After putting the kids to bed last night, my husband and I sat down seemingly for the first time all day and tried to take a deep breath and relax.
We felt like we had just finished a marathon, except we didn’t get any congratulatory high fives.
The pace of our life and the volume of our home has gradually been increasing since our first child was born. There isn’t any down time anymore.
We thought, it will get easier, won’t it?
In the midst of all the chaos I often find myself repeating the mantra, “This too shall pass.”
When I finally sit down to eat dinner and end up giving a child an impromptu bath instead—this too shall pass.
When I’m outlasting a toddler tantrum—this too shall pass.
When I’m playing referee between children—this too shall pass.
While the old adage helps me persevere, I am becoming all too aware of all of the good things that pass with each stage too.
Today I decided to take my own advice from last week and start counting the good things that happened during the day, because they were beginning to get overshadowed by all of the hard things.
I even took the time to write them down.
Here are a few things I found:
My son spontaneously told me he loved me no less than eight times before noon—this too shall pass.
He asked me to snuggle at least three times—this too shall pass.
My little boy wanted me to play with him—this too shall pass.
My daughter didn’t want to let me out of her sight—this too shall pass.
Making an effort to look for the positive things helped change my attitude and make the difficult things more bearable. This could be a helpful tool for the years to come.
I have a feeling that the pace of our life with children will continue to increase, but the reasons for all the running will change.
Instead of running to catch the kid who is headed down the hill and out the gate, we’ll be running to a ball game or an art class.
Instead of running kids to the bathroom, we’ll be running them to school.
Instead of running to pick up a crying baby, we’ll be running to wave goodbye to a teenager who is headed out the door.
Someday, all the running will be over and we’ll be left in the stillness and the quiet to wonder where all the time has gone.
Is there a way to slow down time? Is there a way to take it all in, find joy in it, and fully live each day?
Based on her own experience raising six children, Ann Voskamp believes there is. In One Thousand Gifts she explains how stopping to give thanks and counting all the little blessings throughout the day helped her live in the moment and stretch time by noticing each moment as it was passing.
I can see how this would happen even just from my one little experiment of blessing counting.
While last week I was focused on not keeping a list of wrongs, this week I’m focusing on keeping a list of thanks.
As I write this it is New Year’s Eve, the perfectly appropriate time for list making. So here it goes. My New Year’s resolution is to count blessings, give thanks and remember that good and bad, “this too shall pass.”
Making an effort to look for the positive things helped change my attitude and make the difficult things more bearable.