There are few moments in the life of a mother of fourth graders when there is silence. Throw in the fact that the mom homeschools both kids and works from home, and you’ve got about ten seconds in a day to breathe. Well, maybe. More like 6.245 seconds, but, hey, who’s counting?
With so little time on my own, it often feels like my time with the Lord is interrupted, overrun, and shared with everyone else while I multitask. I’ve tried mornings, afternoons, evenings, and late at night. Nothing seems to block out the world. Nothing that is… except mowing the lawn.
Growing up, mowing the lawn was a chore. A grimy, sweaty chore. Nothing more. As I grew older and went out on my own, cutting the grass was still a chore—only then it was more of a chore since I had a job, school, and the insanity of single life to keep me busy.
When I finally got married, I thought that I was going to be able to happily turn the grass-mowing duties over to my other half, but it never quite worked that way. Unfortunately, his allergies are set into nonstop over-action by mowing grass, so he did it as rarely as possible. After many years of complaining about the grass needing to be cut and me not knowing how to use the lawn mower we then had, I decided to learn how to use the riding lawn mower and do it myself.
For several years, however, it didn’t help much. With two little ones under foot, I couldn’t mow for fear of them being under foot then, too. Then, a couple of years ago, the kids finally got old enough to play in another part of the yard when I cut. That’s when it happened.
Yes, I said “quiet.”
Beneath the roaring, blaring, almost deafening mechanical cacophony, there it was. A quiet I had pretty much forgotten could exist. There was no phone ringing, no emails, no bills, no bank statements and tax papers, no Teletubbies or Barnie, no crying or calls for Mommy, no dog barking to go out, no dinner boiling over on the stove, and no TV droning in the background. There was nothing… but quiet.
It was in that moment that a calming peace came over me. I breathed in deeply and exhaled, knowing that I could ride around for 20-30 minutes at a pop (with hopefully one or two of those times in a week) without worrying that kids were hurt, under foot, hungry, or anything else except safe in another part of the yard.
And it was amazing.
No where else in my day was there such quiet. When winter came that first year and a broken lawnmower to boot, I quickly forgot this peace. I lost site of the only quiet time I got. But then spring rolled around and my father-in-law let us borrow his mower to cut the grass and suddenly… it cam back. I got on the mower and began to circle the lower part of the yard. That same quiet fell across the world, and I could breathe. I talked to God. I smiled. And I was renewed.
The Lord blesses me in those stolen moments. They are precious and few, but they do exist.
Many, many times over the past few years, I have lost hope of finding those moments again. I’ve cried and prayed and couldn’t find that peace I was seeking for the overwhelming roar of life in my ears. But when I get on that lawnmower, the world finally falls away and lets me find rest in the Lord.
You don’t have to ride a lawnmower to find quiet, although you’re certainly welcome to try. Who knows? Maybe the Lord invented grass and riding mowers just for that—to drown out the world and find comfort in talking with Him again uninterrupted, even if only for a few minutes.
“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10 KJV)
Shared on the Hearts for Home Blog Hop October 19, 2016: http://www.yearroundhomeschooling.com/hearts-home-blog-hop-october-19th/