This Moment

For this moment, right now, all is calm.

Ten minutes ago, it wasn’t. The dog got into the trash, the dog food, AND the compost scraps while we were at church. The kids were fussing with each other right up to the point where they laid down for Sunday naps. The re-entry burn of visitation weekend in full force. 

This week, I have been appreciating the moments. The pauses in the mad scramble that is life right now. They may be brief, but there is rest in those pauses.

King David used a musical term throughout the Psalms: selah. You’ve seen it in your Bibles. It means ‘Pause’. A musical rest. And this week, I have been prompted (Holy Spirit? Exhaustion? Who knows?) to recognize the selah moments. Right now is one. For this five minutes, the house is relatively quiet. I am resting on my bed, my baby kicking inside of me, and at this moment, all is serene.

Spring is exploding all around us, beautiful and vibrant and intense. We’ve all heard people refer to the ‘seasons’ of life, and this season in our lives mirrors the one in nature. The barrenness and chill and bleakness of winter- the loneliness and struggle and desperation as a single parent. Those things have given way to burgeoning life and flourishing plants. Our own new little life and flourishing  children- learning and growing and becoming and overcoming. The intoxicating pulse of vigorous delight beats in the productivity of our little farm as well as in our hearts. The joy of the children when they discovered a new baby goat- the giddy scramble to grab the first green beans off of the bushes- these are a form of selah as well. 

Rest in the joy. Delight in the rest. And recognize the small moments that are memories- the ones that echo through a life and linger even after you’re gone.

Selah.

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Entropy

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is stated as follows:

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process.

Entropy is the tendency of all matter to degrade, fall apart, break down. Hence, my nickname for the children; “Entropy accelerators”. Would you believe, my little angels helped clean and put the whole house in order last weekend. The shiny “clean house” feel lasted about half an hour before someone spilled something. It was all downhill from there. 

Sometimes I think that, just by breathing, children accelerate entropy. The mysterious sticky goo in their carpet? Nobody knows nuthin’. It just appeared. Coalesced out of the ether,  right onto their carpet. The jeans stiff with mud? Well, I slipped and got a little wet, Mom. Oops. Forty-seven cups in the sink? Nobody used them, at least Not Me.

Now mind you, we do have controls in place. Each child has their own (different) cup. Their own plate, their own bowl, their own bath towel. Names on them and everything. The mystery to the wildly accelerated entropy comes in when every single towel that we own is in the dirty clothes or on the floor, and honest to goodness, I haven’t observed anyone violating the Use Your Own Towel rule. If I could CATCH them, it might be different; I might be able to stem the towel tide. Same with the cups. They seriously just magically appear, but I never observe anyone drinking from one not their own.

The marker on the walls, on the other hand, is easier to figure out. It helps that the offender signed his name. The childish scrawl of a small person so enthused about learning to write their own name (albeit missing a letter or two)… and they wonder how I caught them. Denied any knowledge of said marker or said wall at first, until confronted with the evidence, and the signature. The orange fingers on the right hand also were a match for the case. So that makes me wonder… If I DNA test all of the mysteriously used cups and towels, and then present that evidence to the offending horde, would it bring about a change in behavior? Maybe. But human nature being what it is, until I can reach the hearts of the perpetrators, all the evidence in the world isn’t going to make a dent. It will just help them find more creative ways to not get caught. They will have to take ownership of the reality of their actions, and actively work to change them. Oh, what a beautiful life lesson. If I can teach this one, and ONLY this one, I will have done a half decent job of raising these little people. Actions have consequences. The consequences affect not only one’s self, but all people around you. And the only person you can control is the guy in the mirror; you can’t MAKE your sibling follow the rules, you can just make sure that you do.

Yes, entropy reigns around here. We beat it back on the weekends when we can invest a concentrated effort (and bribe the minions with movies and ice cream), but if you come to my house and find towels on the floor, dishes in the sink, or a mud trail from the back door to the bathroom, just remember that word. 

I shall henceforth be known as Mrs. Entropy.