When life tangles

Life is messy.

It tangles and weaves and chokes and hurts.

 But somewhere in the tangle, beauty springs forth.

A cool breeze on a stifling day.

A blanket of snow on a frozen ground.

A tender giggle when the tears threaten to fall.

God has woven so much beauty into this world, but…

Sometimes you have to look through the tangles to see it.

Life is busy and the busy leaves us tangled.

So many plates spinning and every last one threatening to drop.

Can we catch them all?

Can we keep up the spinning?

Can we weave through the tangle?

Sometimes it takes a conscious slow down to stop the spinning.

Then we can see the beauty.

A deep breath on a hectic day.

A good book when the laundry climbs.

A phone call to a dear friend instead of a clean kitchen.

There is beauty to be had in the tangle.

Do you see it?

Can you weave through the tangle today?

Leave the plates to spin on their own for just a little while.

Take the time to breathe and see the beauty.

Tangled, beautiful mess.

What if we all slowed down?

We wandered through the brush, the bristled fronds scraping against our bare arms.  December 7 and in shorts.  This is the things dreams are made of.

We stopped and peered inside the little windows and I let my mind wander.  Who were they that lived there then?  What sounds filled their homes in a time when the whirring of electronics was not yet realized?  When televisions didn’t dictate every thought and movement?  Did they, too, feel the rushing passage of time – they who had no option of jumping in the car and buzzing to this meeting or that event?

As the quiet moments ticked away the evening hours and their hands, weary from a long day’s labor, sat still in their laps, were they able to drink the moments in?  Or did those mothers, like me, find themselves each night wondering what happened and how did the day blur by in a blink?

One day older.

Did those mothers nestle their babes each night and wish they could freeze time for a brief moment just so they had the opportunity to drink it all in?  Did those same mothers also have some nights when the darkness brought a sense of sweet relief as the bustle and the energy finally stopped and they had a few brief moments of peace before it all started up again?

I imagine the mothers were very much like me in this regard.  Equal parts sad to see the days fly by and anxious for the peace the nighttime brings.  Perhaps even more so as the burden they shouldered was far greater than mine.  Their days were filled with much more labor and with far fewer luxeries.

As we walked into the tiny house, the tour guide met us with twinkling eyes, the lines in his face evidence of a life well lived.  With a gentle smile, he guided us through each room, his aging voice filled with awe, wonder and appreciation.  He understood simpler times and I heard the longing in his words as he pointed out the small tools and toys.  The days of quiet are not far removed from his mind.

I love the quiet, too.  Not setting up cable has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  Evenings are filled with quiet togetherness.  Sitting on the floor, rolling the ball to one another.  Walks around the block.  Ice cream on the lanai.  Together without the noise.  It’s a step toward the simpler times.

What if we all slowed down just a little bit?  What if we all spent a little less time watching the lives of others and living our own? What if we all cut out just a few things so that the precious moments could at least be soaked in a bit before zipping past?  What if we just stopped for awhile?

I confess, the stopping and soaking in is hard for me.  It’s really, really hard.  There is so much to be done and the stopping feels like a halt in progress.  But is it?  When we stop, sit, listen and wait – does this stagnate us or, perhaps, move us forward still but in a deeper and more fulfilled manner?

As we pulled out of the gravel driveway, I turned off the radio and rolled down the windows.  This is a big deal for me.  I’m not a “wind in her hair” kind of gal.  I find it annoying and loud.  But today, instead, I listened to the wind whipping through the car, the echoes of movement passing through.  I breathed deep the salty air and glanced at the ocean just across the street.  I drove the speed limit, not pushing my speed but instead taking the time to enjoy the journey.

And they enjoyed, too.  We talked about the seagulls and the graceful way they danced on the wind.  The discussed what we would do if each of us were a bird.  How would the world look from the sky?

Even the (smokin’ hot) minivan has the potential to slow down.

What if we all just took the time?

What would life look like and how would it be different?

All photos taken during today’s field trip to Heritage Village in Largo, Florida.

The part where I really start to enjoy motherhood


I have a confession to make:

I haven’t always enjoyed motherhood.

The act of being a Mom came so naturally to me at first.  When Sloan was born I was immediately comfortable with him.  I wasn’t one of those neurotic moms who worried about every little cry.  I didn’t care if people held him without washing their hands first and I didn’t freak out at every little cough or sneeze.  I was laid back.

Except when it came to sleeping.  I made that poor child take naps all the flipping time.  Four naps a day for the first four months of his life, three naps a day for the next four and two naps a day until he was eighteen months old and he staged a morning nap coup resulting in me freaking out for a solid month before requiring he take a three hour nap every afternoon without possibility of negotiation until he turned four when he staged yet another coup and has refused to sleep since.

Okay I might have been a little neurotic.

I also required 12 hours of sleep per night and made sure bedtimes were rarely messed with.  No wonder that child hates sleeping now.

Alright, alright – I was a lot neurotic.

But, neurosis aside, I was comfortable as a Mom.  Babies are hard, but now that I’m on the other side of them I find myself snorting at how not hard babies really are.  Am I confusing anyone yet?

The real work of motherhood starts when their reasoning ability kicks in.  When you are no longer merely keeping them alive and sustaining them from day to day (or nap to nap in my case).  Wait…you mean..I…have to…ya know…teach them?  I have to raise them to be morally responsible, compassionate citizens of the world who contribute to society in a positive way?


I love being with my kids.  I love doing the fun things with them.  Going to the Zoo, playing at the park, going to the beach and the pool.  I love to do the activity of life with my kids.  But the day to day training that’s imperative to their development?

It hasn’t always been my favorite.

In fact, the day to day instruction has always been a bit daunting to me.  The business of training them to be respectful and obedient.  It’s hard!  Give me a fussy newborn over an insolent toddler any day of the week.  Can I get an Amen?

For those who know me well, you know I’m not what you might call a homebody.  I don’t enjoy just being home.  I like schedules and activity.  I like to be on the go.  I like to sprint through life.  But guess what?  It’s hard to sprint when there are three little ones whose legs aren’t as long as yours.  My metaphor is getting a little rough, I know.  Stay with me…

I’ve spent the better part of the last few months trying to slow down.  I’ve cut out a few activities here and there and tried to pull back.  I’ve tried to spend a little more time at home and when at home, I’ve tried to stop being so…busy all the time.  I tend to equate down time with idleness.  That’s not necessarily the case.  Sometimes it’s good to sit and read a book to the kids in the middle of the day.  It’s good for them and it’s good for me.

I’m finally beginning to enjoy the art of motherhood.  The hard part.  I’m even getting excited about it.  I know, right? It’s about time.  I’m looking forward to and excited about the process of training them.  I look forward to praying for them and being with them.  I’m so excited for this summer to just be.

I know it will be tiring and exhausting and hard.  But I love the hard.  I love the tiring.  I’m learning to love the process.  I’m learning to sit, to be still, to play Barbies, to have imaginary tea parties, to read books, to live every day life.  I’m finally enjoying that part of motherhood a little more.  Fewer schedules, more free time, more playtime.  I’m slowing down my pace and finally giving my kids a chance to catch up.

This is a great place to be.