This evening I was sitting at the dinner table thinking about how tired I was. I’d painted for 8 hours almost non-stop. I was still wearing my paint-spattered clothes. I had paint between my toes, and paint in my hair and paint who knows where else. Now I was thinking about the next step — helping the boys dig out the clutter in their old room and organize everything to fit into the new room. Next I wanted to repaint their old (camo-green) room in girl-colors for my little girls. And then — curtains. Maybe some decorative painting on the wall. A bit of spruce-up for my own bedroom. Oh, and my 9 and 12 year old girls were rumbling about getting THEIR room painted…colors of their own choice instead of little-sister-chosen pink. Oh, and yes… there is Christmas thrown in there, and my son’s 16th birthday. With all I have to do, basically the next week or two will roar by like a freight train. (Just why did we decide Christmas was a good time to add a new bedroom and move four children into different rooms anyway??)

In the midst of planning my next move(s) I suddenly tuned in to the children chattering around me. Their faces came into focus, and for the first time all day I really paid attention to them. My 12 year old daughter was glowing with enjoyment over the fact that they’d gotten to watch High School Musical 2 that afternoon, AND the fact that I’d just said they could watch it again tomorrow before we send it back to Netflix. She was singing me the best parts, with my 17 year old daughter clarifying some of the English words for her that she doesn’t yet know. My 5 and 3 year olds were also talking to me. The other kids were in the room too, some doing gymnastics over strategically placed pillows, and others finishing dinner or starting to clear dishes.

I was tossing out replies and smiling and turning my attention from person to person. I had so much to do that it didn’t seem like a time to just BE. To just sit. And yet that’s what I found myself doing. In the midst of everything I suddenly felt a deep calm. I sat smiling, luxuriating in the moment, admiring the beautiful faces of my children, and feeling utterly at peace. It was a tiny oasis. A moment in ‘the zone’. The millions of things I had to do didn’t have to be done right then. And the space I occupied at that moment was rich in warmth and love and happy faces and a peaceful heart.

It was a gift, I think.

A gift straight from God to my hurried heart.

Peace that passes understanding.

Oh, how sweet.

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  1. love it. 🙂 again, love form the prez of your fan club

  2. That was beautiful and just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  3. Or a “Mary heart in a Martha world” as the one title goes.

    Sounds like you paint the same way I do – not a body part left uncovered.(“Now how did it get THERE?”) =)

  4. Oh yes; those moments are too rare but all the more precious for it. I hope that, in spite of how unlikely it seems, that you get many of them this Christmas season.

  5. So glad for this for you, Mary. It so speaks to me.

  6. I totally know what you mean. I have those moments with my kids as well they are a savorable gift from God. I added you to my blog spot as you have some faithful readers that reccomended you to me. We are adopting our second child from Ethiopia, we should have a referal any day. She will be 4-5, and be our 4th child. i am blessed truely. We homeschool (kinda on break) Check in with me.


    I have a little blog that advocates adoption and there are several topics of conversation as well as poetry I wrote.
    Love to see you and you will be hearing from me.
    Kim AZ