I am busy about my day: preparing meals (I often feel like I live in the kitchen), doing kitchen clean up (which barely gets done before another meal is in the works), climbing my Mt. Everest of laundry (didn’t I just do laundry two days ago?) and teaching school (which often feels like wrangling a coach and six). And then someone comes up and hugs my leg.
It’s not the first time I’ve had a child hanging on my leg. In fact, it’s quite the norm for me. I am frequently admonishing little ones to not pull on my clothes or lift up my skirt or steal my shoes or cause me to fall because they are grabbing on to my limbs in some way. But this time, well, this time was different. This time I was interrupted by life. It dawned on me that this desperately clinging child wasn’t an interference but was, in fact, one of the main reasons I get up in the morning. This little person had a need and I could meet it. But this wasn’t the first time life interrupted me.
At dinner, in the midst of the clamor of a busy table and the screeches of a hungry toddler, I suddenly heard the older children chatting about the food they helped prepare: “What ingredients did you put in?” “What is in yours? I put in…” and as I smiled I realized I had been interrupted by life.
One night as I tucked a little guy in bed he suddenly said, “bad guys killed God but he fixed hisself. That’s how I know he is strong cuz he fixed hisself.” We chatted more about his thoughts which lengthened our bedtime routine but it was another one of those life interruptions.
The other day one of our girls was dancing with her baby brother and sister. Dinner prep could wait; I had to join them. It was an important life interruption.
We try to make bedtime a connection time but often my mind is racing ahead to all the things I need to still do before I can close my own eyes and rest. As I hugged our oldest goodnight my ear just happened to press against his chest and life interrupted my thoughts when I heard his heart beating. I immediately recalled the very first time I heard that heartbeat- long before I held him in my arms; I was filled with so much gratitude for all that his beating heart implies.
With all that is happening in our own life and the world outside our cozy four walls (broken dishwasher, daily mishaps from 7 children and 5 pets, facing possible unemployment, worldwide pandemic frenzy, just to name a few things) it’s easy to have thoughts filled by other things and to simply go through the motions with the mundane. But I read something once about being present while doing all the daily rituals and thus turning them into worship.
I’m going to do my best to be present this Christmas season so that life doesn’t have to interrupt me quite as often.