The leaves announce that we’ve arrived firmly in mid-September, and I marvel because weren’t we just yesterday celebrating the last day of school, the start of summer? Where did the long, hot, sticky, sweet summertime days disappear to?
Ours saw their regular rotation of swimming, a weekend at family camp, s’mores and grilled food, bug spray and sunscreen . . . but they sped by in a blur of heat and chaos.
I’m pregnant with our third baby, but it’s the fifth time my uterus has held life and my 12 weeks looked like another woman’s 20 weeks. A third baby growing full gets much bigger, much faster than their older siblings, and this summer found me growing rapidly and craving cereal and succumbing to hormones left and right.
We also put our house on the market, hoping for a little more room indoors and out, a fence, a spot for a swing set. My house has never, ever been this clean, and frankly it’s not even fun to come home to anymore. The novelty of a sparkling, spotless house has worn off, and I long for dishes and dust and to not have to say, “Hurry, hurry!” to my babies as we yet again pick up their toys and clear out for a showing.
I may be a bit of a summertime Scrooge, but it feels like my family got slighted a bit this year with all the house craziness and pregnant mama chaos. I missed moments, entire days wiped out by fluster. My husband and I went on exactly two dates, and there was no family vacation taken.
Honestly, I thought I’d already written this post, that it must be more of a theme in my life than I’d previously thought. But searching my own archives leads me to a dead end; these words must feel familiar only because they’ve been so long in my heart.
The idea of calm in chaos is fascinating to me, and necessary to my heart. We don’t have to steal away to a week-long retreat for calm to invade the chaos of our everyday, but we need to claim calm, not just find it. If God promises peace and stillness, how can we CLAIM that peace, that stillness, even in the middle of an everyday ordinary life?
Before another season passes me by (my favorite season, and the last before we welcome another baby to our family!), I’m grasping these 3 small ways to claim calm in my chaos:
1. Make time for small moments.
It’s after 11:00pm as I write this, and my daughter has woken up a dozen times. I huff upstairs and down as she wakes, rocking and singing in between. I breathe in her hair and softly hum old hymns into her tiny ear, her room dark as her big brother slumbers unaffected. This is a small moment that my heart breathes in, takes notice of, gathers and holds dear. Where are your small moments found? How can you harness them into calm spaces during your day?
2. Find what helps you breathe.
Is it a sparkling kitchen? A fresh to-do list? A good cup of coffee sipped just before the pitterpatter of tiny feet enter the kitchen and the day begins? If we claim the feelings that accompany their presence, these little things can add up to big calm. What small thing gives you pause, helps you breathe deep?
3. Fight for it.
As we move into fall, our family’s making hard choices. We’re turning down projects and taking huge things off our list. We’re being mindful of the small things that add up to a larger picture of our crammed life. A few of these pieces include enormous sacrifice, but will lead to a more peaceful season. This is how we’re fighting for calm these days. How can you intentionally fight for calm in your busy and full life? What does that look like for you and your family?
This summer flew by too fast, and I refuse to allow autumn to do the same. I may not treasure each moment like I could, but I will claim the calm spaces and allow them to help my heart breathe.
How do you claim calm amidst your everyday chaos?