Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slowing Down...

Sometimes all I want to blog about is a fun craft I did with Chase or some outing we've done as a family. I am not always completely transparent on my blog but in this one I will be. I want to share something that I personally have been blessed with this past week. A life lesson, a wake up call. I hope it blesses you as well.

So I had a bad day. On my gotta-get-out-the-door-by-8:20-with-Chase-AND-a-breakfast-casserole-in-tow morning heading to MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) I thought I had plenty of time. I usually prep MOPS mornings the night before by setting out clothes, prepping breakfast. etc. Wes had been in San Diego all week and had gotten in late Thursday night. Chase didn't want to go to MOPS, he wanted to play with Daddy! Somehow, though, we were out the door, and I even remembered to brush his teeth. Things were looking up!
FAST forward to a speeding ticket on my way there and an emotional encounter with the police officer leaving me in tears.(I think we all realize it doesn't take much to get me emotional these days!) I think it's probably been 12 years since I was pulled over. I was a mess. I felt like a horrible mother because Chase was in the car. Mother of the Year. Awful mom guilt. Yes, it was one of those mornings.

So I pulled myself together, and got to MOPS. After finding that my fly had been down for a good 15 minutes after dropping off my casserole (seriously?!), I took Chase to his classroom. I finally sat down at my table at MOPS. EXHALE. Just glad to be there among other Moms. I didn't even share my morning with my table because I was still in a frenzy and was afraid I'd get all emotional again! Some of the women at my table I've met about 2-3 times, so I think I'll delay in sharing what a hot mess I am. :)

The speaker is introduced. An author. An author who writes about SLOWING DOWN. About not rushing everywhere we go and putting too much on our plates. The lady has literally written a book called Not SO Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families! I mean, talk about God speaking to you through others. I am constantly amazed how He places people in my path who are willing to share themselves with me and bless me in ways I never thought possible.

A few things Ann Kroeker taught me Friday morning:

*Everyone's limit/capacity level is different in what we can handle in our schedule.
*It's OK to slow down! Life needs pauses!
*You don't have to say yes to everything. If it's not a good fit for your family, it's ok to bow out and say no.
*Make sure the things you are scheduling in your day are reflective of your values and beliefs. Are they pleasing to Christ? Is your schedule distracting you from the Lord? Your children? Your marriage?
*And, perhaps the most important: It's ok to set your cruise control for 30 MPH when you get in your car. You know, just in case. :)

Ann's website is really great and has lots of great solutions for slowing down. Check some small "speedbumps" out HERE.
The speeding ticket, along with her message, was a wake up call for me to SLOW. DOWN. I know since losing Christian I have tried to stay busy a lot and occupy my time with play dates, library time, exercise, etsy orders, home improvement projects, etc. It's ok to do those things, yes. But I need to take the time to have more "down time" and to not fill my plate with quite so much!

Ann also shared the following story:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the top musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

This story has stuck with me and it really hurt my heart to hear that so many children were so drawn to the beautiful music and yet the parents just hurried them along. All it takes is a few extra seconds to stop and listen or look. When we slow down and take the time to REALLY experience things, we will see so much of God's blessing and beauty in the little things!


Tara said...

Wow Erin... You have NO idea how badly I needed to read this post. Thank you for making the effort to be transparent.

Sue said...

Although I enjoy all your pictures and projects that you share, it was nice to read such a reflective post. Since being on BBC I have started reading so many blogs of strong women of faith, like you, and it is inspirational. Here are a couple of blogs I've been reading which you might like. Many are DS related but that's because I've picked them up from the BBC boards! If they aren't of interest, ignore, but I just wanted to share for you and your readers because they are examples of other strong women of faith who have done amazing things.


One family's journey to take in a little girl who is 9 years old but has been neglected:



Kara Masi said...

Erin, your posts always come at the right time...
God Bless you my sweet friend. I really needed to read all of this!

KW said...

So true! We all need a lesson in slowing down, especially after we become parents.



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