A Wind Storm?

Lately life has seemed so very slow and so very wild at the same time. It is almost like we have found a way to putter around in a huge foggy cloud of intensity. Lovely summery days, with a background of tons to do. We’ve been doing swimming lessons and getting ear infections. We’ve been trying to clean the house, while magically bombing it out. The children are doing great, growing into new needs, new discipline problems, new hilarious plans and games. I love this life, even if I can’t keep up with it.

Yesterday while I was working on the laundry downstairs, the kids hauled the play table up the stairs, flipped it over, and launched Lina down the stairs riding on it. I think they were all surprised by the speed of her descent, and I was a little surprised that I had not noticed them warming up for this. They were certain that they could control the next ride better. I was certain that there should not be a next ride.

I have had a great many days in a row where I can’t tell what I did at the end of the day. I am pretty sure I did something. I didn’t sit down that I can remember. These are the kind of days when my husband tells me that I was being fruitful, even if it doesn’t look productive. A fruit tree doesn’t move things from an in-basket to an out-basket all day. It is not in the business of ticking off boxes on a to-do list. Sometimes the business of being fruitful is standing in the rain, holding on to your branches in a wind storm, or simply providing shade. Every day is not an apple harvest day. Every day is part of a process, part of a journey towards fruit. Your whole life is part of a fruit bearing work, but today was just a wind storm.

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35 thoughts on “A Wind Storm?

  1. “These are the kind of days when my husband tells me that I was being fruitful, even if it doesn’t look productive.” With a 19-month-old and a 7-month-old, my husband reassures me of this at the end of every other day :)

  2. Exactly how I feel. It is comforting knowing that others are going through what I feel a lot of the time. I am thankful for the time to be with the kids and have to remember that if I don’t get done what I wanted to do, it is okay. They come first, and it is worth it. It is a ride, and summer flew by!

  3. Thank you for this encouraging post. I often think of the example in your book of where you ask your children who are fighting over a toy, What is more important, fellowship with your sister or this toy? My 3 year old understands this and responds well. Her nearly 2 year old sister alternates answers and I don’t think she understands. With another child on the way, I’m trying to work out when older siblings (who themselves are very young) should be expected to accomodate younger siblings interfering with their toys or games? What is reasonable to lovingly train my 2 year old in with regards to a baby crashing in on her world?

  4. Lina did enjoy the ride. Even though she was rubbing her chin from having crashed into a piece of furniture, she was willing to ride again!

    Donne- I don’t think there are any great solutions that will not be plenty of work. We tried to ride the line between defending their time and space with toys, and teaching them to take it easy and blow it out if someone messes it up. I would set them up on their bed, or our bed, or at the table with toys, and not let anyone else play with them. Sometimes we would make a fort on their bed and no one else was allowed in it.
    I have always thought it is important for our kids to learn that other people mess things up and to be ok with that. At the same time, I want to make sure they have plenty of time to do something without a baby sitting on it. Sometimes that means that we don’t let them tap into a game that someone else is playing. Sometimes it means that they aren’t allowed to fuss if someone ran over their block castle on accident. It is just a lot of give and take and trying to stay out of the ditch on both sides of the road!

  5. I just read your book and was extremely inspired to continue to strive to be a better mom. Thank you so much for a timely word in my life. Also very excited to see that you blog here. Am looking forward to hearing more from you! So glad to know that others feel the craziness of being a mom too!

  6. “Lately life has seemed so very slow and so very wild at the same time. It is almost like we have found a way to putter around in a huge foggy cloud of intensity.”–Well put! Thank you for more of your thoughtful thoughts. Blessings to your sweet family.

  7. LOVE the table down the stairs! I babysat for a little guy awhile back who had his own potentially lethal method of staircase descent. He got his pillow, sat up on the top step, stuck his legs inside the case while sitting on top of the pillow, and rode the whole thing down like a sled. Thankfully he preferred to hold onto the railing and inch down. I love kids’ creativity!

  8. I’m right there with ya in a wind storm of our own, just hanging on for dear life…and enjoying every moment of it!:)
    You all need to come on over to our house, we have the best stairs for “stair sledding”. The steps are carpeted and have a perfect little stretch between landings. My children get into their slick sleeping bags and “fly/bump” down. It’s the perfect speed, enough that they feel like they’re going super fast, and slow enough I that don’t need to worry too much about someone getting hurt!:)
    We even pull out a twin mattress one day and all took turns sliding down into a big pile of blankets…it was not very dignified, but oh, so much fun!

  9. I didn’t see anywhere to buy a print or framed cross-stitch reading “Every day is not an apple harvest day.” :) Since I don’t think I’ll get around to making my own I just printed it off in fancy font and put it on the inside door of my pantry. It was just what I needed to hear and what I will need to hear most days.

  10. Thank you so much for that analogy! I love it. Yesterday was one of those rare productive days, but I’ve had plenty of windstorms. I often feel so defeated and useless at the end of those days. Thanks for helping me keep my perspective.

