Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Benefits of Slowing Down

I am still enjoying a simpler life "on the road" or "during sabbatical" or simply "being a squatter". It's not like we are completely free-loading around here. Robert is building a new & improved deck, I try to help out with cooking and cleaning, and the kids - well, they try to stay out of the way and remind their grandparents how precious they are.

All that said, when you are in someone else's home you have more time on your hands. You do not have closets to declutter, deep cleaning to do, and less opportunities for busy-ness. So I am still savoring this time to spend reading a good book, or doing puzzles with the kids, or taking naps with my little girl.

That is one of my favorites. While in our own home we have a set house quiet time - 1pm DAILY. And while on the road this is still true. But at home, during quiet time I am rarely quiet or still. I take those 90-120 minutes to do as much as humanly possible without little people vying for my attention. But while in another family's home I am taking more time to catch up on my blog, or read, or nap. I love laying down with my little girl (who has such a strangle hold of my heart it hurts sometimes) and just rest with her. She loves when I rub her back or just lay close and smile at her. And I love when she reaches over and rubs my cheek or hugs me just to let me know that she loves me too.

God gives us these amazing blessings - we call them children (among other titles less flattering) and so often the crazy life we leads pulls us away from savoring all the good in those precious little people. How often we say - "Just a minute and I will....[listen, look, talk, etc]" but how often does it really happen. Or even better, how often do we actually get to listen, look, talk, etc.... versus how often they get distracted and forget the request before we can oblige them. I have do enjoyed these 8 weeks with my wonderful husband to have the time to do just those things. With 2 of us sharing the daily responsibilities of meals, cleaning up, running errands, etc - we are so much more able to spend more time with our kids and more quality time at that. It has truly been a gift. This time. A gift of slowing down and savoring.

Do I want this forever? Heck no! I mean, Robert needs to get a job to feel needed by more than running noses and dirty hands. He needs to be building something. So I know that this time will end. I hope it ends sooner than our money runs out! Just kidding, well..... not really. But I am hoping he gets a job soon as we have several promising leads on the horizon, not just to start adding money to the bank account, but because he is getting excited about it. And quite honestly, while he has been a great stay at home dad on a temporary basis I think he is quite caught up on family time. He has enjoyed being with his boys (and girl) more than before - he has played, gone on walks, played tag, gone out in the boat, and more - but he wants to be with adults again and talk about something other than animal planet or the latest bug find. He wants to feel like the leader of this family and bring home some bacon.

When we are on the other side of this period though, I trust that we will reflect back on this time as a great opportunity that we took and savored. I know God planned this out before it happened and I know he has blessed us immeasurably during this time. And I honestly go back to a verse in Joel that a good friend told me about when Robert was deployed to Qatar -
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten" Joel 2:25
This verse brought me so much peace when I worried about Robert's return to his boys who barely knew him. (Our second son was born during his deployment and was 6 months old when he returned, and eldest was so young and needing Dad to imprint) This verse told me that God will restore that lost time to our family, and he did. The boys acted like he had never been gone when he returned. The baby took right too him which always amazed me and our eldest was so close to him I was thrilled.

And I feel that this time this summer was another gift from God of restoration to our family. Something we did not know we needed, more than we could have asked for. Time together to just grow closer and no doubt to prepare our hearts for the next leg of this journey. And it always excites me to see God so in the details of our lives. He is so good all the time!!

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