Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crazy Normal

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

Crazy is our new normal. With two teenage boys and three little boys, our family is in perpetual motion - to the baseball diamond, track field, piano lessons, and Bible club. Even though we've limited each boy's activities and try our best to defend our family time, it seems that we're in a constant state of flight.

"Embrace it. Roll with it," my husband, Lonny says. "It's going to be like this for a while."

He's right. It's likely that life will continue to careen full-throttle forward before it slows down. But I remembered the still, quiet days that our family used to enjoy. I missed our long walks through the park when we clutched the boys' little hands and took time to feel the sun on our shoulders. I longed for the lazy Saturday afternoons under the oak in our backyard, when towhead boys built forts of sticks and castles of sand. I wanted to slip back a few years, when busyness was the exception and not the rule.

One night, after a particularly full day and an evening of Little League games, our family gathered on the porch for ice cream. Two parents, two teens, and three small boys piled on one old swing and a couple of rocking chairs.

We were together, in one place, for a small slice of time.

The moon was full. The Mississippi River, flowing past our home, was smooth as glass. The creak of the swing was the only sound. Lonny's arm draped across my shoulders in the comfortable way it had for twenty years. I wrapped my own arms around the son who sat on my lap and breathed deeply to inhale his little-boy scent - dirt and sweat and a hint of Tide.

My heart was still and content.

I realized that while crazy is our new normal, God is faithful to provide blessings along the way. They may look different from before, but they are still there - even if they're in the form of a single moment on the porch, when Rocky Road runs in sweet rivers down small, summer-brown arms, and the night drapes our porch and frames our family.

Maybe I just needed the eyes to see.

Lord, you are faithful to provide everything that my family needs. In a crazy, busy time of life, help me to appreciate the quiet times and see your blessings. Amen.

As printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers

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