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by Christie Masters

If you are too busy, you may, like me, look longingly at your garden as you drive away, again, wishing for more time at home. The weeds in that badly neglected garden seem to mock our desire for rest and peace as they grow defiantly taller, a visible accusation of our busy lives. Peaceful summer days, caring for the simple but important things and spending quiet evenings with your family are hopefully just around the corner…for us both.

There are good reasons why our lives become hurried and distracted, and often I’ve heard that “busyness is a choice,” but this is not always the case. There are emergencies in our immediate and extended family that can cast us into a flurry of frantic action. We’ve done a “last minute” and unforeseen moves for grandparents-three times in five months. My husband and I work together, and with the expanding of the family business comes the stretching and discomfort that often accompanies growth. Work can develop its own set of emergencies that demand peaceful family routines be put on hold. Sometimes, though we volunteer for a temporary task, it can take on monumental proportions and feel like a disaster waiting to happen. If life has thrown you a few curveballs, there is still hope for peace in the midst of it all.

First, just breathe. Take a moment when you can, and just breathe. Let your mind and body rest, while awake of course, and remember that this too shall pass.

Next, if you only have time for one scripture, it would be well worth it. Remember, you are not in this crazy life alone. Take a second and pray over your day, for your husband and children, and pray over the circumstances that need your attention.

Then, delegate! If you can enlist your children who drive, or some friends temporarily, delegate the appropriate tasks to them. Divide and conquer, so-to-speak, and the more the better. With the dire situations that the grandparents in our family have faced recently, everyone in our family has focused on a particular need. Our children rose to the occasion and poured their energy and time into averting the crises right along with us. This may not be possible with very young children, but remember your friends and pray for help-it may come from unexpected places. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help! We all have moments in life when we need it, and often treasured memories arise from these occasions.

Capture moments with your family when possible, and speak life into them. Our husbands, children, parents, all need encouragement when disaster is knocking at the door. Even if it’s a quick pat on the back in passing, or a whispered “thank you” before you all wearily stumble to bed, speak encouraging words-they will provide fuel for the soul and strength to continue.

Finally, make sure not to add more to your plate. Say no to more when you can, and focus on the immediate needs of your loved ones. And sometimes their immediate needs come in the form of a midnight run to the store for ice cream, and a much-needed time to talk about the things that weigh upon them and the whole family.

Life’s difficulties will pass, and the peaceful routines will return. Summer campfires and days with nothing to do but pull weeds from a garden are just around the corner. May God bless you as you navigate through it all.

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