July 22, 2008

Hidden Treasures

One thing I’m learning as I spend more time writing. I have to learn to write faster! So today I’m going to try to write my post in an hour, which is all the time I have before I pick my son up from swim team practice.

So far this summer has been a real mixed bag for me. We’ve enjoyed some lovely time away with friends and family, but in between I’ve been so stressed. The tension is a gnawing hole inside because I feel like I’m letting everyone down. My family. My clients. My friends. And most especially God.

On the one hand I feel guilty because I’m not spending enough time relaxing with my kids or planning fun outings. On the other hand, my to-do list is overflowing, primarily with paying work that needs to get done and writing projects I want to get done and I just can’t find the time to finish any of it. The house is dirty. The cupboards are bare. And my husband probably thinks I’ve forgotten all about him.

Summer is not a quiet time in a family with children. The large chunks of uninterrupted time that comes with the school year are gone. The carpooling, activities and such now start at 7:30 am and don’t end until 10:00 some nights. I’m weary and craving a string of uninterrupted quiet so I can focus and start to check some things off my list. Being a mom is wonderful, but sometimes the priorities we need to manage, manage us.

I know it sounds like I’m complaining and honestly, I am. But I know I’m not alone. I talked to a friend yesterday and she wore the same dazed, shell-shocked expression as me. But after we chatted, my load felt lighter.

Sometimes, that’s half the solution: knowing you’re not alone in your troubles.

So yesterday when my friends planned a day at the beach, the last thing I wanted to do was spend an entire day away when I had so much to do. After some coercing and a weak “OK,” on my part, I consented and joined them. And I’m so glad I did.

The entire day was such a treat. It was a hot, sunny day—the perfect day to be at the shore. My friends and I had a great time sunning, talking and laughing. But my beach treasure was watching my son and his two friends (who happen to be girls) soak up all the shore has to offer.

They bravely ventured into the ocean (which was freezing!) and jumped the waves together. The three of them dug in the sand, played on the playground, bodysurfed, lay in the sun, collected some shells and ate ice cream. They talked and laughed and explored and joked. All without any whining, conflict or hurt feelings that often happens when three get together. I saw a lightness and gentlemanly-ness in my son I don’t often witness. And I thought, some day he’s going to make a wonderful husband.

Today, my work is still waiting to get done, but the sweet memories of yesterday and the hour of quiet I’ve had writing this, make it all seem less daunting.

Every mom I know busily juggles the balls that come with motherhood. Sometimes we get a bit weary and overwhelmed. I pray today and this week you find some hidden treasures of joy. And that the knowledge you’re not alone makes the load a little easier.

But most of all, remember we love a God who hears our prayers and wants to be involved in all aspects of our life. Especially the parts where we don’t think we’re doing a very good job.

“Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.”
—Psalm 55:22


Linda said...

I can 100% relate to this! And I know most of my "stress" is caused by the abundance of good things God has given me! And I should be GRATEFUL NOT stressed! Being a mom is just tough -- wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but tough to manage all it entails. And of course all the thing we THINK it should entail but maybe really aren't that important!! Beach days are important. Clean floors are not. But man can they bug you!! I feel like I pick up 24/7 and STILL there is stuff everywhere... I am trying to appreciate the moments and smile at the goodness in life. It takes effort! And to NOT let the other things take priority...That takes even more effort! So, if anyone wants to go to the beach -- call me! Just don't stop over my messy house w/o calling -- I need to clean it up~

Runner Mom said...

Hey, girlfriend!
I am so gald that you went to the beach yesterday! How fun and what a treat that God blessed you with! Enjoy those God moments, my friend! Most of us moms are all in the same boat. I've learned not to stress over countless errands, shoes all over the house, and clean clothes in a pile on the couch in the den! Those things are a given. The chores will eventually get done. Spend time with your family and friends--make it a priority.:)

Love ya!

Justin said...

Amen, Kelli! May the Lord open up my eyes to all the ways that my cup runneth over. May the Lord teach me to appreciate the ordinary miracles of the world. And may the Lord teach me to be grateful, always praising him for his abundant grace!

By the way, I count you and your blog among my blessings!

Sue J said...

It's funny how summer takes on such a twist. We dread the day school ends and start the countdown until it begins again; so the opposite from when we were kids, yes?

But when responsibilities enter the picture--which we hardly had when we were kids--it's hard to have that same youthful outlook about this "off" season.

I'm glad you took the day in the sun, and I hope you will find that God created in that time an opportunity for refreshment that you wouldn't have had otherwise, and that His rest given to you will allow you to return to your work with new vigor. ('Cause who's got time for vacation much less adapting to a summer schedule?!)

Nice getting to know you this week on your blog. (We selected the same design scheme!)

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, it can be so hard to take a day away when you have so many responsibilities calling out to you. Good for you for doing it! Before you know it, your kids will be out of the house (take it from me -- it goes fast!), and you'll never regret the time you spent with them. Be prepared, though, after they leave, you'll spend quite a bit of time just keeping in touch, traveling to see them, etc. Life stays busy, just in a different way.

Be blessed!
p.s. I need to learn to write faster, too!!

Katherine said...

Hey Kelli-

One of my daughter's friends passed away last week. I attended the viewing with my daughter and stared down at that young 15 year old with the beautiful long eyelashes. Immediately I thought that could be my daughter lying there. I say this to say work can wait. Time spent with family and friends is time well worth it. That's how we create memories. You'll always have them.


Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I was going to make a very different comment until I read the past poster's comment. Wow, it puts it all in perspective, doesn't it? My house is a mess, but my kids are being loved on. That beach day was the best thing ever. What we do without the Lord whispering His sweet nothings in our ears. We just have to quiet down a bit to hear Him, don't we.

Runner Mom said...

Hey, girl! You've been tagged!! Please visit my blog asap to see what this is all about--Lee Merrill started it!!