Moms need social outlets. Two of my favorites are Bible study and book club. Last week, I missed them both.
My two-year-old had a cold. It was nothing to dampen her spirits, thankfully, just a junky cough and runny nose—i.e., the symptoms. You know, those dreaded mucus signs flagged in the universal code of motherhood as: “CONTAGIOUS! Don’t let your kid lick my kid’s toys.”
So of course, we stayed home.
“What are we going to do today, beanie?” I crouched to my toddler’s level and smoothed her wispy hair with my fingertips.
“Read books.” Her eyes twinkled. Then she coughed in my face.
“Okay, bring me three books.” And a box of Airborne.
“Three books to start.” I grabbed a tissue and wiped her nose. “Then when we’re done reading, you can help me put some laundry in the wash.” Might as well take advantage of our quarantine and catch up on the housework.
“Okay, Momma!” She ran to her room and returned with—yep—five books. We snuggled into the sofa cushions and started reading. Brown Bear, Little Pea, Going to Sleep on the Farm. When we finished one stack of favorite stories, she retrieved another from the book bin. Then another, and another.
Before I knew it, our three-book limit blew to nearly an hour of quality time huddled together under a blanket. Then we set the books aside and turned on a movie. My daughter cradled a sippy cup in the crook of her elbow and pressed her head against my chest.
Stillness. Such a strange feeling. I listened to my daughter breathe and sniffle. Cough and sneeze. Munch crackers and giggle at the television screen.
Laundry? Forget it. I have more important things to do.
“But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me,” (Psalm 131:2).
Sometimes I trick myself into thinking busy is better. That being in fellowship with God requires being in fellowship with other people—facilitating my small group Bible study, scheduling play dates and coffee breaks, dissecting the meaning of life with friends while holding steaming lattes in our hands.
But when I’m forced to sit in the quiet, slow moments, I begin to see how loud and rushed my life has become. Social commitments. Church activities. Work. Chores. Routines. They can pack the calendar and crowd out my peace. They crowd out God. Then a sick day punches our pause button, and I have no choice but to rest.
Funny, isn’t it? All this time I thought social outlets were my “break.”
As I sat on the sofa with my arms around my daughter and studied her delicate eyelashes, her red-rimmed nose, her plump cheeks, it dawned on me—I am not stuck home alone. God is here. And he’s inviting us to our own little party.
That is not a bummer. It’s beautiful.
Now the question is—does God like Strawberry Shortcake videos? I sure hope so.