Lately I've begun to realize something: Living a chaotic life helps me appreciate the moments when we aren't running. Our free nights are few and far between and lately, when we are graced with one, I have been enjoying turning off the television, computer and video games and sitting down to a candlelit dinner with our little family.
This was mostly prompted by my cousin giving me my grandma's old dining room table. I just love sliding on the benches and gathering around the darkly stained and varnished piece of wood that stands on my wood floors and reminds me of my childhood. I spent many Christmases piled around that trestle table squished between two of my nine cousins or two sisters feasting on a family smorgasbord.
And that same happiness and joy of being a child on Christmas day fills me up as I light the candle tapers and set the table.
We gather 'round and I grasp small hands next to me as we offer thanks to our Provider.
The warmth of the soup runs through me and this treasured moment with my little family pours warmth into me as well.
Children are chattering and slurping and every bit is music to my ears.
These sacred times together are much too few and far between but these same moments help get me through the chaos and the running.
And sometimes when I'm having a really bad day or just feeling overwhelmed, I remember times like these and I cling to them tight and it helps. Almost like the focal point that I went to in my mind when I was in labor with my 2nd and 3rd children (unfortunately I didn't know about the technique for Jonah...that would have been nice).
And sometimes life gets that intense, just like I'm back in the delivery room panicked and in pain with all of the unknowns pressing in from all sides...
...When there aren't enough minutes in the day or I just don't have the motivation to get it done, even if there were.
...When fears creep that I have crushed their sweet spirits because of careless words tossed from my fast tongue into their tiny ears.
...When the guilt rises high all over and failure floods ferociously.
...When inadequacy chimes loud, clanging hard in my ears.
...Or when I am lonely because work called him out of town, again...And not only am missing his company, I am missing his help!
That is when I can close my eyes and remember our special moments around that warmly lit dining room table.
I can see twinkling eyes and curled up lips.
I can hear high-pitched voices sharing sports stats and Cinderella stories.
I can taste simmered soup and can feel my my sweetie's toes finding mine under the table.
And all of this remembering helps remind me to make sure that we never stop making time to shut off the noise so we can really hear one another.