I sleep with the window open because the cool breeze is irresistible. The days have been beautiful here, not too cold or too hot, and it’s been a wonderful spring to enjoy. And I’ve woken up every morning this past week to a symphony of birds singing–chirping and tweeting and talking to each other. And while they’re happy and cheery, I’m still warming up to that idea and to be honest, it makes me wonder if the window open was worth it at all.
It’s hard to leave the comfort of my bed. Everything in me wants to linger here–to roll over and forget the long list of to-do’s for the day … always so much to do. I wriggle on my workout clothes and slip on my running shoes, grabbing my phone and ear buds too. And I don’t think I’ll ever like running. And I’m sort of a runner-walker anyway, because when it’s downhill I run, but when it’s uphill I walk. After all my polar-F-6-heart-rate-monitor-watch-thingy says my heart rate stays the same even though I’m only walking up, and that’s good enough for me.
And something happens as I breathe the freshness of the morning and put my feet one in front of the other. Even though I hadn’t wanted to run, I’m alone to do nothing but run and to see. I notice the beauty around me–the paths and the trees and the roses in full bloom. All this beauty I may have missed had I not gone running–had I not paid attention.
I’m the guiltiest of all when it comes to rushing and multi-tasking. With five kids and multiple plates I spin, what I’m thinking is efficiency in reality is pure futility. I miss so much when my thoughts and efforts are constantly diversified.
It becomes a rush, rush, rush … a hurry, hurry, hurry … and I’m thinking about the next thing while I’m trying to do the now-thing. And I wonder as I’m accomplishing my tasks and checking off my boxes why I’m feeling empty and why my efforts don’t satisfy.
I may be accomplishing tasks, but am I lingering with those I love most?
Am I slowing time to make room to notice the beauty that’s right here and has been here the whole time?
Kid’s playing, flowers blooming, bulbs sprouting, friends texting, books waiting … everything waiting for me to slow down and pay attention. But I keep moving on, on to the next thing, and I’m learning unless I intervene and come to a willful halt, there will always be a next-thing.
Time moves fast and it’s ironic how much I miss when I try to control it all in an attempt to maximize the time I’m given. Life feels chaotic like I’m spinning and there won’t be an end.
I re-read Ann’s words this past week…
…and I’m still there, living that amateur way. Ugh!
How many times do I tell the kids to hurry? So many times. Over and over again.
And what am I teaching them really? That we don’t have time to slow down and notice the beauty of each moment.
No time to slow down and give thanks.
No time for making room for joy.
I’m glad that half the battle is awareness, so that the change can be possible. But being aware is not enough. I have to do something. Like Ann says, I have to open my hands and open my eyes and choose to see.
This week, may you join me in slowing down time by paying attention. By refusing to rush and hurry and multi-task our way through life. Let’s take time to rest, to notice nature, make time for that lunch with a friend, make time to read that book, or try that recipe… time most of all to nurture the relationships we’ve been given.
And let’s give thanks for it all, because it’s in the gratitude we can find joy. And I SO want joy!
How have you been rushing lately?
What beauty might you notice if you paused to see?
#1416 The smell of my pillow
#1417 Birds chirping before dawn
#1418 Traffic flowing
#1419 Flowers in the hospital parking lot
#1420 Mother-in-law teaching the kids while I’m at work
#1421 Long run in the damp morning air
#1422 Bed with warm covers and a cool breeze
#1423 Snails crawling about
#1424 Talking and sharing my story with a mentor
#1425 Quiet time for writing
#1426 Parents visiting
#1427 Son turning eight
#1428 Delicious mexican food for lunch
#1429 Discipleship meetings and sharing from our hearts
#1430 The chance to abide and bear much fruit that He may be glorified in me