    P.S. My little one loves to sit in the dishwasher too. :)

  11. This is so encouraging. Reminds me of what you wrote in Loving The Little Years about fruitfulness. What an encouraging reminder of what motherhood looks like. We are called to continue in patience doing good! Looking to God for the strength each day. Oh it becomes a beautiful thing when we ask God for His grace. Living each day before His face!

  12. “A fruit tree doesn’t move things from an in-basket to an out-basket all day. It is not in the business of ticking off boxes on a to-do list. Sometimes the business of being fruitful is standing in the rain, holding on to your branches in a wind storm, or simply providing shade. Every day is not an apple harvest day. Every day is part of a process, part of a journey towards fruit. Your whole life is part of a fruit bearing work, but today was just a wind storm.”

    That is applicable to all of us, no matter our current station in life; and I thank you for that. Good words.

  13. Thank you for the encouraging words! It’s easy to forget that it’s not the number of items checked off the list that matters most.

  14. I can so relate to the feeling of not being able to lay my finger upon “what i did today” or yesterday, or over the weekend. . . I get the oddest looks when people ask and I just can’t REMEMBER!
    My kids are 7-14 now, and it is easier in some ways than in the “littles” days, but much harder in others. The BRAIN work they put on me now is so much more intense.

    That’s a majorly cute dishwasher sitter. I hope it doesn’t spring a leak from the sitting, though. :)
    Your tree analogy is WONDERFUL.
    Blessings to you and your family.
    ~april

  15. “Sometimes the business of being fruitful is standing in the rain, holding on to your branches in a wind storm, or simply providing shade.”

    *sigh* Thank you.

  16. “Your whole life is part of a fruit bearing work, but today was just a wind storm.”
    And sometimes the wind storm is a thunder-and-hail-storm, but we’re still bearing fruit even in that.
    Echoing Seda’s sigh… thank you Lizzie, this was such an encouraging, perspective-orienting post. Keep posting the good words!

  17. Thanks, this made me smile.

    My kids think I am a total kill-joy because I nixed the tobogganing down the stairs on rubbermaid bin lids and laundry baskets game. I watched for a while in silence trying to make sure I wasn’t just being a spoilsport….but when I noticed that they were loading up the 18mo old for “his turn” going down (wasn’t that sweet of them :o) I had to suggest an alternate form of entertainment :o)

  18. I love this post, as I just spoke on the topic of “Bearing Fruit in our Season of Drought” at our MOMS group at church. Speaking of our MOMS group, I would like to print an article of yours that was posted on the Desiring God blog titled, “Motherhood is a Calling”. I would be printing it into our newsletter that is just distributed at our church. Do I have permission to do that?

  19. This reminds me of what your dad says about looking at the video rather than the snapshot. Of course some of us have summer blockbuster action flick videos, and others of us have documentaries about snails…. 😉

  20. Hey! Our kids could stand on our old (very, very old) dishwasher door and no harm done. We just got a new one and they broke it within a week. They just don’t make ’em like they used to! :)

  21. I appreciate this positive perspective! I tend to refer to these kind of days as “spinning my wheels” because I’m always moving but (it seems) never getting anything done! I think I like “fruitful” a little better :)

  22. I’m thinking it really was a productive day – the baby is sitting in an EMPTY dishwasher.

    Thank you for your encouraging words. After over 14 years of parenting it’s easy to panic and forget that there are still plenty more days of rain clouds and wind storms left. God ripens the fruit – he just asks me to stand strong and be faithful.

    I can breathe again. I needed that reminder.

  23. Thank you for another post that went straight to my heart. As a mother of five with (now) only a teenager at home who is just learning to drive, I still need the reminder that “every day is not an apple harvest day”.

    As a grandma of nine and counting, I can also see the blessings of the apple harvest days, in children who strive to lead God-fearing lives with their children.

    Many blessings wished as you continue your journey with your little ones.

  24. YES! How many times have I lamented that the hardest part about motherhood is the inability to truly accomplish anything? I’ve even said that there is no empty inbox and full outbox to prove I’ve done anything all day! The dishes get done just in time to make dinner, the laundry gets put away (sometimes) just to get pulled out again, and the floor gets swept just to get swept again in 10 minutes (or less). I am going to ask my husband to remind me of my fruitfulness and that not every day as a mother is harvest time. And yes, if it feels like I’m in a rainstorm or being pruned, I probably am.

    You have no idea how encouraging it is to know that you are out there in cyberspace somewhere. I need camaraderie even if it’s only on my computer screen.

    Clara
    Loving Mommy to Seth (5), Korynne (4), Jenna (2.5), Joel (17 mos), and “Quintus” (arriving Dec ’11)

  25. Your well put words brought tears to my eyes! Being fruitful, providing shade, holding onto branches in the wind and the rain… Thanks for sharing.I love being a mom, and find myself always wanting to be productive. Of course that doesn’t always happen in life, so your words did me a lot of good. I love remembering that we are part of God’s way of caring for his covenant children.

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