just a little ~~
snowed in ~~
Like all week. As it happens, today's the one-year anniversary of breaking my wrist and getting pins and plates inserted into my arm, and the memory of all those narcotics and side effects and not being able to drive and physical therapy and still with the stiffness. I adore snow, but I'm a little afraid of it. It's like petting a cat; I'm never sure if it's gonna be purr-happy or purr-maim.
Either way, I'm not complaining.
But here we are, stuck inside our little place because I'm not going to fall again, and I'm not getting to know any neighbors while frostbite's out there waiting to eat my limbs. (Sorry about that. One too many zombie commercials.)
In other words, I'm stubborn. I'm staying inside. If you need me, just knock. I'll be here.
Right now, we live in a community with other seminary families. The Preacher is halfway through his M.Div., and we're here with all these smarties working on their higher ed and using theological words I can't understand without an interpreter. I'm not down on myself. But talking to these folks about their field is like listening to whale song. I know they're communicating, and I think it sounds really nice. I just can't make sense of it.
So here we are with all these couples training for the ministry and kids running around outside, and we have this huge community house behind our place. And everybody goes there when it's cold, and they play games and study Scripture like it's summer camp in February, and of course it's a neat idea. *halo glows* It's fun. It's a busy place with lots of activities.
Only I don't really go because groups aren't my thing, and for me already church is plenty of community and getting-to-know-you and figuring out who's who and what's up. I can seriously do one new social thing at a time. I'm busy right now. (#StuffIntrovertsSay)
Last spring after my wrist healed a little and I could drive, I went through this supermom busy phase. Or superbusy mom phase. Both. Aidan was taking piano and playing soccer, and Chloe was taking dance classes, and both the kids were in homeschool co-op, and I was doing all the running. This with homeschool and testing season and the Preacher gone at least 60 hours a week at work, and I have to say I was proud of myself.
But I should've known better. I should've known myself better. One week I had something scheduled every day, and the idea was exciting. But then the week started, and I froze like Olaf. Like the street in front of my house. Like my toes with no socks. (Sorry again.)
But you've been there, right? You're busy and scheduled, and then you get sick or the kids get sick or the car gets a flat tire or you realize your license is expiring, and it's that one little bird that blows up your jet engine, and you sail toward the ground. That happened, and I had to cancel cancel cancel, all because for some reason I had to be busy.
I still remember the afternoon I canceled Aidan's piano lesson because my blood sugar bottomed out (because my body is smarter than I am). I expected him to be upset, but he was excited. He ran back to the tree he'd been climbing, and Chloe went back to playing in the rocks, and I sat outside and talked to our neighbor. And I finally took a breath.
I'd been drowning all along, and I hadn't even noticed.
So here we are in this place where people are prepping for ministry, and they're leaders, and the kids are P.K.'s in the making, bless their little hearts. (For the Yankees in the room, "Bless their little hearts" is Southern for, "Lord help those sweet little rascals.") And I've noticed something around here, and you've probably noticed it in your neighborhood, too; it's not just good-hearted theologians who get tangled up in busy.
It's not a judgment. Mostly, it can't be helped. If you're like me, you don't think twice about signing up and scheduling things and filling every season from Lent to Christmas with motion. It's a busy world, and we have a lot to do, and that's that. So then what's the big deal, right? Maybe nothing except. . . well, except this:
When I find myself busy from dawn 'til dusk (or dawn 'til midnight), I take space to wonder why. What's making me so busy? Is it necessary, and is it adding to my joy? Is it something my children need and want, or is it my dreams they're living out? Is it just filling the slots in my calendar so I don't have down time, so I don't have to ask ~
What would happen if I weren't so busy?
What would happen if I had a minute to sit and think? Would something in my life fall apart? Would my church fall apart? Would my kids fall apart? Would I fall apart?
Lent is a season of sacrifice, a time to slow down and consider our humanity. To prepare for Good Friday and the Resurrection as we prepared for the Nativity. And friends, we were made for work, so busy just happens. But just the same we were made for rest, and we were made for God's pleasure -- and we need room for all those pieces.
I need room for all those pieces,
especially on snow days when I'm cooped up with the people who see me at my worst,
when the busy makes me crazy --
and who give me grace anyway.
They calm the storm of busyness, and grace handles what work never could.