Tuesday, April 28, 2015

be prepared

While driving today, I saw a sign that I had seen a hundred times before in various places: "Be Prepared to Stop." I knew then that I would be coming up on a part of the road that was under construction, and I may have to wait a bit before it was my turn to drive.

As I sat behind a few cars, waiting on the flaggers to let us through, I realized that the reason I felt calm in this situation rather than frustrated was because I had been prepared to stop. I knew that an obstacle to my drive was coming, and my heart was prepared to handle the inconvenience peacefully.

If only someone had waved one of those signs in front of my face when I was pregnant! Living with a small child is like driving on a road with construction every mile or so. You have to realize that it is temporary, and that growth will bring positive change.

In our house, the dishes are one of the major sources of stress and arguments. We do not have a dishwasher, and there are about a thousand things I'd rather do than spend time scrubbing food off of dishes. However, since I do stay home, I usually end up being the one responsible for dishes and most of the other household chores. Everly is not on board with this arrangement. She will happily play in her jumping gym for an hour while I sit beside her and do work or art, but if I am moving around the house and she is tired/grumpy/hungry, she will let me know until I come pick her up. This poses a problem when I am washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom. My hands are wet and soapy and I do not want to start over with a fresh batch of dishwater, but I put down the sponge, wipe off my hands, and hold my baby.

That's where I meet the Lord. He speaks to my Martha heart and shows me that all the work can wait while I stare at my sleeping baby's sweet cheeks as I rock her in the afternoon. The work is meant to enable this time. This little bouncing bundle of chubs is going to grow up into a young lady who is able to close her bedroom door and shut me out. I need to prepare myself when I am working to stop and rest with her, because it is temporary and priceless.

Now listen, I'm not advocating that you throw in the towel on your housework and watch Netflix with your baby all day. I'm telling you that the best houses are those that are lived in happily. As a stay at home parent, a working parent, or a work at home parent, know that this time in your life will be filled with roadblocks in the form of a needy little snuggler, and that it is good and right for the work to wait.

Be prepared to stop, and stop when the time is right.


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