Saturday, June 27, 2009

Love Like That

I woke up this morning after the best night's sleep I've had in weeks.

All three of my girls have been gone all week long. Sarah is still making her way around her new (albeit temporary) life in Germany, with new friends and strong new bonds with family. Shannon and Sydni have been in Knoxville all week with the World Changers group.

David was with a friend Thursday night and Daniel went up to see his dad in Mechanicsville. Last night, both boys stayed with their dad.

So I had the house to myself.

It is striking to note the difference in my life, my mind, my way of thinking - pretty much EVERYTHING - when there are no children in the house. I miss them - sort of - but I also have this sense of reclaiming my self. Longer, coherent thought processes. A complete night's sleep. No energy extended towards managing their lives, spurring them on to good deeds, referreeing disputes. A little less clutter, only my own trail of life left in the various rooms of the house.

Oh, and the laundry's done!

I love them deeply, profoundly. And when I get a moment to breathe, it seems that I can love them from afar in a way that allows me to find myself outside of that love, rather than immersed and overwhelmed by the actions it requires. That's a fresh perspective for me. It's easier, sometimes.

Peterson's take on a bit from Ephesians in the Bible is interesting:

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5.1-2 The Message

"Mostly what God does is love you."

Love can be exhausting, in the 'giving everything' and the extravagance. It can be costly. If I'm to take this seriously, it seems that framing the intensity and distraction of my day-to-day life as a parent within the context of extravagant love alters the context somewhat. Rather than claim the current quiet of my house and my mind as 'normal'and the object of aspiration, perhaps I should consider it nothing more than refueling, refreshing and rest for the next round of love.

Like that.

2 comments:

Brian C. Hughes said...

I like that. When I read your words, it reminds me that Loving = Giving. Like you said, extravagantly, sacrificially, everything.

But you cannot give what you do not have.

That's why refreshing is so important. Batterson's recent blog post is about margin. He says that getting margin seems selfish on the surface, but it's actually the opposite. In my words, because you cannot give what you do not have.

I'm glad you had a chance to get some margin. You're a great mom - and all of us who watch you parent marvel at your skill and energy.

Jan said...

It gives you space to BE - with yourself in uninterrupted thought, with God, and simply to rest. Then, when your kids come home you can DO out of that BEING. Loving out of the overflow, not out of exhaustion.

Space always helps me see more clearly how I could be loving my children or husband. Sometimes the crazy busyness of life prevents us from slowing down long enough to "see" what needs to be done when we re-enter the fray. Space gives us rest, but it also gives us needed perspective.

What will I do in August when all of mine are gone all the time? :(