5 Minutes for Faith : Parenting Slow

by Lisha Epperson



                               

chailahballet1

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it. – William Feather

Just a few weeks into my One Word 365 and I’m certain I made the right choice. I feel it seeping into my heart and mind and almost constantly new revelation on the word slow becomes part of me. This years word complements last years so well. It allows me to continue walking on the path God placed me on last year – minus the self-inflicted stress. Discipline is the result of a slow, methodical, thoughtful life path. Without the slow my discipline is easily warped – a chaotic mix of effort and plans gone wrong. And fatigue. Did I mention the fatigue?

She pressed the paper onto my lap. Six years old and full of enthusiasm for her craft, she tried to get my attention. She wanted me to see. There’s nothing like the “let me show you” attitude of a girl filled with determination. Her world is the right now impulsive energy behind her request. She won’t take no.

Where did this come from? Chailah’s measured and intentional. Her way is slow, meditative and deliberate. She naturally takes her time. She’s shy… the little sister trying to find her way out of a shell. When she wants your attention she’s thought about it. She’s already spent time processing her goal. That’s when her inner firebird feels free to fly.

That night I’d missed her process. I was too busy. By the time I got it her paper was wrinkled…her eyes told me what I wouldn’t see.

It was a scorecard. Just moments before, she’d listened to her father lecture her older siblings about their inability to work together. And in typical Chailah mode – art, writing it down…mapping it out with pencil and paper would provide a solution. She’d grabbed her supplies to create a record of their work. It was her way of being part of the big kid world – keeping them motivated and on task… a happy bonus. “Ila’s in the lead. LiChai can make a comeback when it’s time to mop”, she said. I hadn’t noticed her in the room before then. Shutting myself down before spending time with her was a mistake. She’s the daughter I have to spend extra time “seeing”.

I listened. Pushing the iPad aside I made room for her on the couch. I listened to her explain the work she’d put into charting their progress. She patiently pointed out symbols created to denote failure or success. It was brilliant.  Pulling her face close to mine I told her how special she is, how happy I am to know her.

We were both heart happy and fully engaged when we kissed good night. With a promise to fix the “N” in Epperson (she still writes some letters cute kid backward), she got ready for bed.

As she skipped down the hall God whispered…she needs you on slow…parent her slowly. Noticing, stopping, engaging. I’m grateful for wisdom to see her unique needs, to listen to her special rhythms…to read and understand her manual. Parenting slow keeps me in tune with her love language. The secret to this midlife mama thing..for her and for me – is slow.

Tell me how your one word is shaping your days. Are you settling into your new word for the new year?

Email Author    |    Website About Lisha Epperson

Hi! I'm Lisha Epperson, a hopeful romantic, lover of Jesus and most things antique. I adore my life as a wife and mother of 5. I'm hooked on books (got the library fines to prove it) and all things ballet. I work out a life of faith with fear and trembling, and a whole lot of grace in New York City. I blog about it all at Lisha Epperson

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Yolanda DeLoach January 16, 2015 at 10:41 am

Lisha,
Thank you for talking about and sharing the link for One Word 365. I am going to be signing up. I knew right away what my word will be and it’s focus.

Taking the time to slow down and take it all in is so important. I have found parenting young kids in midlife is different than it was when I was in my 20’s. I think you’ve nailed it when you said, slow. Thank you for your insightful post!

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2 Lisha Epperson January 18, 2015 at 7:34 am

Hi Yolanda! I love the one word concept. It really allows you to hone in on a concept. Rather than carry the weight of a handful of goals you simply marinate on one word…all year. Such good stuff. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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3 Marcy Hanson January 17, 2015 at 12:44 am

This reminds me so much of Lil’ Girl. Slow and methodical. It drives me batty some days, and what a lovely reminder this is to slow down and give her time.

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4 Lisha Epperson January 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

Oh you have one too Marcy. I just love this girl to pieces. I don’t want to miss out on the wonder of her girlhood simply because I’m not reading her cues. Can’t be too busy for my Chailah. Have a great weekend.

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5 Chelle Wilson January 17, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Oh, Lisha,
this is so so good. When I am present, when I place myself in situations rather than breezing through them, the experience is always richer. As our first prepares to depart for college, I am trying to savor each interaction, tasting them, relishing them, so I can wrap my heart in them later as happy memories. Thank you for this loving admonishment.
My one word? It seems to glorious inform everything I do…thanks be to God.
Blessings and laughter always,
Chelle

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6 Lisha Epperson January 18, 2015 at 7:39 am

I’m thinking like that with my teen son who will leave the nest for high school next year. These are the last few months of our homeschooling journey and I know I’ll miss him like crazy. But, as with my sweet princess I’m leaning in and loving hard. Always happy to connect with you here Chelle and love your one word. Such a great word.

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