Monday, November 3, 2008

Where am I?

That is the standard query after any lapse in consciousness according to fiction, and although I don't suffer from fainting spells or head injuries, I have a bad habit of letting my mental multi-tasking get away from me at times. This morning I was helping the kids make cranberry biscuits, thinking about Ariana's dental appointment today, assessing the temperature and wondering at what point we should close the windows, wondering why after nearly a year of being diaper-free Joel has suddenly started peeing on the floor, reminding myself that we need to wash the sheets, planning lunch and dinner and wondering if our afternoon guests will be staying for dinner and if so what I should fix, calculating whether I should start a load of diapers or if we have enough clean ones to make it till tomorrow, nursing Elena, and...where was I? Yeah. That happens often. While I am at it, I have grading that needs to be done and posted online, student emails to return, Ariana is excited about her new schoolbook and wants some help, Joel is thirsty and asked for something to drink, I need to pay my credit card, clean the kitchen and mop the floor, and...

Most days I roll with it pretty well, but if Carlos is late coming home, I start counting the minutes. By Saturday morning I am already thinking about when class will be over and I can have a weekend. Hey, I am already excited about Thanksgiving break, my birthday, and final exams!

In moderation, I think that the ability to plan ahead and to juggle tasks is a survival skill. The tricky part is not focusing so much on what comes next that I miss out on what is right now.

One of my favorite quotes from Jim Elliot (yeah, the same guy who said, "He is no fool...") says, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." I need this. I am no Calvinist, but I believe strongly enough in God's sovreignty to feel peace that most the situations I am in fall into the category of "the will of God", and if they aren't, it is probably my own actions and attitudes that need changing.

So, maybe I can amend that mental to-do list, and include lots of time outs. I need them to breathe, to giggle with my little ones and snuggle close with my beloved hubby, to pray, and most of all, to listen--really listen without letting my mind wander. After all, being here is a pretty good place to be.

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