Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Peace...A State of Mind Not a Level of Volume

There is something ironic about an introvert, someone who is energized by solitary time, wanting a bunch of kids.

There are a variety of ways people look at introversion and extroversion, but when I took the Myers-Briggs Personality test, introversion and extroversion were described as where you get your energy from rather than being shy or not. (Although I am a little on the shy side too.) Introverts get there energy from solitude while extroverts get rejuvenated and energized by being around others.

So now that all 5 children are home for summer break, let me just tell you that my introvert self is feeling a little bit emotionally exhausted by the constant noise, chatter and activity that comes with my life.

Don't get me wrong, I love my life and I love my kids. I'm just starved for a little time "inside my own head" or even in my room, alone. I'm also starved for a little adult interaction that doesn't involve the grocery store or sitting in my camp chair cheering at a baseball game. I need a little time when I'm not refereeing a squabble or playing short order cook in the kitchen.

Am I whining? I think I'm whining. And sounding ungrateful for these blessings I've been given. I'm sorry.

Last night I spent some time alone with God. It was refreshing and rejuvenating and just what I needed. This morning I could have used a little more time with God, but the blessings were tired, cranky and bickering. I got increasingly cranky until all that refreshing I felt last night was buried under a big pile of foul mood.

(You know it's bad when I threaten to send everyone to bed at 12:15 pm ..except the 15 yo who hadn't emerged from his room yet..and who could blame him? I would have hid in my room too, if I could.)

And then...right when I sat down for my turn on the computer, the 3 yo informed me he had a "toop". (He has trouble with initial "p" sounds.) I was sooooo annoyed. (See all those "O"s?!) But we went up stairs and as I was changing his diaper, all the annoyance melted away and I was reminded that as unglamorous as the job is, it's necessary and a blessing to me that I get to do it.

My introvert self felt a little less overwhelmed in the peaceful moment of caring for the needs of the littlest beastie. As unglamorous and messy as life is, it's in these most basic of tasks that I am reminded that God didn't just put me on this earth to break up brawls and set the timer for the computer.

God put me on this earth to show love and tenderness to these beasties. God put us all on this earth to show His love and care to others. At least that's what I believe we're each called to do. And if we all can do that..what a beautiful world it can be.

Sometimes I will feel at peace and sometimes my introvert comfort zone gets stretched a little... or a lot. I need to find ways to meet the challenge with grace and love and not get buried under a big pile of foul mood.

I know that what I need to do is turn to God when I cannot get the quiet and solitude I'm craving. I'm pretty sure He can carry me through and bring me peace, if I let Him (even if it's not quiet time.)


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