I am an introvert, married to an extrovert, and mothering two extroverts (Mattea is still a mystery, but I suspect she may be more like her mama on the extroversion/introversion scale of being). I find that merely being in the presence of the kids and trying to be present for them exhausts me most of the time. This morning, we went to church as a family and the bigger littles went down to Sunday School without me (which hasn’t happened before). Mattea puttered quietly for a bit beside me in the pew, and then fell asleep. For the first time in 6 years, I got to hear a sermon from start to finish, sing all of the hymns without picking up cheerios, and listen during the prayers instead of grabbing kids by the ankles and dragging them out from under the pews. I revelled in the quiet this morning. I found myself feeling satiated as we heard the benediction, and released from the chaos in my mind as we took communion.
As the season of advent approaches, I am struck by a need for silence in my life. I am more content and joyful when I have moments of gentleness and calm in my days. I try to find quiet amidst the chaos, but that doesn’t often happen in our home. As we amp up for the craziness of the holidays, I am really seeking ways to celebrate the quiet moments with the littles. Taking three deep breaths together before we share our thankful things at supper, taking listening walks in the woods, where we walk as silently as possible and try to hear the world around us, finding simple, peaceful ways to celebrate our family and the hope of the light returning to the world at Christmas.
Our advent calendar this year will be filled with beautiful but simple crafts to create together, intentional family time, and giving to those who need to receive. Still in the planning stages, I am excited to find ways to incorporate these moments of peace into each of our days together.