As the children get older, I feel like life speeds up. I know when the girls were small, before the days of school runs and extra curricular activities, I used to feel like life was busy... now I look back on those days with a (probably slightly rose-tinted) sense of longing... my boys toddler years feel like they were lived in fast forward mode in comparison with the girls, and whereas it was much simpler to shut down shop in "the old days" of preschool, I feel much more pulled in multiple directions these days.
And so I'm finding the need to be more purposeful and thoughtful this time round, and proactively make space. And after listening to a fabulous message on training our children in how they should speak by the one and only Jen Wilkin yesterday, have grabbed hold of something she said with both hands as we head into the new year...
"You know how people choose a word for the year? I always secretly made fun of it a little bit... because people were always choosing words that were like, "blessing" or "adore" and no-ones was, like, "repent"! No one chooses "repent" for their word for the year! And a friend of mine said "you know what my word for this year is? It's hesitate..."
I am in! I am in on the word for the year! Hesitate!"
There are so many areas of my life where hesitating would be incredibly healthy right now!
Hesitating before I start that verbal diarrhea of attack when one of the children has pushed me over the edge
Hesitating before I dish out a consequence and thinking - is this something I am going to be able to follow through on?
Hesitating before making sweeping statements about what I'm capable of
Hesitating before committing to things that take me away from my family
Hesitating before I launch into criticism of someone
Hesitating before I triple book my days up
Hesitating before I start that new project at 10pm at night, and going to bed instead
Hesitating before I rush into a decision, and lay it before the Lord first
It isn't hard, and yet its so very, very difficult.
And I know, from experience, that its in the moment of hesitation that wisdom comes...
"A truly wise person uses few words"
"Know this, my beloved brothers, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to become angry"
"Be still and know that I am God"
And so I'm not going to fill this year with a list of resolutions that I probably won't manage to keep, and will only end up feeling a failure by... but instead, to try and preach this word to my heart.
Hesitate... be slow to act, slow to speak, slow to anger, slow to judgment...
Instead, be quick to listen, quick to pray, quick to forgive and quick to say sorry.
And yes, pausing and hesitating can look quite interesting when you're surrounded by a rabble of little people... its not the kind of pausing you see on Instagram, with hot cups of coffee and cosy blankets. It's the brutal self-discipline of holding your tongue when faced with a back-chatting child, its the counting to ten under your breath so you don't say something you regret. Its the writing things down to get your thoughts clear before entering that difficult conversation.
It's costly... and its awkward.
But its where real wisdom is to be found.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
Fun-filled times over Christmas with second-cousins!