Monday, March 19, 2012

Slowing Down

It's a Monday evening.  Aaron was off work today, and he is sitting in the floor with Sam playing with the cookie jar of shapes we got from Aunt Velvet for Christmas.  Veggie Tales is on the TV.  The back door is open, and the dogs are running in and out, unable to decide whether they'd rather be sitting next to us or barking at the neighbors.  A pot of pinto beans is simmering on the stove.  The sky has darkened with the promise of the first storm of the Spring.  There is thunder in the distance.

It seems like a good time to catch up a little bit on my Google Reader.  646 unread items don't go quietly into the night.  I skim recipes and funny stories and useful household tips.  And then I scroll down and see the latest post from A Holy Experience.  There are certain people that I swear to you have hidden cameras that can peer into my living room and my soul.  C.S. Lewis is one of them.  Ann Voskamp is another.  Her challenge from today's post is to slow down.  That's all.  Just slow down.  

Why is that so hard?

When I started this blog I was struggling.  With infertility.  With my career.  With my marriage.  With trying to control everything and juggle a million balls all by myself and heaven forbid I let anyone help because a ball might get dropped and then I just couldn't predict the result.  It was chaos.  It wasn't pretty.

Over the last year I've done better with the control issues.  I've managed to not have many sleepless nights with my stomach in knots despite financial issues, personal conflicts, and the various other "life things" that always seem to wiggle their way in and nag me into giving them much higher importance than I should.  Things are busy, but I'm not stressed.  The housework is hopelessly behind, the baby doesn't nap, I can't remember the last time I made time just for me and Aaron, it's possible I might have over-extended myself a little bit in a few areas, but it's okay because everything will get done eventually.  Things are pretty busy right now, but I've got it all under control.  

Wait.  What?

Did that thought really just cross my mind?

I've got it all under control?

Am I here again?  Here.  Again.

Busy has become my new control mechanism.  Busy has taken over worry.  Busy is why my house is a mess, and I'm drinking what is probably too many Dr Peppers again.  Busy is why there are so many things half-done creating an atmosphere of chaos in my home and in my soul.

When it hits me I walk away from the computer.  I step out onto the back porch and take a deep breath.  I watch the clouds roll in and thank God for the coming rain and for the reminder that He is control.  That He is the keeper of the storms and the calm that comes afterward.  I thank Him for my whiny baby, my sometimes-oblivious husband, my neurotic dogs, my messy house, and my weed-ridden backyard.  I thank Him for the imperfections.  Because when I force myself to slow down and accept the imperfections in my life I am reminded of my need for a Savior.

And I am blown away by His grace.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
     his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
     great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
     “therefore I will hope in him.”   (Lamentations 3:22-24)

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