Emme and Jett are sitting in the huge red tub Marc bought me to bath in (another story for another time, suffice it to say I miss having a bath). They are playing some random mix of a doctor game, Playmobil and something to do with a belt and a bandage tied together. Its drizzling outside, as it has been for days now. The “joy” of living on a tropical island – lots of rain. I found a playlist on Apple Music called “Acoustic Chill” which is probably a little melancholic given the dreary grey skies outdoors and relative quiet indoors. Regardless, I have it playing and somewhere in my chest/abdominal cavity there is a bubble of nostalgia that I keep having to ignore. Perhaps I should change the playlist?
Any way, this day is moving nice and slowly. We have done our school work, folded laundry, tidied and cleaned all that needed tidying and cleaning and now we are in that glorious space between all we have done and goûter (afternoon snack) where the big girls get tech-time and the younger two get to do whatever they like. I like this slow pace.
You will notice, I love this word “slow”. I even like to just say it , “slow” (as opposed to “from” which I hate saying). I am a firm believer in slow. Especially since having kids. I want time to move slowly. I want us to move slowly through time. I want to do everything slowly. I want to live “slow”. Ryen recently told me to “preach what you [I] practice”, and on this one I really can say I’m doing just that. It is my mission in life to just slow it all down.
But why? A while back I listened to a series of preaches by Andy Stanley entitled “Breathing Room”. Our then home church, Linc, also did a series with the same title. And what really struck me, was the idea that in order to live more fully, to find happiness, to be more ALIVE, people found themselves cramming as much as possible into their days. On a quest for more they added more. The whole idea is actually so backward and so sad. Truth is, if we really want MORE, we have to have less. We need to do less and take more time doing it. The analogy of folding paper and placing it into a glass jar was used. A person was told to crumple up, ball up, scrunch up paper and put as many pieces into a jar as would fit. The natural response was for that person to hurriedly scrunch and shove. Soon enough the jar was full and the person was pretty pooped. It’s tiring scrunching and shoving. A second jar was brought out and the person was told to neatly fold the same amount of paper as he used in the scrunch jar, and systematically place each folded piece into the jar. The jar didn’t even get a third as full as the scrunch jar. Not only was the jar not filled, the person folding and filling took his time and didn’t feel pooped at the end. In fact, he took a similar amount of time to do what looked like “more” work and landed up with better results.
There is much I can say, I could really write a whole thesis on this topic. That series changed my life in so many ways. For one, it led me on a road to “Simple Living”. And on that road, I found “slow”. Slow is me taking time for more. More connection with my kids and my husband. More connection with my environment and with the present. More connection with myself. And, more connection with God. A beautiful by-product is that I get “stuff” done more efficiently, I fit more into my day than I used to be able to and on days when I feel like not fitting so much in, I have grace for myself because I know myself better than I ever have before. I value slow because I have seen its value come to life in my own life.
I am sure I will speak lots more on this as time goes on. I would love to hear from you – your thoughts and questions on the idea of “slow”. Lets unpack this a little more.