Thursday, November 11, 2010

Six and One

"We've all experienced the low-grade despair that comes when our days blend into each other- wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, go to school or work or the office, change another diaper, do another load of laundry, write a check, fill a tank, cook a meal and then repeat it all over again the next day.  One day looks like the next, everything starts to feel the same, life starts to feel like the existential equivalent of refrigerator buzz...

...Six days you shall work, but on the seventh, don't.  Why is this so monumental? God gives them rhythm.  But not the rhythm of sound, the rhythm of time.  Life before was an interminable succession of sevens.  Seven, seven, seven.  But now, their time is broken up, measured, arranged with a beat: six and one, six and one, six and one.

God is the God of the groove.

We need rhythm in our time- it's what makes one moment different from another.  It gives shape and color and form to all of life.

- Rob Bell in the article Why We Wait, found here.

I press hard to get rhythm in my own life, and for our children, in the day-to-day.  We really do have it.  Pockets of rest or solitude, pockets for reading, pockets for focused attention, pockets for mundane tasks, pockets for intense learning and pockets for TV. 

That rhythm brings life, but, even it gets a little listless if you do it too long. 

It's hard to get a true Sabbath when you have small children.  Sunday, though purposed as a day of rest, despite my best-laid plans, and even some extra time to spare (which easily fills itself if I don't fight it) and even with a little extra reading, or a little extra family time or, perhaps even some relaxing or a nap fit in- when I break it down, it still looks incredibly similar to the other six.  I've learned to welcome the Sabbath post-children, and do life slower that day- but, let's face it- I've also learned to not get my hopes up.  A lot of Sundays are going to leave me wanting.  It's about my attitude, though.  Keeping hopeful toward a Sabbath, staying intentional and available to rest- day to day, and on Sunday.  And goodness, am I grateful for a season of children in our house.

The past two months have been just crazy.  I'd say, they've been very good, but not always because things have been easy, or simple, or lovely.  But, it hasn't been all terrible either.  But, just a blur.  A blur, and, also just about grinding through the every day duties, pressing on, and when life threw us a curve ball, getting through it- and then keeping on the grind, through busy, through responsibility, through grieving.  It's a season.  And I know that.  And it hasn't been without reward.  But it has been, very much, lacking rest.

I don't see Jim.  Not really.  He leaves in the dark, he returns in the dark.  We eat dinner, I clean up the kitchen (and by the end of that, I've typically been in there for 2-3 hours between prepping, cooking, eating, and cleaning up- and lest I sound bitter, I'll mention, I enjoy it- in theory), he spends time with the kids, takes them to bed, reads and sings and prays with them.  Then Jim comes up stairs, and we sort of look at each other and say, "Hey."  We've both put ourselves out there all day, and now, at the end, our devotion to oneness usually looks like catching up on an episode on Hulu with the dogs before getting ready for bed. If there is anything I need to ask him or talk to him about, I have to write it down, or I will forget by then and regret it the next day-  And at 5 AM, the alarm sounds, and it starts over.

We love each other.  A lot.  We make it a priority to be together- but- I want to see him when I'm mentally clear and have a day's worth of energy, and nothing else to take it from me- so I can spend it all with him.  About once every two weeks or so, we have a really great, long, awesome conversation at night once the kids are in bed- but-  I'd safely call once every two weeks rare.

I'm not complaining.  We both live knowing we've got the exact jobs we're right for, that this is just exactly where we should be.  So there is a way to thrive in it.  We work towards it every day.  It's not so much about arriving at that destination, as it is about the daily journey of getting there.

There is beauty in our daily toil, and ending it exhausted together.  But Jim, I want to see you in the daylight. 

It doesn't happen often- but we do try to stay intentional about getting focused alone time away from our day to day life.  And we're doing that this weekend. 

This has been a weird week.  All kinds of distractions, weird things, discouraging things, out of nowhere things, unexpected bills, and, I've been sick since a week after I was vaccinated.  At first, I was incredibly sick, now, I'm just not getting over it.  People are asking me for things, I have 100 things to do in the next month, we're a full week behind in school after missing so much time while we were travelling for funerals in October, and I need to press on if we'll finish before Christmas and Africa and hopefully get a solid Christmas Break for fun. 

At first, it made me tempted to just drop our trip.  I'd just run up to the city and finish up my workshop, and come back.  When you're sick, you do sort of feel like just giving up.  But yesterday, I read that article above.  And I recognized how much has gone wrong this week, and how very, very needy Jim and I are for total rest.  For time.  Especially if this next season is to be fruitful.  We need to be focused, not distant.

So, I'm rejecting the things that tempt me to get discouraged, I'm doing what needs to be done, I'm going to keep pace, finish the work that has to be finished, and leave the rest to find it's own time to be completed next week.  I'm going to press on, and finish this week strong, though I feel physically weak, and we. are. going. to. arrive. at. rest.

This time away is a gift.  We're supposed to wrap our arms around it.  Jim, I'm 100% ready to do nothing with just you.

1 comment:

Blair said...

This sounds just like my life right now. I just miss my husband.