugh at how all that slipped away in the blink of an eye. And I think it was day two I realized how hard the Lord must have been laughing at me.
As I sat to really plan out my week and figure out how I was going to get ahead on work, add deep cleans to my schedule, see more friends, take time for myself, allow for my baby to take priority, and have dates every night – reality set in. I spent the first part of my day in silence, soaking in the Word, and was hit with unimaginable fatigue. You know that feeling when you finally stop moving after a few fast paced days (I was in a wedding, which was amazing, but busy…) and everything feels like more weight than it should as it all catches up with you? I heard loud and clear though the verses I was reading and deep in my Spirit that REST was what I was really being called to in this ‘out of routine’ week before me. (Psalm 23 if you think you need some similar encouragement.) I’m so thankful that the Lord stops us in our tracks and redirects our sails when we start to wander. Sometimes it takes us a while to have the “eyes to see,” but none the less, this was one of those thankful moments.
In my reflections the rest of the week, and in the few weeks since my pace has returned to quicker – a few lessons stick out that I’m trying to keep in the forefront. I could write a full book on each, but for now I’ll leave you with my top 5 recent “lessons from my littles” and a quick context to explain. Whether these resonate with you the same or not, I hope this reflection helps guide you into your own time of pondering through little eyes. 🙂
- There’s no such thing as more time in the day. Where did the expression “if there was only more time in the day” come from? I don’t know how often I’ve used that line or expressed in exasperation this idea of feeling like I’ve been cheated of time in my day somehow. The reality is, there’s always the SAME amount of time in the day. 24 hours. I had to laugh at myself as I sat deep in thought about this simple fact. I had so much I had hoped to do in this week where I didn’t have to think about the daily duty of caring for my toddler. I forgot that everything else still demands the same time from me – and that my toddler actually helps entertain my baby to a point that I can tend to better multitask, especially his waking hours. Priorities define that time, and while we can make different choices on our priorities daily – the fact that you’re spending your time doing whatever it is you’ve chosen can make you feel like your time has been wasted, or has given you life. This leads directly into lesson #2:
- Choose to prioritize your time by the things that give you life. I was blessed by some sweet time with dear friends during my week with Addie away. When you’re blessed with deep friendships it’s easy to dive into heart stuff, real stuff, life-giving conversation no matter your distance or consistency in communication. My soul LIVES for these moments and times. I truly believe God speaks to me the most through the people he’s intricately woven into specific seasons of my life. Not only did I get to be reminded of this way that the Lord shows his own love for me (and that I need to seek it more often), but the content of our conversation was convicting and purposeful. I was challenged to look at all that I’m doing in this “busy” season I tend to describe myself being in, and ask how I prioritize my time. Even as someone who may have a large capacity I’m challenged by the fact that some of my “good” stuff gives me life, and some of it is so GOOD, but not for me in my current season. I still have a lot of reflecting to do on this one, and my babies are working together to help me define that better.
- Feed your soul, feed your body. In the same way that my plans were diverted at the beginning of my week, our days can be transformed depending on how you choose to start them. I think finding what gives you life is a huge part of feeding your soul, but can also help in turn create a more whole-body health. When my soul is thriving I find energy and priority to work out when I need it, eat what my body is craving (yes, even if its chocolate), and generally feel more healthy overall. I love that this can also be different for every person, just like your role in the world, your community, your family – and especially with God’s plan for you. Starting my day centered in what matters most – with a reminder of the perspective I want to choose and live by through any circumstance in my day – is key in this for me. I’d love to hear how others make space for this in a similar “busy” season!
- Shared life is rich life. We are called to live in community, and everyone wants to be pursued. Sometimes the lie that you’re not being pursued can stop people from reaching out. Those lies prevent people from sharing love, receiving joy, and communing in fellowship. We’re all different – some of us need more togetherness and others love solitude. But there’s such power in community, and I’m also challenged to keep pursing. No matter what. To not let insecurity, an undefined role, or a new season stop me. It will always be worth it.
- You can be your baby’s hero. My transition
from working full time in minstry, to staying home with my babies as my first priority has be so enlightening! Again, I could write a novel on the importance and reason every season can be the best, but also the hardest. But the biggest lesson in all those seasons and one that currently feels like it’s pulling me in more directions than ever – is that there’s nothing more important than showing your babies love. I can fall a million times, make choices that are hard for one or all my kids (and husband – or myself), but there’s nothing sweeter than the forgiveness you’re granted by your baby who will always see you as their hero. They’re born as a being that’s utterly dependent, yet we have to choose whether we’re going to be dependable or not. I sat various times in this week solo with my infant just staring into his eyes, making special effort to respond to his coos and baby babble, choosing to prioritize the message that he’s worthy of my time, and gaze into his eyes the way he seems to ALWAYS be longingly looking at me.I don’t pretend in saying this that I can always stop what I’m doing and enter into this space – but I can be more proactive in intentionally balancing this desire with the other pressures and needs I experience, I love my little humans, and I can’t imagine God’s love being so much bigger than I can understand – but I hope I can help show my babies a similar image of that daily.