Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Under My Feet

I took this picture this morning but it could have been taken at any given moment during the day.  When I fold clothes, I have all three kids and the dog under my feet.  When I put away dishes, I have all three kids and the dog under my feet.  When I try to pee, at least two out of the four of them try to break into the bathroom.  Even when I tiptoe into the kitchen in the morning, they somehow know I am there and quickly surround me.

It can be stifling sometimes, if I am honest.  It can feel like I can't move or get anything done.  I can hardly finish a thought without them asking me a question.  And I'm a dreamer, a thinker...I am someone who regularly drifts into my own mind.  They will say, "Mommy!  Did you hear me?" and I honestly didn't because I was thinking.  I strain to pay attention but they all want different things at the same time.  Hold me, do a puzzle with me, play outside with me, dance with me...All the words spin in my head as I try to figure out how to manage everyone's needs alongside my own.  My husband has recommended that I tell them firmly to play in the other room and I do.  But they are always drifting back, one by one, to my feet.

I decided the other day to try and look at it differently.  Yes, it is stifling.  But what else is it? I can't tell you how many grandparents will stop me when we are out to say, "I know it doesn't feel like it but these are the best years of your life.  They are the hardest but the richest."  I will say that to my mom and she says, "That's such bullshit.  It's so much easier when you are old and retired!" but then even she will acquiesce and say that it truly is an incredible joy to be around children.  I know they are right - I feel that joy a hundred times a day.  But I do miss the freedom sometimes.

I remembered a Bible story about someone sitting at Jesus' feet and I googled it.  (Modern woman's Bible, right?) I found this one from Luke 10:38-40
Martha and Mary

38Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word.40But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."…

I thought about what an incredibly opportunity I have to teach my children while they sit at my feet.  I am so distracted by my tasks and getting them done and yet my largest task is guiding and teaching my children.  I have paid attention a bit more since then to the questions they ask as I fold clothes.  They have asked questions about right and wrong, space and the moon, and even about how a blender works.  They are asking to be fed - And so I will do what Jesus has called me to do.  Feed them.  I will feed their minds, their spirits and their souls as long as I am able.

But I cannot do that if I don't care for myself.  I have a sitter today and I'm sitting at a tea house courtyard in the shade of a giant oak tree.  It's easy to have perspective then.  And it will be easy to welcome them back to my feet when I get home.

Are you taking the opportunity to fill your children's and your own spirit today?  If not, how can you make time for both?

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