A good portion of a couple days earlier this week was spent snuggled up on the couch with a sick little kiddo. The stomach sick portion was brief, so I dare say it was nice. It is so much easier to enjoy guilt-free afternoon television watching when not worried about vomit meeting carpet. This was just a forced slowdown interrupted only by Kleenex requests and listening to complaints about water not being cold enough. Cuddling is good medicine and since my boy isn’t as cuddly as he once was, I will take days like this, snotty tissues and all.
In my mind one of the best parts of motherhood is knowing you have the ability to comfort. I think we all have the ability to comfort another person and I think at some point we all need to be comforted ourselves. But we sometimes don’t offer up that comfort and I think most of us are even more reluctant to voice a need for comfort. Children however, aren’t shy about it. My boy tells me that he just feels better if I’m close by. So I set the to do list aside, I let calls go to voicemail, I let the dust settle, and I sit with my boy. And there is no place that I’d rather be.
I’ve been thinking a lot about being in the right place. It is such a gift when you have that sense that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Many of us work in jobs that fill our bank accounts, but not our souls. We follow routine rather than dreams and we spend our precious time wishing we were somewhere else. So when a moment comes along and you know without a doubt you’re in the right place it feels notable and good.
These moments aren’t always found on sunny days. Sometimes, many times, they are found in the nitty dritty. They come when you show up for the hard stuff. When you grieve with a friend who has lost a loved one. When you truly listen to someone express their fears. When you care for a sick child. Sometimes these moments are tearful and challenging. Sometimes they are met with some apprehension. But then the moment comes and you sense you are where you are meant to be, there is a reassuring peace that comes.
This sense is not limited to serious situations. It can come in the sense of accomplishment from working out when you really didn’t want to and then pushing yourself further than you thought you possible. Getting out of bed to go to church on a frigid Sunday morning and hearing words you didn’t know you needed until you heard them. It is pausing to look westward at sunset and being rewarded with vivid colors. You get this sense of belonging in that moment, in that place. Oh and that feels so good. I’m pretty sure that good feeling is God’s gentle nudge to keep showing up. Often times when I experience this, I think how easily I could’ve made choices that would’ve caused me to miss it.
My prompt to you and to myself is to pay attention to that moment when you feel your stress decompress and your heart fill, make note of what you are doing to earn that peace and do more of that. It could be as simple as going for a walk or as demanding as caring for someone else. It could come in many forms. It may require you to ease up on yourself or it may require you push yourself. More than likely it will be some of each, but pay attention to the nudges.