Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To Just Be

Last week I signed the big kids up for an afternoon camp just up the street.  It was three hours every day for a week.  And it was the best idea I've ever had.

On one of the camp days when I was finally somewhat caught up with house chores and the sun was shining and the babies were napping I decided to pull out three issues of my magazine (because that's how far behind I am) and sit in my lawn chair on the patio.  I realize I could have used this extra time to write a blog post.  Or finish my Kindle book from the last year.  Or call a friend.  Or write some emails.

But as soon as I got in that chair I forgot about the magazines.  Instead of consuming my mind with the thoughts and needs of someone else during every minute of every day I realized how lovely it was to hold my face up to the sun and to notice to my own thoughts drift in and out at will.

For a small part of my day I just wanted to be.  I didn't want to cringe when I heard someone screaming about a toy being grabbed from their hands.  I didn't want to think about what I was making for dinner.  Or which part of the laundry cycle needed to be moved through.  I let emails go unreplied and phone calls left unreturned.  The crumbs on the floor sat idle and there were probably still dirty dishes in the sink.

One of the things I love most about being catholic is the Church's emphasis on quiet prayer and meditation.  I'm not a praise & worship kind of gal.  Certainly that has its place and works for some people.  But for me, I feel most at peace and most alive when I'm quiet and still.  Which, as you may have guessed, doesn't exactly jive when you have four kids under the age of six.

Every day it's a sacrifice to live out this vocation of mine.  To wake up and go, go, GO until I have nothing left.  To be needed and then depleted.  If I had to choose one word to describe the current state of my life it would be constant.  I am constantly "on."

And yet, as much as it is a sacrifice, I know it's where I'm supposed to be.  Because there's nothing more holy than sacrificial love.  Even if I might be complaining the whole way.  I'm still putting one foot in front of the other.

When I tell people I have four small kids they ask how I do it at home all day every day with little to no help.

I don't know how to answer that question.

What else should I be doing?

It's like asking somebody how they breathe.

When I was pregnant with Bobby and already holding a baby in my arms they would ask, what are you going to do?

Again, I didn't know how to respond to that without sounding sarcastic.

Because the answer was obvious.

I'm going to take care of my babies.

This life, it pushes me to brink of insanity.  If it didn't I probably wouldn't be doing it right.

And when I'm standing there at the Edge of Crazy ready to fall (or maybe jump), suddenly the sun will come out. And I will realize two of my kids are at camp and the other two are sleeping.  And I am given the gift of a moment to breathe and just be.

Because God knows.  He always knows.


  1. So gad you got a couple moments to just be. Silence is so amazing, but only for a little while because then I get bored! People often as us how we do it too and my answer always is 'you just do'.


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