936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I knew that something was terribly wrong the moment I opened the door to the microwave. I saw it, but could it really be?
Yes. Yes it could.
There sat my mug of coffee, rewarmed for the fifth time that morning, right on top of the electrical charger for our Bluetooth radio.
In the microwave—did I mention that part?!
Black, sticky plastic was plastered in a tar-like fashion against the inside wall of the microwave. And it stank. Bad. Like scorched plastic and electrical wreckage.
So much for my coffee.
This was par for the course of our morning. We were in a mad rush to clean our house for its first two showings. The baby was refusing his morning nap, the boys were complaining about the green onions in their eggs, there were counters to be scrubbed, floors to be mopped, and dirty laundry to be stuffed into hiding spots.
It appeared as though my husband had turned the microwave into one of those hiding spots, only for an electrical cord that needed to be stuffed somewhere at the last minute. And really, who could blame him? I mean, who doesn’t look in the microwave before using it? Or at the very least, who doesn’t notice a large black electrical device in the middle of the turning plate before setting their coffee mug on top of it?
Me. That’s who.
With the baby bouncing on my hip, I lit a couple of candles and removed some fresh cookies from the oven. It was all I could do to battle the smells of dirty diapers and burnt electrical cord emanating in the air.
It is alarming what we can miss when we succumb to rush. Because rush promises of fulfillment and reward and purpose. But all it really does is steal from us what we’ll long for in ten years from now. If we are not careful, we will trade our whole life away.
When I give in to it, it’s not only electrical cords in the microwave that might be overlooked. It is also a frightened toddler, unsure of all the change pressing in around him, asking me to hold him. And a four-year-old, after I’ve hushed him one too many times, breaking through my stress to whisper, “Momma, I just want to tell you that you’re nice. And I think you’re pretty.” These moments are what life is made up of, and I miss so much of it when I refuse to slow down.
Over the past few months as we have been preparing our house for sale, building a business, preparing a book for publishing, working, and raising three boys under the age of five, we kind of forgot what it feels like to stop.
And just be.
And just enjoy each other.
Rush has hijacked our fun.
This morning, with potential buyers visiting our house, I found myself very grateful for a few hours to spend with my people without a plan or agenda. Time for sipping coffee and eating brunch slowly. Time for sitting on park benches and swinging our two-year-old “higher, higher!”. Time for watching my four-year-old scale new heights on the play set. Time for feeling the breeze and memorizing how it tousles my infant’s hair. Time to think upon the One who created time, and put us here to enjoy it.
Sometimes we need to just let time be what it wants to be, instead of forcefully reshaping it into what we think it ought to look like. Time, after all, has a way of bringing beautiful moments right to us, if we’ll just learn to pay attention.
Today, time wanted to tick slower, and so I let it. I can never stop it. None of us can. But we can slow it. We can weigh it down by paying full attention to the beauty that surrounds us. We can capture it with the making of memories. We can amplify time by spending it outdoors, where we come to know the Creator of trees and rivers and mountains and our babies and time itself.
All of this is stolen when we refuse to slow down. When we rush and force and push and work until we drop. And then we look back, and time is gone.
One thing has not escaped me about this crazy phase of our life. Packing and moving and all of this busy we’ve taken on? It will be over in a few months. And the billowing waves of our schedule will begin to settle back into ripples. But in those few months of busy work, my little boys are going to grow quite a lot. And if I am so consumed with the busy, I’ll miss what is right in front of me. And I can never get that back.
So friends, join me in saying no to rush today. And then again tomorrow. Maybe even the day after that, too. Perhaps you, like me, are in a very busy season of your life. We can say no to the hectic. We can choose to stop and soak in the moments that really mean something, and to memorize our little people before they turn big.
The Thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, and I believe that one way he does this is by convincing us that rushing away our days is the way to fulfillment.
It is not.
So today, stop.
And go play outside with your family. Slow time down. Capture it.
You’ll never regret that. I promise.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!