Restarting, again, this intentional motherhood thing

 

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

More abundantly.

When it’s supposed to snow 6 to 8 inches tonight and tomorrow, that means a husband who’ll meet me on the trail to watch the three kids while I run for a half hour. That’s abundant generosity.

When we paid off my student loan early, and then began to calculate just how fast we were being rescued from our debt, that means abundant redemption, leading to abundant dreaming about what’s next.

In tangible abundance, I’m solid. In my human mind, abundance looks a lot like what we eat, wear, read and do.

But I’m short changing it, here; I don’t think abundance is something your hands need to hold. Abundance is relationships.

Relationships. I’ve been praying for community since before we left Wisconsin. But … honestly, I’m not doing too well on the at-home relationships these last couple months. Winter. No break. 

No break. One week I determined to wake up first, to spend a half hour alone before the kids needed diapers changed and breakfasts made. I crept out of bed to shower; before the water even turned hot I heard their toilet flush. The second day, I heard our bedroom door slam open: “Is it morning time?”

No break.

I unloaded the kids’ bikes from the van at the park the other day. It was 10:30. “Here’s your helmet,” I said to my oldest, and looked in her eyes for the first time that morning. For the first time. Ouch, Mama.

My eyes weren’t anywhere they need not be, like my phone or my computer. I’m working on that, too, but that morning, it wasn’t these things. I just … I’m having a hard time keeping myself in this moment going on right now, where I’m moving and my kids are playing, singing and talking.  There’s abundance all over the place, if I’d just be here, now. Instead, my mind’s …. phssttoooof.

Spring makes it easier to be here — we’ve been on two-mile walks twice this week. My girls and I have heard sandhill cranes, and that sound stopped us on the trail; today, we spotted the return of the male red-winged blackbird, “an early sign of spring,” our bird book promises.

The kids played in a strip of grass in our snowy yard no wider than the size of a couple red wagons pushed together, and that night before bed they thanked God for grass and fresh air. Four loads of laundry and two sinks full of dishes waited inside, but I ate my 2-year-old’s fake food offerings from a sunny spot on the porch yesterday for 20 boring but warm minutes.  I don’t do that enough with her, my third.

In first grade, we’ll have built into our day more poetry, books and music. We’ll move from a half hour or 45 minutes of “school” to a morning, and I’m grateful that we’ll have beautiful stories interspersed in our day … But there I go again, looking at the future for abundance when I need it now, and I have it now.

So tomorrow when it snows 6 to 8 inches, how will I find this abundance? I’ve been saving the next chapter of “Winnie-the-Pooh.” And then, when that’s done, I don’t know. Watercolor?

Bottom line, as I see us as a family moving toward serving, toward generosity, toward hospitality, I don’t want to ignore the first three kids, and one adult, I’m supposed to be with.

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