Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Morning Commute Transformed

How do you spend your mornings? Is it a scramble to get ready? Or maybe you do get up before your children (I wish!), but then there's a busy rush to get everyone out the door. Everyone needs to get dressed, fed. Lunches need to get packed. I know this is certainly the case around here, where even though no one is in school, we usually have to be out the door by a certain time to get Ben to work on time. And then by the time we're all in the car together, we're usually frazzled and hurriedly talking plans for the day. For me personally, mornings are one of the more challenging times of day.

However, as is often the case in the difficult moments of the day, we stumbled upon a bit of grace this week. Grace that seeped into our day and transformed it from a busy and grumpy rush to something beautiful. Zosia pointed to a tree filled with leaves, still a fresh sight this spring, and said, "Look! The tree is blooming." We laughed a bit, because indeed, the lush green tree did look like it was blooming. And then she asked for a story about a tree. I certainly don't know any stories of trees off the top of my head, but our resident storyteller Ben does... and so, we spent the rest of our short (but typically stressful) commute listening to the story of Zacchaeus, followed by the story of the burning bush (not a tree, but close enough, if you ask me).

The stories filled our time, and even Lily, who's not crazy about car trips, was rapt. The stories were requested throughout the day, and I gladly shared them again and again. But what was even more amazing than the calmness of the ride was the way that such a short family ritual transformed our day. I in particular, who often spend Mondays clambering to catch up from the weekend, felt truly at peace, the image of the small man, without a friend in the world, whose faith was great enough to scale a tree for a glimpse of divinity fresh in my mind.

I think that our car trips have been changed-- they're not "filler time," that time between two points, but sacred time together, fellowship at its best.

Where do you find fellowship and grounding in your days? How do you involve your children?

This blog is a part of Steady Mom's 30-minute blog challenge.


Kim & Dave said...

You know, I have often wished I was a better story-teller. I think your kids are truely blessed!

Hannah said...

Good for you, thinking of Zaccheus! Whenever my kids ask for stories, I seem to draw a complete blank. I love your story of how making that connection among you all put the brakes on all the frazzlement (if that's a word), to which I think we can all relate!

heather said...

i need to read zaccheus now.

that is a sweet tale of a typical stressy situation transformed through creativity, and children! and parents listening and following the children's lead. aaaah, i want to do that more!!

Adele said...

I wish I had thought of Zaccheus, but it was Ben! I think that having kids has made me realize what a treasure it is to have a repertoire of stories (especially from your faith/heritage... those are so special). I need to read up!

Margo said...

hmmm. I loved this post, but your question really stumped me. I am refreshed and renewed most by quiet time when they're napping (ha! that doesn't invite their presence now, does it!?).

But we do also read books together before nap and bed, and that is a very sweet time together. We also take meandering walks and talk about what we see.

Currently we don't have a morning rush and I do love mornings. The time of day I dread is 4'm when naps are over and supper rush is on and people tend to be cranky.

Kerry said...

How wonderful that it was a faith-related story that filled the moment and transformed it. I've been telling a lot of stories lately myself. They've been made-up stories about Super Henry, a boy super hero who does things to help others. We're in the midst of a super hero stage that has gotten into a lot of bad guy play and I am trying to turn things towards a more positive focus... man this parenting thing is a challenge.

I love this idea of transforming busy, stressful times into fellowship.