Stomach bug overtook my house this week. Loads and loads of laundry were done. Sleep did not happen all of the time. As every parent of small children know this can be some of the hardest days. This post will not be about the challenges of illness. Instead, I want to talk about a particular moment.
My sweet L and I were sitting on the couch after a bout of puking. I knew I couldn’t go far. Slowly, L climbed into my lap. Then she whispered, “Lay down.” She climbed on top of my chest and promptly fell asleep. My head spun thinking about all of the things I needed to do. After what felt like an eternity, I finally slowed my mind down and I just focused on the sensation this experience. We stayed like this for a couple of hours. I knew that she was tired and would wake if I moved.
Why do I tell this story?
First, it explains how I tend to function. I am guilty of getting upset with the Martha and Mary story in Bible. I tend to think that Mary should have been helping in the kitchen instead of visiting. I tend to stay focused on the task at hand and instead of spending time with others. I like a clean kitchen and an empty e-mail box. Since I know this is my tendency, I make a conscious effort of being present. I also know just like Mary and Martha’s time was limited with Jesus, my time with others is finite and I will not get those moments back. Also I need to take the time to nurture relationships.
Second, as I settled in, I had some calm moments to think about my own growth. What I need to do next. I also reflected on previous work and the moves we were making. I felt much better about the next steps. I also thought about how it will not be much longer until my little L will not need me in the same way. I won’t be able to make everything better. It’s amazing how much reflection can occur when a small child is sleeping on you.
So friends, enjoy your time with others and focus on the relationship. Also create the space needed for reflection.