there is time

I race into the kitchen, open the fridge looking for ideas for dinner. The little ones are running loops — through the kitchen into the dining room into the living room, the front hall, and back to the kitchen. I hear cries for mom, that would be me,  from downstairs. And now, the tea kettle is starting to shrill, the tea kettle I put on for my now elusive late afternoon cup of tea on the front porch.

My heart is exhausted.

I was forgetting that there is time.

For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die:

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted:

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to gather stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

It’s all too easy to super-impose a preconceived idea of time onto our days. We hear about how we need to do so many things, how we are to accomplish this and that, how we are to exercise, volunteer, keep a perfect house, have super smart kids, create magnificent and blog worthy do it your self projects, look radiant, have that 30 minute quiet time in the morning, have excellent and nutritious meals completed at 5:30 on the dot, have organized games and play time in the afternoon, and so on and on and on and on.


Yet, that idea of “super-woman” time can sometimes creep into our definition of time and self which leads to frustration as we try to cram 42 hours of activities into a 24 hour day. The beauty of the moment — of a toddler at one’s feet, and little boys running laps is lost. Instead those motherhood days have the potential to leave one feeling frustrated and frazzled and even failing.

That’s the lie.

When we step back, grab that tea, and look around, then the exhaustive urgency and the worldly expectations can start to lesson. And instead, we can replace that exhausting pace with peaceful, and still busy, joy.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time….

I perceived there is nothing better for them than to be joyful

and to do good as long as they live.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a and 12

So, instead of sitting in overwhelm, I pick up that tea pot, and rifle through the box of tea bags, choose my favorite, and plunk it into my chipped ceramic mug. I scoop up Samuel, call the older boys, and meander onto the back deck. The boys run down the stairs,  the new coat of stain,  but I don’t see that. Instead, I rest, watching my boys run in the grass, and feel Samuel’s head on my chest, and listen to the sounds of spring.

My heart is joyful, content in the moment.

Dinner prep? It will happen.

There is time.

9 Responses to there is time
  1. Anita
    May 18, 2011 | 3:54 am

    Thanks for reminding me to enjoy life with my children. Time goes by so fast, so we should appreciate the time with our little ones…(sorry if there are any english mistakes, I am from Germany (:)

  2. Rachel
    May 19, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    Thanks, Anita, for your sweet comment. Time does go so fast…we need to just slow down…

    And your English was great.


  3. Carey Bailey
    May 20, 2011 | 7:56 am

    Oh my! Love this. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So beautifully said and encompasses so many of my daily thoughts. With Joy, Carey

    • Rachel
      May 20, 2011 | 2:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Carey. I love your signature line — with joy. Beautiful and mirrors my heart. 🙂

      • Carey Bailey
        May 20, 2011 | 3:42 pm

        Since we both have a love of JOY I just had to share this print with you I have on my desk. It makes me happy so thought I would share the love.
        With Joy, Carey

        • Rachel
          May 20, 2011 | 3:47 pm

          Oh my goodness. I absolutely completely and totally love that print. Hannah and I have just decided we’ve found the perfect spot for it in my kitchen. 🙂

          Thank you for sending me over there.


  4. Tara
    May 20, 2011 | 8:23 am

    Rachel, thank you for this. I’ve been convicted of this recently – letting go of some of my expectations (one of them is related to time), if they get in the way of what is really important. You have the gift of encouragement!

    • Rachel
      May 20, 2011 | 12:11 pm

      Thanks, Tara, for your kind and encouraging words as well. 🙂

  5. Kimberly
    May 24, 2011 | 5:06 am

    Just what I needed to read on this morning when my anxious heart wants to run head long into this day…so much to do, so much to accomplish, especially since I did not cram those 42 hours into my 24 hours yesterday.

    Thanks for helping me remember to stop, breathe, and smile.