Friday, March 4, 2011

Looking for Slow

As a busy mom of young children, I've found myself craving for life to slow down a bit.
Here in Ghana life doesn't move nearly like the life many in America complain about: no play dates, no ballet or gymnastics, no running from appointment to event to home, not a huge number of church or school programs. There aren't televisions blaring everywhere you go or people jumping in and out of their cars to zoom from one place to another. But still, I wish life would just slow.

A big part of my life as a missionary right now is being a missionary at home. Honestly, this was very difficult for me at first. I wanted to be out DOING the work! So I did. I strapped my little Carey to my back and away we went! I was out doing what a missionary was supposed to do! Or so I thought. And then, through a little comment here, a note of advice there, God clearly showed me that my job as a missionary was to be a missionary to my own children first. I fought it, but I was beaten. I saw it staring me in the face in the form of a dear daughter, and I realized once again that being a missionary wasn't about what I wanted or what I had romantically imagined. Being a missionary was about obeying my God and proclaiming the Good News in the way He saw fit.

I wish I was a quick learner. I wish I had fully grasped what all that meant right away. But here I am, still struggling, still learning. Some days I feel like I've made great strides, and other days all I can do is lay in bed and beg God to help me put my feet on the floor.

As we draw nearer to our coming furlough, I've felt this fight more and more. My flesh rebels against change. I feel myself pulling away from all that must be done.
I need routine. I thrive when things are neat and orderly. (Those of you who remember my messy room growing up may be floored by that!) I like my days to have a nice rhythm. I want to scream out like the silly Emperor Kuzco, "Who threw off my groove?!?"

If you even glance at these pictures, you'll see that life hasn't exactly been smooth lately. Not only has taking care of my home seemed like an impossible mountain to climb on most days, but being the mom my girls need has seemed even more of a challenge. Let's be honest, on the tired days, the long days, the out-of-the-ordinary days, who wants to deal with the nitty-gritty things that are so vital to training children? It's a whole lot easier to just get through the day with clean clothes on and food fixed at the right time than it is to take time to deal with little sinful hearts. And it's a whole lot easier to just bark orders and get workpages done than to really reach out to the hearts and minds of our little ones.

The funny thing about kids is that they do slow quite well! Exasperatingly so, on some days, but they know how to live life as it comes. Each minute is a cup to be filled to the brim with fun and play.

So this week I'm challenging myself. I'm going to do my best to take each moment as it comes. Yes, I have a lot to do during this transitional time, but whether I'm cranky or mean, or gentle and joyful, it will get done. It always does.

And hopefully I'll be able to get my house clean this week, too!


  1. The urge to yell when chaos results despite my best efforts at order, is an urge I thoroughly empathize with! I love reading your posts. :) Keep up the good work, and yes the mundane work :)

  2. Such beautiful little girls faces:) We can learn so much from them.
    Praying for you through this transition.... I too can relate. You put it into words so well. Our house has been nothing short of chaos for the last 2 weeks, as we pack, make sure all details are taken care of, and continue to "try" to squeeze in a little school. We're almost there... 3 days!!!

  3. Hi Patti! It's the Hilliard gang. We are praying for you. Your girls are adorable. I know this time must be very difficult for you. You will definitely be in our prayers. God bless you. Love, Heather Hilliard

  4. This is my first time visiting your blog and I am really enjoying it. There is so much in this post I can relate to...the desire for order, the struggle between "real" mission work and the home mission God has given me, the need to slow's so nice to know I'm not the only one out there!