Raised voices and tapping on furniture have paused, for a few hours. My kitchen counters will stay clean, the cats will relax and I can finish my thoughts, for now. It’s Monday and the boys are back in school after a two week break. Two weeks of late nights, teenage boys sleeping into the afternoon and perptetual raids on the refrigerator, and now there is silence.
Even mothers who love their children without ceasing, need silence. Silence to cultivate and replenish. Silence after giving their all. I need time without bickering and ice cream dripped on the floor. Time and silence to reconnect with myself again. I have tasks more personal than leaves on the carpet – leaves that were carried in on shoes surely too big for the boy. And I will ignore the half-empty water bottles, discarded snack wrappers, the crumpled laundry – the laundry that I spent time on already, time moving and folding and carrying.
I have tasks more personal. Goals. Projects. More than toilets, bedtime struggles, favorite pair of pants. And I gave it my all these past two weeks. You know what I mean? Gave them my all. My sleep. My energy. My words and hugs and skills. I gave it my all when the rivalry wouldn’t stop and patience vanished and bellies were hungry, again. When frustration was plenty and wisdom was needed, I gave my all to them.
Now, I need to find my strength, rest, endurance. To replace the all that I gave. So I find it in the warm cup of coffee poured from a french press. I find it while watching the pale leaves dance around the backyard. I find it in the yarn that I’ve twisted and turned into a vessel of warmth for a loved one. I find what I really need on the fragile pages of my Bible. In the silence of Monday, I have found what I need. The Lord is my Shepherd. He is my all. And when the late-afternoon hour comes with noise, jackets flung to the floor and a tussle over the biggest piece of warm banana bread I’ll be ready. Because I give them His all.