Today I slowed down. It seems like everything has slowed down over the last few weeks. Everything deemed non-essential has closed and even the essential businesses like grocery stores and restaurants have drastically reduced their hours and services. While life in general seems to have slowed, life as a mom stuck at home seems to have spiraled.
If you are a stay at home mom like me, your days have probably not changed as dramatically as some. I will be honest, with three children under five I don’t leave the house often with them during the week. We have weekly dance classes, and an occasional play date. We go to the park or an indoor play place once or twice a month. The rest of the time we are home.
Many mommas are now trying to work from home, while homeschooling their older children and still do everything they normally do. Other than fewer things do go do, and no occasional escape, why does it seem so hard for me?
God brought some things to my attention recently. Mostly personal. I have not done the best job of caring for myself. I am not talking about self care in the way of spa days, or occasional pampering. I mean just in general. I haven’t been making the best choices in what I eat. I eat at random times whenever I have time, sometimes once a day. Or when i am grabbing a quick bite, its literally the leftovers from the kids. Its not consistent, its not balanced, sometimes its not enough (and I wonder why I have no energy and feel like junk.) Before the quarantine I did go to the gym, it helped but is not an option right now. I could be more active, but the weather has been cold, and I have certainly used that as an excuse.
My day is such a blur. Get everyone up, changed, to the potty. Get everyone’s teeth brushed, make breakfast, get everyone to the table, feed and supervise eating. Clean up the kitchen in time to do some educational activities with the kids, some crafts, make sure they have fun. Answer the 300 questions my 5 yr old asks to the best of my ability (this sometimes means Googling things on the spot.) Giraffes make a deep humming sound by the way. Diaper changes and trips to the potty all mixed in, while constantly keeping an eye on the toddler who’s favorite past time is playing in toilet water. This is the morning. The rest of the day is just as packed.
This morning was different. I was reflecting on the things God had brought to my attention. After the kids finished breakfast, I left their mess on the table and made myself an omelet. I sat down at the table, and when they pleaded for my food after eating their own… I. Said. No. I told them they had eaten their breakfast and it was time for them to play while mommy ate her breakfast. And. They. Did.
While I sat and ate my breakfast I reflected on a few things. Since the recent changes everything has seemed to change. I see more families outside in their yards playing. This slowing has created margins for us. Hopefully for many it has helped us see many things we may call needs are just wants, and many of our needs we were over filling.
In Exodus 16, when God’s people were in the desert, He sent them Mana. They were told to only gather what they needed for the day, with the exception of the day before their Sabbath. Of course there were those who gathered more, and it spoiled, not just stale, but maggot infested spoiled. Perhaps we do that with other things. We need to eat, but are we using the fact that we need nourishment to over indulge or eat things that are edible but don’t actually give the nourishment we need? We need community and people around us. But, are will filling our calendars with events and activities that put us in contact with a community, but neglect to create deep meaningful relationships that serve our need for community?
I believe slowing down, and giving God our margins to speak to us and reflect is so important. He calls us to live a life that reflects Him. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing all the good things, we miss opportunities. Opportunities to serve others, to lead others, and to become closer with Him.
I want to know His heart and be His very movement in my home and community. In Luke 10 Jesus visits Martha and Mary. You may or may not be familiar with this story. Martha is busy serving. She is making sure everyone is taken care of. Mary sat down and listened as Jesus was speaking. Meanwhile leaving Martha to do all the work. Martha finally has enough and asks Jesus if he will tell Mary to help. After all, Martha is doing what she is supposed to do, and Mary should be helping her, not just sitting there doing nothing… Jesus responds “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about many things, but only one thing is necessary. For Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Quarantine momma, do not get so caught up in doing everything you are supposed to do that you become “worried and bothered and anxious.” Sit at His feet, create margins and give them to Him. Choose what cannot be taken away and give it to your children. I want them to be productive, successful members of their community, but far more than that, I want them to hear Him, to know Him, and move as He conducts.
Slow down, Momma. Sit with Him a while.