From the Archives January 2012
The twins just had a birthday. Four years old now. I will spare you the “I can’t believe they have grown up so fast” commentary because it has gone fast but in a lot of ways it has been slow too.
Today I have been thinking about what my life has been these last four years. It’s easy to sit here in my quiet studio and reflect when all of my kids are in bed and it is calm. It’s easy to feel that overflowing feeling in my heart and savor their beauty and love and remember all of the little joy-filled moments we have had today. I can feel my breath being taken away just at the thought of how beyond blessed I feel when I really think about this life of mine.
But, frankly, all of the moments haven’t been joyful. Sometimes they are downright HARD, frustrating and exhausting.
Most of the time on this blog, all you see is the uncluttered, light-filled parts of our life over here. I do this on purpose because I want it to be an inspiring, beautiful place for you to visit. We all have clutter in our lives (that clutter piles up pretty quickly over here!). There is beauty in the clutter. I know I’ll miss picking up coloring books and dollhouse accessories someday. But it is nice to have places to go that are clean, pretty and clutter free.
A while back I read parts of a journal I kept during the time I was a missionary 15 years ago. As I was reading, I felt a little disappointed in myself that in almost all of my entries, I didn’t talk about what was hard or frustrating for me. I just talked about the good things that happened and what I believed. I think it is important to focus on the positive and I’m glad I didn’t let the negatives crowd out all of the positives, but, I kind of wish I would have at least taken a line or two to write about my struggles. Because man alive I had struggles!
It was hard to talk to complete strangers about something that means so much to me and then to have them reject me and my message. It was hard for a very athletically challenged girl like me to ride a bike everywhere, every day in a skirt no less! I wish I would have documented the struggles…mostly so that I could see how I had the courage to overcome them and how I grew stronger and stronger as I kept getting back up and trying again.
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I just finished re-reading one of the best, most honest commentaries on mothering. Have you read the article “Don’t Carpe Diem” by Glennon Melton? I have had so many other moms recommend it. I only read half of it until finally one day after having it recommended again thought, “Sheesh, what is all the fuss about?!” and read the whole thing. Now I know what the fuss was about...it’s like Glennon went into my jumbled up mind/heart and articulated perfectly, exactly how I feel about motherhood.
In the article, Glennon talks about two kinds of time: Chronos and Kairos. For clarity, I’m going to just quote an excerpt here (but you’ll be so glad you read the whole article…it is so good):
“There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time. It’s four screaming minutes in timeout time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chrono is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
“Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. It’s those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.
“Like when I actually stop what I’m doing and really look at [my daughter]. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her…brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft…smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can’t hear her because all I can think is — This is the first time I’ve really seen her all day, and my goodness — she is so beautiful. Kairos.
“Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with [my son] asleep at my feet and [my husband] asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think — how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.” – Glennon Melton: Don’t Carpe Diem, Huffington Post, January 25, 2012