I have always been slow. Slow in the way that I naturally take my time, especially when I begin something. When morning comes, I slowly make my way out of bed. When night comes, I slowly get ready for bed. My husband says he is going to bed, and his body is actually in bed within minutes. I say the same thing and it could be twenty minutes later and then I am REALLY in bed. I wash my face, brush my teeth and perhaps read a little something. What about the rest of the day in between? When, I can, I prefer the slow, lingering and pondering kind of life.
When I was a kid I am not sure I would have known that I was slow except that I remember my stepmom giving me exercises that were aimed at helping me to increase my my speed. I don’t think they worked. I also strongly remember greatly disliking timed multiplication tests. Now, this makes sense, because I was not able to go slow. I had to go as fast as I could, and this felt against how I do things naturally. It was against how I was created. As a child in second grade I couldn’t have processed that, but I knew it felt horrible to me.
Since becoming an adult I have learned how to speed up my natural slow tendency. Now, I am a mother, so sometimes my little people are ready for food NOW or I have to get my kids moving so I can switch my speed to fast when I need to. Sometimes I have to go fast for their sake.
My son. We arrive home and park our car in our driveway. We all get out, and my son is still thinking of getting out. Actually, he might not even be thinking about getting out. Today, I was explaining the longer it takes us to get into the car, the less time we will have at the Lego building time at the library. I know he had this in mind, but he still was in his carseat a minute or so until he thought, “Oh! I should buckle up because we cannot go until I do and I want to go build with Legos.” I know this, because I was watching him, and I saw when the “aha” went on in his head and he began to buckle up.
When I am rushed I forget things. When I go fast I drop things or I do stupid things I would never do if I went slow and thoughtfully. For example,I have been known to leave the exact thing I went to a store for, in the bag next to the checkout counter, for the sake of rushing to the next place. This hasn’t only happened once. I am not at my best when I go fast.
What I have discovered , is that I am better when I mother slow. When I am rushed, I say and do things I wish I had not. I am impatient with my kids…and myself. I live better when I move slow. When I am not rushing to one place and then another. When I am intentional about what I choose for myself or my family and what I choose not to do. When I am able to limit what I do, then I CAN do it slower. This is a work in progress my friends.
The way YOU have been made is important and worthy of practice. You may not be slow. You may live better when you are in community. Surround yourself with people. Invite people into your home. Live, what feels natural to you. I am sharing my slow example that it may be a highlighter to highlight something in you, something you may have forgotten has been you ever since you were a child. You do not have to grow out of it but rather to see how to grow into it.
When I live slow, I am able to see, I mean really see my children, my husband or the person that is in front of me. Living slow to me means not rushing from activity to activity or thought to thought but lingering where you are.
When I live slow, I am able to listen, I mean really listen to the words of my children or to the words of my Heavenly Father. Yesterday, as I was putting my daughter to bed for the second time, I was ready to be off parenting duty for the evening. As her arms and body were wrapped around mine, she exclaimed, “You’re the best mommy in the WHOLE world!” I heard it physically with my ears, but it did not register in my mind or heart. As my head was laying on my pillow a while later, that is when the words my daughter spoke finally entered my heart. I want to hear the words of the ones I love and to look them straight into their eyes. It may not happen every time, but most of the time, may I be living slowly enough to hear them.
May this be your permission slip to live slow or according to how you have been made.