Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Circle of Quiet

Sweet goodness I have been full of nothing but spit and vinegar this week. I picked up a cough along the way home from our Erie vacation, and am sick to death of coughing. I have felt achy and cranky and lethargic ever since arriving home. My spunk, if you will, hath left me.

How do I recognize this? My house, so orderly when we walked in the door four days ago, is a shambles. The greatest accomplishments I can list for the last several days are that I have taken out the trash, run the dishwasher, and taken at least one shower. My kids ran on autopilot all day today, resulting in Boo melting down (oh the drama!) at bedtime because no one wanted to cuddle with her. And the following two topics are the only things I have considered writing about in three days:

Anatomy of a Moment
Why do kids always have to repeat an annoying behavior forever until you go batty? They never just naturally stop it on their own. For example, kissing the baby.

Kiss her once: I don't mind, I may not even notice
Kiss her twice: Cute
Kiss her 3-5 times: Okay that's a little more than I would, but, they are expressing themselves in their own way
Kiss her 10 times: Now I'm starting to think, Maybe they'll stop soon on their own
15 times: I am now going to calmly suggest they not love the baby quite so--

And that is when crazy comes out to play. The moment just spirals out of control so fast. Every time, I promise myself to be more reasonable. And every time I find myself driven to crazy person status.

Slow and Steady Doesn't Always Win the Race
I survey the pile of miscellaneous inhabiting my house. By the door sits a pile of road trip rubbish, waiting to be redistributed to its original locations around the house. In the sink sits a pile of dinner dishes backed up since I ran the dishwasher this afternoon. Toys clutter the living room; remnants of the afternoon playtime during which the older kids poured a container of Mosaic Legos over the baby's head (yes, really) and otherwise decorated her with laundry pulled from the open (as-yet-unpacked) suitcase sitting in the middle of the floor, as well as toys from her special basket.

In theory I should be able to keep up with this! Do you remember Aesop's Fables? One of them, about a tortoise and a hare, ends with the moral, Slow and Steady Wins the Race. I labor under the assumption that as long as I'm doing something, I will eventually come to the end of my list of things to do. But apparently I am working too slow, and not steady enough, because it never happens!

A corollary to this moral tale is another philosophy I live by, Work Smart, Not Hard. This week I'm realizing that there is still hard work involved here. And to be honest, not only do I hate hard work (where housework is concerned), but I feel terrible this week and I simply don't have it in me to get it done.

So I survey the messes inhabiting my house, and am sad. I really want a fairy to do my housework. But they're all sitting on a beach in Cancun, sipping pina coladas, or at least that's where I would be if I were a fairy, and thus they are not available to help me. And I am fast losing ground.

Finding My Circle of Quiet
So why am I full of spit and vinegar? Hmm, I wonder. Perhaps because I am maxed out. I wake up maxed out, and the day charges forward without me. I don't take time for a shower; I don't make time for my kids; I sit in a corner and bury myself in (insert escapist method here), wishing I weren't the one responsible for keeping the show going.

Just Be
Do you notice a common thread? I am not insisting on a quiet space within my soul, and so I have no buffer. There is a respite available for the taking; it's just that right now I have to work a little harder than at other times in my life, to orchestrate it. And sometimes, I just don't feel like making the effort.

I was again challenged this week to spend time with my Maker every day. Not simply in petition to solve my problems, but to just BE. To sit in a Circle of Quiet, if you will.

I am so anxious to get on with the business of each mind-numbing day that I rush into it headlong, forgetting to WAIT. Sometimes I dream I am building a wall, painstakingly laying each brick one by one, only to awake and find my entire night's work evaporated.

How much more clearly can my Maker remind me? Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). As dreams are insubstantial next to waking life, so is my reality insubstantial next to God's reality. I tend to forget: If I stop at the beginning of each day and give God the respect and honor I owe him, he will make sure I have time, energy and focus to complete the tasks he wants me to accomplish each day.

Ask Boldly
I also struggle with presenting my Maker with my desires. He's busy, I'm undeserving. I need to solve the problems that are of my own making, don't I? As I search for truth, I see that King David, called a man after God's own heart, had his own share of screw-ups, and he didn't hesitate to ask God for help to get out of his messes.

Once I spend time in my quiet place, listening to my Maker, my own heart begins to come in line with his desires. And my confidence grows that the burdens on my heart are important to him. So I can ask boldly for a few things that seem impossible to me right now.

First on my list, I need a Circle of Quiet.


  1. A profound truth you grasped and illuminated... "I am not insisting on a quiet space within my soul, and so I have no buffer." I need to frame that.

    P.S. I'm in the second form the right in the photo on today's post. You were off by one... but I had blonde hair until I was about 4!

  2. I came back to read this again today. I seriously think you should develop this into an article or devotional to submit somewhere. It speaks to the heart.

  3. Krista, I love this post--the honesty, the insight. It really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing it.


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