Don't you love it when a topic comes up more than once in a day? Especially in a way that makes you feel like a jerk? There are many times when I'm glad that I'm the only person that is continuously around during the day so that no one else can witness how lame something I said or did earlier was. Although there's a good possibility that an outsider would recognize my lameness right away and not need the smack on the head later to prove it.
Yesterday we had our weekly play date and picnic at the park with our friends. It was a small group and for the picnic it was just myself and my friend Erika. (oh, and the kids, but do they count, really?) We were chatting and venting about how frustrating it is when our oldest boys come out of their rooms a thousand times during rest hours with all sorts of crises that cannot possibly be solved without their mother. Like the fact that a tower 23 mega-legos tall will not defy gravity any longer and will inevitably crash to the floor. Or that 7 pieces of train track will not fit in a space 6 pieces long. Things like that. Because we all know that mothers control the laws of physics and can easily determine that yes, two objects can occupy the same space if I say so. And no, gravity doesn't have to apply in that corner of your bedroom.
But I digress. The point is that I enthusiastically, perhaps even vehemently, agreed with her that it makes me murderously angry to have my "me-time" interrupted during rest time. And why shouldn't it? There are rules. You can come out of your room if you can prove that your bladder is going to explode or if you are bleeding more than you can stanch with a wadded up sock. Reasonable rules like that. And yet daily they are ignored.
Then I get back from the park, toss the kids into their respective rooms for nap time and grab my computer to get some Etsy shop stuff done. I decide to take a quick glance to see if any blogs I follow have posted anything interesting and I see one called, "Jesus Stopped": On Interruptibility. by Richard Beck. My brain first read the word as "Irritability" and I thought, "When did Jesus stop because he was irritated? I have to read this! I had no idea I was so Christ-like!"
But I did soon realize that it was "Interruptibility". The article was mentioning how Jesus allowed himself to be interrupted. He allowed a blind man and a bleeding woman stop him. He allowed children to come and undoubtedly cause complete chaos in the middle of trying to teach. And it is significant that he did it without irritability.
Me, on the other hand? Well, I get annoyed if I'm trying to cook and a child has a crisis because there is a spider by her shoes. Or if I'm trying to get us out the door and a certain boy has a melt down because his sister is putting her sandals on the wrong feet. Or worse yet, I get annoyed if I'm trying to do something super-fun like cleaning toilets and a little girl won't leave me alone because she wants something miserable like a story.
The article discussed how we fall into the corporate mindset that interruptions are only acceptable one way. A boss can interrupt a peon at any time. But the peon can not interrupt the boss. Because the boss clearly has more important things going on than the peon.
And around here, I'm the boss. I'm judge and jury. Law maker and law enforcer. And to be honest, that is how it should be. Our house would certainly not run in a safe or healthy way if the munchkins were in charge of rules. But I definitely fall into the trap of feeling corporate. It is my prerogative, as boss, to interrupt anything and everything the kids do. But if they interrupt me, especially if it's while I'm doing something important and boss-like, then woe unto them.
And since I'm fairly certain you could make a legitimate case that Jesus had more important things to accomplish during his day than I do, I was convicted that if he can respond graciously and patiently and lovingly to the people who had the audacity (and sometimes desperation) to interrupt him, then I should certainly attempt to respond lovingly to my own children when they reach out to me out of their own desperation (or pain, or curiosity, or chatter-headedness, or boredom...). I'm not the boss anywhere else, and there's a decent chance I never will be, but changing my attitude to be willing to be interrupted, especially by my children, is so essential. Both for them to feel like their mother is a trustworthy person to go to, and for myself to keep my sanity and a sweet spirit in the house. Because it is a sad but true fact that my own attitude usually determines the day. And it will certainly determine a good deal of my children's attitudes in life.
So, in an effort to really make a change, here is my post telling all of you that I am going to pray and try to graciously allow interruptions in my day. To open my eyes to the fact that my agenda, as earth-shakingly important as it is, should not be allowed to tyrannically control my time and temperament.
And, ironically, would you like to know how annoyed I was when my son interrupted me trying to write this blog? Well, you probably would like to know, but I'm not going to admit it. Let's just say I have a teeny bit of work to do in this area.