I've written about multi-tasking and mothering before and how awesome I am at doing a million things at once. I can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, referee the fight between the kids using only "the look," and answer the door for the plumber all with a phone up to my ear on a conference call. My life as a mama blessed to work from home is filled with
juggling balancing children and car pools and conference calls and chaos.
The summer is a tricky thing for our family. How do I continue to work and balance kiddos who are out of school? We've found a pretty fantastic solution: the kids attend a summer camp program three days a week and the other two days are "Mommy Days." It's a great gig: the kids have a chance to have some structure, friendships, and adventure while I work and then we get the benefit of those lazy summer days to sleep in, head to the pool, and spend special time together.
But like so many other things in my life, God continues to patiently teach me over and over and over again and remind me of what I too often forget. Those lessons I tend to forget on what really matters, eternal perspective, and what real, sacrificial love looks like.
Because if I'm honest, even though I feel like I have the best of both worlds: being a mama to two amazing kids and working in adoption which makes my heart come alive, it's hard for me to be fully present where I'm at. I struggle to not check my email during a game with my kids or a family movie. And it's hard to sit down when my to do list is lingering.
I could come up with great reasons why I need to be doing multiple things at once: The kids are getting older and can do so much for themselves. There are babies that need families and urgent things I need to attend to. But no matter how big my kids get and how many babies need families, my kids need ME. They need me fully present and engaged in their world and their life. They need me to look in their eyes and listen to their stories and hug their necks.
It turns out I am not awesome and doing a million things at once. Shepherding hearts takes engagement. Building relationships takes intentionality. Sacrificial love takes focus. All impossible to do if my heart is a million places.
The other day, it was like God whispered to my heart, "Be where your feet are."
So often as the day stretches before me, there is so much to do and I feel like I'm going dozens of directions. It's hard for my head and my heart to focus on just one thing while there's so much to attend to swirling around me.
But I can be where my feet are. When Isabelle tells me about her day and the drama that goes along with being an 8 year old girl, I can look in her eyes and listen to her words and tell her she's amazing. When Jackson asks to toss the ball back and forth or asks me to shoot hoops with him or hugs me for the millionth time that day, I can set aside my chores and run and play with my boy.
There's something about being fully in the moment, being "all there," that allows me not to miss a thing. The way Isabelle scrunches up her nose when she laughs. Jackson's eyes that dance when telling me a good story. Hearing Bella's heart after we turn out her light and I bless her. Sharing Jack's discovery of a cicada shell or lightning bug in the backyard.
Will there still be days that I'm balancing making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and conference calls? Absolutely. Or times I shoot a text to one of my clients while at the park? I'm sure of it. But I've determined to be where my feet are. My conference calls will be scheduled around my mommy days. My emails can be sent after bedtime stories. When I'm playing a game with my kids on the floor of our living room, my phone will be parked on the table in the kitchen. When we head to the pool, I won't be poolside; I'll be the mom screaming down the water slide.
And of course this extends from my parenting and into my marriage and friendships. When Jamy and I catch up on our day he will have all my attention. Across the table at a restaurant with my friend my phone will be tucked away in my bag.
When I'm all there; listening to the stories, playing the games, cherishing the hugs, and looking into their eyes, my heart is fully present too. Able to slow down to notice. Able to be grateful for what's been given. Able to connect and build true relationships as a mother, a wife, and a friend. Able to see the beauty all around me.
Amidst the chaos and the conference calls and the car pools...
I will be where my feet are.