Stay On Task.
And above all,
This has been the mantra racing through in my head since the semester started with empty rent houses, a newborn and the added responsibility of home schooling my eldest and suddenly my life became as busy as it has ever been. I feel breathless, because there is not a moment to waste, because I might have time to do it all if I only Prioritize, FOCUS, StayOnTask and MOVE QUICKLY. This season of Lent crept up on me, just like the unwashed diapers and my upcoming lectures and the latest doctor's appointment on the next page of my calendar.
And then my personal Lenten Season kicked off bright and early Monday morning with a speeding ticket.
At first I was angry - riggnfriggnfraggnCONSTRUCTION everywhere in Tulsa. Don't you know I desperately need to run to the store to buy lanolin for my poor abused nipples (thanks for hanging in there for all the pumping, ladies!) and then dash to work and rushrushrush getting lab set up and tutors prepped and clinical cases lined up and be sure to pump every 2.5-3 hours to keep my supply up?!??
I sat there teary and flustered while the officer issued my (expensive) ticket and I realized there WAS something I could give up for Lent:
I could let go of that flustered, frantic roiling in my belly that seemed to relentlessly drive every hour of every day for the last two months.
And I realized there was something I could add to my life for Lent:
Peace. Mindfulness. Joy in the moment.
Forty days of prioritizing the relationships in my life, focusing on the fleeting preciousness of my children, staying on task - these tasks, not the long and long-standing to-do list chasing each week through my calendar.
There is still laundry and tidying and pumping to do, case presentations and demonstration dissections to set up, worksheets and group activities to plan.
I still need to move quickly because experiencing God's peace and joy doesn't mean neglecting my responsibilities.
But experiencing the joy of the moment means being present in each quickly passing moment.
To be kind, because that is what lasts.
To be cheerful, because there are so many reasons for cheer.
To love, because that is the greatest achievement.
It has been a week since I wrote these thoughts on a scrap of paper, a week of calmly waiting for the time to move through the immediacies on my list and down to my desires.
And here I am one week later, a little bruised and melancholy from a hard week, but taking joy in staring into my baby boy's eyes as he kicks with great concentration in his bath, laughing at my youngest daughter's fierce and merry spirit and her expressive little lips, loving my son's attention and care with all his projects, being so blessed by my eldest's loving and giving spirit and realizing God has given me a husband who I trust so deeply because he loves me so well.
There is pain and I have cried, I have been demoralized and frustrated and angry. In truth, I am frustrated and hurt and a little tearful right at this moment, but I feel that even in this particularly difficult moment that I have been able to rest in it, rather than rushing past it, fleeting as it may be.
It's a little difference, but sometimes little differences make all the difference.
May God continue to teach me. May God continue to allow my focus to stay on the things that matter. May God bless my Lenten devotion.