Have you ever walked with a toddler? It's either trying to keep up, or trying to move them along. Most of the time, my guy tends to be the stop-and-smell-the-ooh-a-rock-look-a-plane-leaf! type. Our walks take forever and he is constantly stopping to explore and smell and experience the world around him. As I was hurrying him along one day, I realized I didn't know why I was in a hurry. We didn't have any place to be. We were just getting some fresh air in our neighborhood. But I was hurrying him.
It was at this point I started thinking about the beauty of going slow. Not only there beauty in it, it is also a necessity in the season we are in right now. Mothering a toddler and a pregnancy that has, so far, left me exhausted on a regular basis has forced a slow down in my life. We are also a one-car family, so many days this winter the toddler and I have found ourselves homebound several days a week.
The slow down has been good for us, good for me. Not suprisingly, it's all about Simplicity. Simplifying our schedule means finding good rhythms, or routines, that give us enough space and enough connection, without over burdening or burning us out.
But really, I find peace and quiet terrifying. I like being distracted and doing things and being busy. I enjoy it. I crave it. I (wrongly) believe I thrive in it. I'm realizing, though, it is a way of hiding, a form of running away. If I don't have to be quiet, I don't have to think. If I don't have to think, I don't have to face the reality of financial stress and making-new-friends stress and being-in-a-new-town stress and just-moved-to-a-new-house stress and I-have-a-two-year-old stress and I-have-a-whole-lot-of-junk-I-would-rather-just-ignore-and-pretend-isn't-there stress.
I also don't have to fight the lies that say I'm not enough. I'm not doing enough with my kid. The Lord can't possibly love me because I haven't talked to Him today. My ground is shifting and shaking and I need to find out how to make it stop. I'll never be enough. I'll never do enough. I'll never earn it (which is nothing and everything). I won't be happy unless i have this or that or am treated like this person.
So I'm running from the Lord. I'm running from myself. I'm running from the lies. I'm just running.
But then I sit and everything comes rushing in, and I have to wade through it all.
I can feel it coming, so I put on another show or open Instagram or do anything so I'm not still. But social media can only distract for so long. And eventually it comes anyway.
There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurable higher strength than to act. ― Margaret Bottome
Here's to the courage to be still and to be quiet and just be. To really experience the Lord and, therefore, experience myself, as well. To doing the hard work of listening and hearing and responding.