I consider things for which I want to be remembered in life. Obviously, as a believer, I want to be remembered as a godly woman, I want to be remembered as a faithful wife and a loving mother. I most want this to be observed by my husband and family — from my bathrobe behaviour to my apron work behaviour to my garden clothes behaviour to my dress and jacket behaviour. Regardless my outward adornment, my activity or accomplishment or present company, I desire to be in behaviour that from the heart becomes godliness.
That’s my prayer, my aim, my path.
A natural result or expression of godliness is graciousness. I want to be remembered as gracious — Proverbs 11.16 says, “A gracious woman retains honour…”
Though graciousness is demonstrated in many ways, one of the ways I want most to develop and improve graciousness is in my response to interruptions. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as it’s an area I’ve needed to continually revisit, revise and improve through the years. I’ve come to conclude that if there’s one thing a mother needs to learn, it is the skill of being gracious while being interrupted — retaining honour in the midst of an interruption.
Not until I was a mother did I realize how selfish I am/could be — it wasn’t until tasks were interrupted or put off, sleep was interrupted or until health or strength waned did I realize I was so self-centered. It was, ironically, a wake up call for me. Then came all the other changes and experiences that life brings. Along the way I would come to understand biblical submission, more of motherhood and serving others. Interruptions. Interruptions. Interruptions.
Through a series of events, I would come to understand the importance of flexibility, of scheduling, of forbearance, of service and, ultimately, graciousness. Training came in unlikely forms for me: the late nights, accidents, sickness, soccer practice, piano lessons and reminders to practice, lost jackets and torn seams. These would serve to prepare me for unexpected car troubles, financial strains, hospital emergencies, deaths and other life experiences and inevitable surprises. I’ve come to see that everyone goes through most or all of these same “interruptions” — difference is, do they go through them graciously? Do I?
Interestingly, I’ve found that emergencies don’t feel like interruptions — at. the. time. — because they are, after all, emergencies. Sort of like getting hit broadside in an intersection. A heart attack. A call from the hospital: “hurry and meet me here.” You don’t plan for it or anticipate it — so it doesn’t really interrupt you. At the time. In those sorts of scenarios, you don’t stop and think: this sure is an interruption — and many of those sorts of things, we never look back and call them an interruption.
It’s most often little things… that’s what I’m referring to: the little, insignificant interruptions to your day, schedule or plans.
You make dinner and either everyone’s late or no one comes home or everyone’s home and a few bring friends… you planned for a few and now you have many. You’re planning a day of housekeeping and mending — suddenly someone needs something you consider to be insignificant — but it’s not insignificant to them — your plans are thwarted. A wonderful book, a Bible, a study, an article beckons to be read, a squabble upstairs interrupts your thoughts. You sweep, mop and wax the floor… muddy shoes mar the shine. Small things. You have time to react… time to think. You finish all the laundry… only to discover a few loads’ worth in various and sundry places. Empty milk jug in the fridge. One more blog to read. Empty tissue roll on the dispenser. One more dish to wash. You’re exhausted, your teen needs to talk. You’re on your way to the Sunday meeting, the car won’t start. You’ve just bathed, towels on the floor, none clean on the shelf.
You have time to react… time to think.
One after another, interruptions seem to flow through the river of your life… is your response gracious? Is the Lord apparently at the helm? Is the day bathed in promises and covered in prayer?
It’s in the little things… it’s in the big things… it’s in the emergencies… it’s in the mundane: I want to be found to be graciously interrupted.