10 April 2012


Third grade. Summer camp. To be able to access the pool, swimmers had to prove they could tread water for at least a minute (maybe two?). The only problem? I had never treaded water before in my life. Somehow, through swimming lesson after swimming lesson, no one had taught me this basic skill.

I literally threw myself into the deep end of the pool. Somehow, I managed to keep my head above water for the requisite amount of time. To this day, I'm not sure how I did it. Swimming skill combined with pure determination is the best I can come up with.

Turns out, that was good practice for . . . life, I guess.

It doesn't feel like there's enough of anything in my life right now - not enough time, not enough energy, not enough money, nor enough sleep. I feel like I can't possibly spend enough time with my kids, and yet there's so much more to be done. Dishes are a necessity and, when you find yourself trying not to swear in front of the children for the fourth time in an hour because you stepped on something pointy or yucky, vacuuming is, too.

And all of that is before the necessities of my own soul: the words I have to write because doing so helps keep order in my mind, the few minutes of quiet that I must have because I don't function well when my brain is always abuzz, the exercise that often feels like a waste of time but that keeps me positive and healthy and so much more whole.

People tell me I'm doing a lot, and I can see how that would look true, but I feel like I'm just treading water. Not drowning, not racing, just staying afloat. And I don't always know if I'm even going to do that.

Sometimes, it's that day in third grade all over again. I fling myself into life and just hope, hope, hope that I can do enough to keep us all sane. As I do this over and over and over again, though, I'm coming to trust the process, and not just what my eyes can see. When I look out over everything, it's too much. But when I narrow my focus and look at the next thing, then the next and the next and the next, I get through what needs to be done.

I'm coming to see the gift of a day, of 24 hours. It's not enough time to do everything, but it's plenty for the things that matter most, the ones I'm actually called to.

There is enough time, when I don't cram in things that aren't mine to do.

There is enough rest, when I take the opportunities for it when they come.

There is enough energy, when I choose carefully how I'll spend it.

I've been given enough of everything, but it takes faith to believe that's true when it seems so false.

06 April 2012

Light . . .

What brings light? That's essentially the question I've been asking myself in these long months since baby boy was born. What brings light? To me, to my children, to my family, to those around me.

I find different answers than what I'd expected.

Light comes when I offer my kids what I have, what I'm strong in and good at, and offer God the rest. I'm good at reading stories, talking about feelings, holding kiddos close, explaining things in ways they can understand and helping them pretend. I'm not so good at arranging play dates, getting us out of the house, and always being gentle. And that's ok, because God holds us all, and I will never be more than human.

Light comes when I walk away from the shoulds to pursue the things that give me life. I don't cook and clean much these days, but I play with kids, teach my classes, take some quiet time, and write.

Light comes when I put words to page, even when they're scattered and few and I don't know if they mean what I want them to mean.

Light comes when I work my body hard, when I don't shove personal wellness to the bottom of my to-do list because everyone else has needs I want to meet.

I'm breaking my silence here to join The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday. Today's prompt is "light".