Friday, October 11, 2013

beauty{full}: leaving space

Two weeks of sickness here left us more than usually off-kilter. This week, I've been scrambling to get things rolling again, and have felt behind, exhausted, and even a little discouraged. I woke up this morning wanting a vacation. Yes, all this in spite of the fact that we've seen some improvement in the boys' sleeping and no one is sick now. Funny the let down you get after leaving behind survival mode.

So today we made a schedule. We had a quiet morning before going to the library and the playground and then I made plans for us to go play with another family (yes, I invited myself over because I love them and I knew my heart needed a pick-me-up). Being back on schedule helped me. We had a good day, because there was space for me to breathe around the legitimate needs of our family. Instead of being overwhelmed by my children and our To Do list, we made a plan (a flexible one) and implemented it.

I realize this doesn't work for everyone. I'm not touting the virtues of scheduling here or down playing the need for spontaneity. What I am realizing, however, is the need that we all have in our lives to make space: to rest, to seek Christ, to search out beauty. When we are rushing from one thing to the next, even if they are good or necessary things, there just isn't time for the unexpected. And finding beauty is generally unexpected.

To put this in perspective, after our play date this afternoon (during which time I sat on the front porch in a rocking chair talking to my friend and let my children play tackle football with her boys), I was booking it home because about 50 feet from their house I realized I had a desperate need for a bathroom. I'm just being honest. Welcome to twin pregnancy. And then, one block from our house, someone stopped to talk to me, a complete stranger who happened to live on the street behind me. And we had a lovely conversation during which we stopped being complete strangers, but I will not lie: it was the grace of God that I didn't pee on myself. But it was also the grace of God that I wasn't in a rush (other than to the toilet) and I had time to slow down and meet this other young mom and perhaps throw another life line of community out there. And that is always a beautiful thing.

That's what I mean about providing the space to find beauty (full bladders aside). It's the simple things, like allowing my children an extra five minutes in the bathtub so that I can load the dishwasher and wipe down the sink (beauty in the every day), or letting breakfast wait 10 minutes so that I can find a few moments to read the Word of God (beauty in Christ), or sending a text message to a friend asking if we can come over or a quick skype message to my mother requesting a few words of adult conversation (beauty in vulnerability). But we have to make the time for it. If we keep pushing, rushing, scrambling desperately through our lives without stopping to make a plan to leave space (or stopping spontaneously to leave space--whatever works for you), we will miss out on beauty.

{If you're looking for the rest of this series, all the links can be found here. Thank you so much for joining with me this month.}

PS I just added a gadget on the right hand side of the blog that will allow you to subscribe to my blog. Will someone please try it out and tell me if it works? Please?


  1. The subscribe gadget works. Bravo and thanks.

  2. Thankful you had a good day! And I enjoy a chat with you anytime. Less than 2 months!