I love efficiency, always have. When I was little I took inventory of my Halloween candy and divided it out to make it last months longer than my sisters (and to know how many pieces my mom stole while we were at school…something I totally would do now that I am a mom). I always planned my days in high school and college, so much so that snow days would stress me out because they were inefficient and excuses to waste time. Yep, definitely a type-A girl. And I married a laid back but efficient man, which means we plan out our getaways and make lists of all we want to accomplish and we chose to evaluate our marriage and parenting and schedules. To some of you that sounds nauseating and to others it may sound like a little slice of heaven.
However, with the onset of children, the lord has been teaching me (and g, too) about His view of efficiency and how it does not always sit well in our efficiency-driven bodies or society. And I thought that after 5 years of throwing out to-do lists, of having to go with the flow of life with 2 boys, of taking at least 20 minutes to get from the front door and into the car, I was getting it.
Then we got pregnant again. These past few months have been the least efficient of my life. Even the scaled back, essential to-do’s haven’t been done. Laundry has been sitting in my dryer for a week now, we have eaten cereal and waffles far too many evenings for dinner to count, and forget exercise, I won’t even go there. I consider getting a shower and having my kids out of their pj’s by 4 pm an awesome feat these days.
Besides that, I love efficiency in the way I spend time with God, surprise, surprise. I have a system that works well and that allows me to study the word and pray and journal and such. It works great. When I feel well enough to do it. Therein lies the problem. I’ve even been stripped of the very things that keep me sane and fueled and fed spiritually day by day.
Yet in the past few months a funny thing has happened. Though efficiency in our home is at all time low, intimacy is thriving. The boys are loving staying at home and just being kids. The house is a wreck, but the boys set sail on pirate ships, play made-up game called basement (don’t even ask what it is, I still don’t get it), and set up lego museums daily. They snuggle with me on the couch for hours. I sit still long enough to watch inefficient sports game that last for entirely too long with my hubby. And I have nothing to do for God but be with Him and let Him sustain me moment by moment.
You see, it’s not that the lord doesn’t value efficiency. I believe He does. He just has higher values that trump efficiency every time. He chooses intimacy over efficiency every time. Otherwise, He surely would not have created human beings. We make His work in the world slower and more tedious, just like having two toddlers help do anything takes twice as long. But efficiency is not His
highest value, intimacy is (or at least it’s up there). He just longs that we would be with Him and others and He with us.
So, while I do hope my exile on the couch is coming to a close in the very near future, I pray that the lessons I have learned there will continue with me well beyond this pregnancy. Here’s hoping!