The Rush and Slow of Being Busy

It feels as if the time since our last conversation has stretched too long, friends.

Busyness sucks the air from my soul. I know you understand. This rushing drags our weary bodies across the sand and throws us into pounding waves. Again and again we’re crushed by the never ending rush of the surf.

We long for the calmness of a spring field or the mirror-lake with its tranquil waters.

Voices call at us from all directions. “Slow down!”

But sometimes, friend? We can’t.

We just can’t.

We have responsibilities. Someone must do the laundry because who wants to run out of clean underwear? Then there are those blasted mildew rings around the toilet.

Grocery store runs. Kid school projects. Meals to make. Carpools and soccer mom brigades. Job responsibilities. Church to attend. Friends that need support. Service projects to organize. Helping the hurting. The list is endless.

There are seasons in which slow isn’t possible.

So how do I cope?

I remember standing in the office of a seminary professor with fellow students. We were lamenting the busy and how it never ends, this cycle of to-dos.

Someone finally blurted, “What if this is it? What if this is the full and abundant life Jesus talked about?”

Instantly, I dug my heels in and refused to agree. Wrapping my mind around the idea my life would always be busy? I just couldn’t be convinced this was it.

I mean, were is the space of time I can sit on a mountain lodge balcony reading my books drinking my coffee for days on end? Or what about sinking my toes in sand on the lakeshore for like, the rest of my life? Where are those wasted days?

Yet, I don’t want wasted days. I don’t want any day of my life to be worthy of a trash heap.

I believe my seminary friend was right—kinda.

Vacation days? Never a waste. Our souls need the restoration of rest. I will never feel guilty for those. Restoration is not waste—ever. Watching birds float along the ocean air breezes and hiking languid across mountain trails with my children will always be the slow that replenishes an abundant life.

But busy days? They’re part of the fullness too.

Because busy can be meaningful.

The hustle and bustle brings me a life worth living. As much as I lament cleaning my home, I have a home to clean. Homework and carpools and bickering in the back seat make up the fabric of motherhood. Lugging papers to grade back and forth from school to home remind me I have a steady income.

While there is busy in our lives we could avoid—need to avoid, there is also busy that is part of this life. Ingrained into our humanity.

Ocean WalkDSC_0304Spring GreenPapers and CoffeeI can lament the hectic or I can find meaning in it.

So I’m left to find ways of breathing in the midst of busy. Because living a fast-paced life doesn’t mean I never slow.

Noticing the beautiful spring-green on leaves. Deepening relationships with other mommas in the dance studio as we wait for our daughters. Writing an encouraging word to a student on her paper. Stopping to take the Court Jester to a play date at the park and enjoying the company of my friend as we watch our sons zoom past. Talking with my Princess and her sweet friend as we carpool. Kissing the brow of my beloved as we cook dinner together.

Beauty can be found within the busy. When we find it? We begin to understand this full and abundant life promised us by a Savior so wise.

He knew the fast pace we would lead. He knew the seasons of blur we would face. And He knew the glorious beauty we could find there.

I’m learning to breathe significance into the busy.

It’s not easy, all red-faced and panting from the marathon days I sometimes run.

But it’s worth the search when I can find meaning in the midst.

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