I hear the tell-tale sound of a text alert from one of my children, so I pick up the phone sitting next to my lukewarm cup of coffee that I haven’t had time to drink this morning. “Mom,” it reads, “I think I’m sick. Should I get a COVID test? Do I go to the health center on campus?” Another text alert. “Mom, the tennis meet today has been canceled. Can you pick me up from school, then take me home, then bring me back to the courts for clinic? And can you call and make sure clinic is happening? What’s for supper? Can you pick me up after clinic, because Dad may still be in his mediation?” A third notification pings, reminding me it’s time for my business meeting. I sigh as I realize I’m still in my nightgown. A fourth ping. A funny meme from the child I haven’t yet heard from this morning. I’ll read that later. The phone begins to ring now with an incoming call, and I realize it’s from one of the kid’s schools. Now the doorbell is ringing and the dogs are going berserk.
All this happened in a mere five-minute period this morning! To say we’re in a busy season at Casa Carlson would be a gross understatement. It’s tennis season, STAAR testing season, AP/Dual credit/final exam season, preparing for college season, moving home from college for summer season, scholarship application season, confirmation season, high school graduation season, prom season, and the list goes on and on. My mother-in-law asked me just a few minutes ago, “What’s keeping you so busy?” The thought of listing for her the things I had done just today was enough to overwhelm me!
For the record, all these “things” causing me to run around like a chicken with my head cut off are actually wonderful blessings. Also, for the record, I am tired. When life gets hectic, my brain overflows with an insane number of dates and details, and the calendar fills up so tightly I can’t possibly wedge another thing in — yet here come more surprise events, plans, and needs — how do I respond? How would you?
Well first, remember that cup of coffee? I warm that precious bit of bliss back up. I’m not even kidding. But second, I try to shift my perspective from “I have to” into “I get to.” So much of the busyness I could complain about is actually a direct answer to my heartfelt prayers. I must remember to offer active prayers of praise and thanksgiving. I have a healthy, active marriage and family. This season may be all-encompassing, but it’s just that: a season. And like all seasons, it will change. And when it does, I will miss this one in all its chaotic glory.
I never want to take my role as a parent for granted. As Mother’s Day nears and the end of another school year approaches, I want to stop in the middle of the hustle and bustle and embrace the joy of watching firsthand as my children grow and move from one phase of life to another. I want to soak up every moment of learning, accomplishment, creativity, and even struggle. So many people I know would give their own lives for this privilege, so I don’t want to complain about it.
One of my favorite familiar sayings is, “The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.” That statement hits me in the feels every time. The world’s perspective says I should focus on self-care, and that all this “living of Life” amounts to stress and nothing more. But God’s perspective says, “Look at the lavish way I am pouring out my love for you. I am pouring out more blessings than you can hold.”
Whatever season you find yourself in right now, I encourage you to stop and seek God’s perspective in the midst of it. Change your mindset from “I have to” into “I get to”. And recognize God’s love and blessings all around you.
Busily and Blessedly His,