Much of my energy in a day is spent protecting people from THE RUSH. I get up early, plan ahead, am intentional about conversations and length of minilessons and taking advantage of moments throughout the day in order to make space to breathe. At home I build in buffers so people can finish the thing they’re doing (building train tracks, reading a book, drawing a picture) before they have to move on to the next (dinner, bath, books, bed). I try not to look or sound harried on the outside (even when I’m feeling it on the inside).
I’m not as successful at this protection detail as I would like.
Life sneaks in the cracks and if I’m not careful it takes over. I used to think it was about saying no (and no and no and no), but I’m beginning to realize this protection detail is more about a state of mind than minimizing commitments (although that is some of it). The fact of the matter is life is full. Between work and church and three little lives (who are involved in things too) and an exchange student and writing and connecting with high school kids and, and and…life bulges.
Last night, though, the detail was successful. There was time to play. Train tracks built by a little boy in a fireman helmet and a little girl in a princess dress. Kids wrapped in blankets reading books. Andy had time to watch both hockey and baseball. Homecoooked dinner — on the table around 5:30 along with all six of us — was relaxed and we had time to linger in conversation and dessert. Andy and Karianne went to visit his dad in the fields, because you can’t live in Indiana and not ride in a combine. The kids and I snuggled together for books — they each had their choice and it didn’t have to be a “short one.” I rubbed their backs at bedtime. I went for a lengthy walk. There was time for an actual conversation between Karianne, Andy, and me. We talked about nothing, and yet, it felt so important.
Times like this make me believe this protection detail is not an impossible task. And like other protection details, it makes the difference between living and not.