I haven’t had much time to write lately. I’m still trying to go to bed earlier, although my husband (a night owl) has been home more this week, so I have been breaking my curfew a bit to spend time with him. So I’ve lost evening writing time and thanks to the end of Daylight Savings (which takes more than daylight if you ask me), I’ve been robbed of my quiet, solitary mornings. I hate time changes. They are a curse to mothers everywhere. Just when I’d been able to start stealing pockets of time in the morning, we’re asked to set our clocks back so we’ll gain an hour. But I’ve lost an hour. My middle child – even when she goes to bed later – is waking up an hour earlier than she did before we were forced to turn back time.
But there’s another reason I haven’t been writing much – a God reason. Just this morning I was tempted to write before I prayed knowing that a child would likely be popping in at anytime. I triumphed over the primacy of self, however, and spent some quiet time in prayer.
Afterwards, I pulled out my laptop and within minutes I heard the soft tip-toeing of little feet. Rae shuffled in and squeezed in next to me.
“Is it ‘earlwry’?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said. I draped an arm around her and tried to finish my thought, but a little finger jabbed at the keyboard.
Then something happened. At first, I wanted to push her aside, to tell her to hang on for one minute (a minute that would likely turn into ten). I wanted to finish writing. I’d had two editors recently contact me and ask if I had any material I wanted to submit, and I did. I always have ideas floating around this head of mine that I’d like to see emerge from the embryonic stage, but I’ve been wondering lately if God’s will for me is to take a step back from some of my writing – not all of it – but some of it. When God calls you to do something, He’ll see it to completion. He’ll help you finish it. This was so with my book. I submitted the manuscript ahead of schedule just a few weeks ago. Somehow I found the time to write. But lately whenever I think I’ve found some time to write and start trying to flesh out my thoughts, a child interrupts me and generally this child is my Rachel.
This morning I realized there was a reason, an important reason for this.
Yesterday when Rae was exhibiting some maddening behavior, I took a deep breath and told my control freak self to chill out. I also decided that I had to start finding some time to focus more on her. We’ve been having some issues with her hitting and lashing out in frustration. She’s been having some trouble with talking and using her words and isn’t always easy to understand. She’s going to be evaluated by a speech therapist to help her “use her words.” But I know more than just the inability to express herself, my introverted, introspective child needs more one-on-one time than the average child. Big crowds – even the crowd of our little family – can be too much for her.
Homeschooling means Madeline is guaranteed some time with me. It’s her attention insurance. Mary Elizabeth is still nursing. This is our time together. But Rae, our middle child, sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. I fear I say, “In one minute” more to her requests.Yet, as much my mother’s heart knew what she needed, I wasn’t sure how I was going to provide it to her with our busy schedule. There’s only one of me, and there doesn’t always seem enough to go around as is. This morning I found my answer. She wakes up early like I do while the rest of the house slumbers. I like to think of this as my time, but maybe this needs to be our time. Maybe I need to forget myself at least for the time being and serve my child and God’s will rather than my own.
So I immediately closed my laptop. We cuddled together. She said funny things like this: “Layla [the dog] has lots of nipples. Maybe she could help you nurse sometime.” (She’s looking for ways to free up some of Mommy’s time, too.)
Then we read stories. Mary Elizabeth woke up. I nursed her and read more to Rae. I served the two of them breakfast. Then oddly Rae said, “Mommy, I’m going to go rest now.” She went upstairs to her room and has been quiet ever since. Mary Elizabeth is content, too.
And so am I.
I gave my time to God this morning, and He who will never be outdone in generosity returned the favor, and I found a few minutes to write, after all.