Monday, March 24, 2014
Notes from Saturday.
I scanned the crowd and saw a couple of students with dark-rimmed glasses and philosophy books piled high. I spied a nervous couple at the end of their first (and possibly last) date. I watched a guy with a flawless Afro tap the table to the beat in his neon headphones.
I felt... mom-ish. Frumpy. With crumbs in the bottom of my purse and a spot of dried applesauce on my jeans, I felt past my coffee-shop prime. I used to be one of them, a coffee shop dweller who whiled away hours with a laptop and a latte, complaining about how insanely busy I was. Busy enough to sip lattes most nights, apparently.
But it didn't take me long to close my eyes and remember my day. Isn't that the key so often? Not pining for what seems like the greener grass, and taking account of what has so graciously been given to you?
Saturdays in the Newby house have been declared Family Day, and there's absolutely no work allowed. No Etsy convos to answer. No sewing. No distractions from the little things, which are really the big things.
Here's what's allowed: Waking up without an alarm. Watching a couple episodes of Curious George. Serving up apple cinnamon pancakes and steaming cups of tea. Opening the back door wide to let the fresh air blow the smell of grass through our house. Finding bikes on Craigslist and exploring the Greenway all afternoon. Tending our baby garden. Kneeling next to the bathtub, scrubbing the day's dirt from between toddler toes. Looking into my favorite green eyes. Admiring my favorite dimples.
Saturdays are about creating open space: to breathe, to think, to give thanks, to just enjoy one another for maybe the first time all week.
Had I seen my latte-sipping 21-year-old self across the coffee shop that night, I'm not sure I would have seen a girl quite so content as the 28-year-old with crumbs in her purse and applesauce on her jeans. The 21-year-old I remember was constantly waiting for something. Constantly impatient. Just ready to move onto the next season already, surviving the current season in angst.
This season is different, and in many ways, better. Perhaps less adventurous. Definitely less spontaneous. But as I looked back at Liam in his bike seat as he took in the passing landscape with wide eyes, I told Shawn, "He's totally content." As I said it, I realized, so am I. Contentment: it's the one puzzle piece that's been missing from my life for so very long. It doesn't mean that every moment - or even every day - is happy. Just yesterday, I sat through the funeral of a very young man who took his own life, and I felt more sadness than I've felt in months. There are moments of self pity, of stress, of frustration. There are days when the budget feels too tight, the workload feels too heavy, and the moments of happiness and ease are few and far between. But the thread of contentment, of deep peace, is woven so deeply in my soul that even the rough days don't shake my core like they used to.
The difference is Christ. Knowing Him and loving Him deeper and fuller than I did 7 years ago, I can say that the journey with Him just gets sweeter with time. I know that my circumstances have not brought more peace - we probably have tighter margins with time and money than we ever have. Life hasn't gotten easier. My new roles as wife and mom, as so many dream to become, do not fulfill every deep desire and need I have. He brings peace. He brings joy. As I have tasted and have seen, apart from Him is no good thing.