The last several months, we’ve been planning for an event that took place last weekend. It has consumed a lot of our free time and we put other plans and projects here at home on hold in order to give our full attention to this endeavor (as did many others, I might add). My husband and his co-horts over at Story Warren did most of the work. I honestly struggled to find my role in the whole thing, sometimes feeling like I should be doing more to ease the burdens, but not really sure how to do that on top of school, household management, and potty training, which is, incidentally, my least favorite part of parenting. (But that’s not relevant here. Just a fun fact for you.)
I think the weekend was a success. I hope that those in attenedance enjoyed the expereince. As I drove away from the final concert early on Saturday evening, feeling sorry for myself and frustrated that my youngest two couldn’t hang in there for just a little bit longer, I wondered if it might have been better if I had just stayed home with them. I know…somebody call the waaaaaa-mbulance. (Anyone know that move reference?)
Then it hit me. Maybe my role was to just keep doing my thing. Keep on potty traning. Keep on making sure the kids were clean and fed and well rested. Relieve babes who were melting down and give them some freedom to actually be children. I worried about how their behavior would look to others. “Oh, here come those bratty Smith kids…” (The truth is, we’re always way more aware of our own children and their quirky behavior than anyone else is. And surprise: it’s not about me. This is a message I have to deliver to myself over and over, again and again.) As I wimpered to my busy husband, “The baby keeps throwing tantrums and I don’t know what to do with her,” he gently reminded me that babies do that from time to time.
Oh. Yeah. I guess they do.
I guess I wanted to meet more people and finish conversations that I had started. I wanted to be more of a presence, but the truth was, the conference was in good hands, with all the wonderful volunteers and organizers. My presence was actually needed by the little ones I’m called to serve every day. That hasn’t changed. My role right now is a supporting one. And when my head is in the right place, I’m actually pretty good at it.
As we drove away from all the fun for baths and bedtime Saturday night, I could almost hear an audible sigh of relief from those two little rascals. They were content for the rest of the evening and went happily to bed. They were finally free from all the pressure I had put on them to sit still and be quiet throughout the day and I realized I was exactly where I needed to be. I don’t know if you ever struggle in the same ways, but if you do, ask God for gentle reminders that what you are doing matters. Even the things that aren’t particularly fun or glamorous are important. “Like a single cup of water,” it matters. It’s beautiful. And how pleasant those little sighs of relief are!
If you’re blessed like me, you’ll be able to look around and notice how other people are making things lovely too. Being welcomed, housed, fed and treated thoughtfully by friends is certainly a beauty that I enjoyed. The hospitality was felt and appreciated greatly.
Fresh flowers and welcome baskets full of goodies that we completely consumed…
Even sweet daughters who take care of a baby for a couple of hours are a thing of beauty and a catalyst for gratitude.
Coming home to a clean house and some quick and easy meals for the next day was just icing on the cake and gave us all more reasons to be thankful for such an incredible experience. God is so good.