Saturday, August 23, 2008
A Little Stress Relief
Once, long, long ago I was a young mother of 2 young children. I have always been a little rigid about grocery shopping, and this day was no different. I loaded my kids into the car and headed off to the store. The route always took us past my oldest child’s favorite park and each week I endured her begging to stop and play. “But we have to get to the store,” was my usually reply.
But as we drove this day it finally hit me. Why not? Why hurry to the store, hurry through the store, hurry home, and hurriedly put away my groceries? What difference were a couple of hours playing going to make? So I stopped. But most importantly I learned that being a successful stay at home mother means sometimes leaving behind to-do lists and living in the present.
I share this story because it seems this is a lesson I need to continually learn. Fast forward 10 years and 4 more children . . . This morning I woke up with a list of things to do. Being sick a lot of last week and spending my cleaning time organizing clothes, there was housework galore to be done. Plus I needed to put the finishing touches on cleaning my children’s rooms. Plus it was laundry day. Plus I had all the new clothes to distribute & backpacks to find and pack. Plus I wasn’t yet feeling 100%. Then something happened; as my husband left for work he wistfully commented on how beautiful the ocean looked today. And I looked up.
“Maybe if I finish my chores today I can go out,” I thought. And then I had the same epitome of 10 years ago. Why not? Why clean all day today (especially when next week my numbers will be down to 2)? Why stay stressed and grouchy? Why miss out on this last, beautiful Saturday before school starts.
So I grabbed my swimsuit, grabbed my kids and headed outside. And I played. I enjoyed my children. I felt the sun on my skin. I pulled Matthew on a boogie board and jumped in the waves. And I felt my stress let go. I remembered that I WANT to stay home with these crazy little ones. I embraced the present again.
As we walked the sandbar, I thought about the scripture in Mark, “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
This scripture shows us the love Jesus has for children, but it also is a lesson for mothers. How often do I get so caught up in how busy I am and I rebuke my own children? “Not now. Maybe later. If we get finished in time.” Today I suffered my own children to come to me. And in so doing, I enjoyed a little taste of heaven.