Thursday, January 19, 2012

Words I Wish I'd Written

An article by Glennon Melton called Don't Carpe Diem has been all over the place.  Parents everywhere are reading and emphatically nodding their heads, "yes! that is my life! sometimes parenting sucks!"

She talks about people telling her to carpe diem and enjoy EVERY moment of parenthood, then she admits that she doesn't. I respect her honesty and I get where she is coming from, but I don't really agree with the first half of her article. I concur that parenting is hard and exhausting sometimes, but I think that means we are doing it right.

Maybe I'm still new at it, but I continue to cherish the crappy moments.  And maybe fertility issues and miscarriages have made me more appreciative of what I've been given, even when the babies are crying, puking, pooping, biting, not sleeping, throwing tantrums, coloring the couch with sharpies, and doing their best to embarrass me in public.

And I believe that God calls us to cherish every day and to learn to be more perfect, like Him.

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

But the second half of her article? Well, this is pure gold...

"There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.

Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.

Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is so beautiful. Kairos.

Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.

Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.

These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it.

If I had a couple Kairos moments during the day, I call it a success."


God Bless those Kairos moments. They make up a lifetime. 

But for me, I will continue to embrace the hard parenting moments, too. 

I will Carpe Diem over and over again.

De Colores, ya'll.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

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