Yesterday was July 4th, Independence Day, and we had a happy day together doing simple, fun, local things. Earlier in the week the children had picked out a dessert they wanted me to make (from this cookbook), and we had shopped for the ingredients together. I began making the custard early in the morning, finishing in time for us to scoot to the parade in our little town. I don’t think I’ve taken the kids to a parade before (or can’t remember?) except for the local Parade of the Tractors that we happened upon last year. 🙂 It was pretty simple and short, but still fun to do something festive together. Daddy worked part of the day, so we missed him but made the best of it. When we got back, the kids played in the sprinkler and cooled off while I prepped lunch. During nap time I finished the dessert and spent some time in the breezy sunny afternoon browsing through the garden. Later, the children went through the garden, Phoebe picking the ripe tomatoes from her plants, gathering romaine for dinner and our first cucumber (which was amazingly delicious). The kids each helped decorate our dessert tart and after dinner/dessert we found a good spot in town to watch fireworks. Some dear friends met up with us last minute and it was so very sweet and fun to watch our children experience the fireworks together. My heart was full. I was thinking about it yesterday while just living a simple yet fun day at home: these are the things that ground me when life feels hectic, busy, full.
I’ve reached this point in motherhood where I feel overwhelmed and out of breath (on a soul level) pretty much daily. I feel like I’m spinning plates, one after the next, and dropping half of them. The things I love, the things that feed my soul and creativity often get choked out in the “churn” of the day, though I fight to squeeze them in in smaller quantities. I long sometimes to step back and have everything stop for a second so I can catch up. My children need things from me that I can’t always anticipate or understand or feel able to give. Decisions need to be made that overwhelm + cause anxiety. I think as mothers we are constantly measuring: measuring how we are doing, if we are doing enough for our children, enough for our husbands, friends, etc. We are evaluating and analyzing all the time, feeling guilty most of the time and certain we are probably not measuring up. This week I’ve been asking some questions of myself that are hard, facing some decisions that have caused me to lose some sleep. It all feels like a state of constant churning.
So I seek out the things that ground. The scriptures. The garden quiet, plants growing steadily and unobtrusively, swaying in the breeze, buzzing with bees and birds and life. Knitting. Evening tea with Brandon. Prayer. Singing. Watching the family of blue birds nesting in the birdhouse in our garden again this year. Listening for those little “chirps.” Making food for our family. Snapping photos. Working with my hands. Being in the wilderness. Paying attention to and getting to know our own little town, seeking community in our church.
These “grounding” things aren’t always available to me, but I seek them out when I can. They help settle me and remind me who I am and where I am on this spinning planet. Maybe you feel like that sometimes, too. I hope you can find a few things that help you feel your feet on the ground and remember that you are human in this place. Limited, loved.