Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If Time Could Stand Still...

There was a clamoring of children with grubby faces, bare feet and excited, musical voices bouncing on my bed.  We read devotions amidst a babbling, squealy toddler who climbed over knees and tummies that appeared like hills and mountains under a sea-blue comforter.

Simple, repetitive and sometimes confusing prayers were spoken by each child, and we patiently listened and walked with our youngsters to the throne of the One who always listens - even when the prayer sounds like a conversation about what we might do today, and how we should eat pizza and maybe get a treat for obeying Mommy.

The day was filled with activity and noise and all of the normal squabbling of a large family.  Then:  Daddy's home and we are all together again, to eat, talk, correct and connect.

Before I know it, the day is done.  Normally prone to rushing my kids to bed, even setting the "bedtime timer" to prod them through their routines and into bed, I am now finding myself somewhat reluctant.  If only the clock could stop.  If only I could take back my frustration and anger of the day, and capture more teachable, vulnerable and precious moments.  It's past bedtime now, and I look to my husband, telling him I'd rather not rush.  We need to be together as a family.  We need to connect and grow.  When the night is so beautiful, what could be better than the calming, quiet of a summer stroll?  No computers, television or other "noise" from technology blaring at us; just the sound of birds, cars driving in the distance and a dog that yaps at us when we walk by his territory.  Little voices are heard, and finally listened to with patient understanding and keen interest.  I can see the beauty in my daughters and the creativity in my sons that was previously clouded by a busy day and hectic world.

I find myself continually frustrated with this world and all it's advancements in technology and "so-called" connection.  Sometimes I just want to run away with my family to a cabin, far from civilization, with no electronics; no attachments to the masses of population and the commercialized world.  Why can't it be more simple?  Why am I so easily distracted?

Still, I learn that it is more about myself, than about my surroundings and though I am averse to take responsibility, I endure the consequences of my actions and attitude.  Sometimes, I just have to take my eyes off of the clock, and embrace the moment.  Sometimes we will be late - because my child's heart is more important that appearing punctual and always put-together.  There will often be late nights with my husband, because somehow the best conversations begin once the light is out, and we pour out our hearts, emotions and thoughts to one another.

It's always easy to plan for tomorrow, and think that change is on the horizon.  It's another thing entirely to commit ourselves to NOW; not letting the moments slip away.  As hurried as we have become, being drenched in complicated schedules and clinging to our routines as if they hold the key to our sanity - I feel that we are more trapped than ever and that which was designed to free us, has become a tether to bind us and dominate our families.  It's as simple as learning to ease up on the requirements you hold fast to in your mind - the ones that seem to matter, yet have little lasting value.  It's as easy as taking your eyes off of the clock, and when you capture a moment worth holding onto, you grasp every second without a sense of haste. 

Just hold on to my hand, for another moment or two, 
until all that seemed to matter slips away 
and our love burns bright and clear

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