Monday, August 26, 2013

stop and taste the crabapples

here's a fun fact for you...
it takes me half as much time as it takes my husband to mow the grass.
i'm not trying to brag.  i'm just stating a fact, but...


there was a time when i secretly thought i was better than other people because i could get things done faster.  i could accomplish more in one day than some people could in one month.  

this one difference between me and my husband {among a vast number of similarities} once threatened the health of my marriage.  it still can on occasion if i'm not careful.

when you live at an accelerated pace {which means your body and mind operate in turbo mode} there is a tendency to get frustrated with those who are...well...slow.  

most of my life 
slow = bad.
slow = lazy.
slow = lack of interest.
slow = going nowhere.

and then i met my husband.
i didn't find him to be bad, lazy, lacking interest, or headed nowhere.  but i did find him to move at a snail's pace compared to me.  

at first this was very attractive because it felt good for my racing legs to rest and wait for him to catch up.  but later i grew frustrated 
when i wanted to paint the entire house in one weekend and he wanted to take breaks to watch deer in the backyard {it's not like they're endangered species or anything, are they??}.  
or when i wanted to drive straight through to our destination and he wanted to stop and go inside a restaurant to actually sit down and eat {seriously...isn't that what drive-thrus are for?!}.
or when i wanted to go ahead and get everything hung up on the walls in our new house and he had to hunt down a stud finder and level to make sure they were perfect {what ever happened to 'eyeballing' it?!}.
or when i scheduled something for us to do two nights in a row and he told me he needed more 'downtime' at home {what the heck is 'downtime'??}.

but here's the thing about a sprinter marrying a stroller...you learn that you're actually good for each other.  because i love joey and see so much good in him i've seen the beauty in slowing down.  and on the flip side i think he would agree that trying to keep up with me at times has been...well...maybe almost exhilarating {and sometimes exhausting}.

today while joey was mowing the lawn i sat down on the back porch and watched him.  the kids were playing in the yard and there was an almost fall-like breeze blowing through the screen.  i propped my feet up on the table and allowed myself to just stare off through the trees.

at one point lucy ran up onto the porch and looked at me like i had two heads...why are you looking like that mommy?  the poor child rarely sees me without my eyes locked and loaded on something.

a moment later i heard the lawnmower cut off.  joey had stopped a third of the way into his cutting to look at the crabapple tree in the middle of our yard.  at first i laughed to myself because the behavior was so predictable.  but then...i watched...with admiration and joy as he touched the leaves for a few minutes and walked around the perimeter of full foliage.  i saw him reach up into one of the branches and pull off one of the apples.  he put it up to his mouth.  i could see him really tasting it...not rushing his bites.  he stood there for a few minutes eating and looking around the yard.  then the lawn mower started back up.

i considered the fact that i never would have done that.  when i turn the mower on, it runs straight through until i am finished.  my eyes never leave the uncut grass in front of me.

it couldn't have been more than 10 minutes later {and maybe another third of the yard through} that i heard the hum of the mower slow to a stop again.  again...not surprising...but this time he looked up at me.  he took the headphones out of his ears...
hey - have you ever actually eaten one of those crabapples?
i couldn't remember.
they're pretty good.
again he stepped away from the mower.  this time he walked across the yard and began searching the tree for the perfect one.  the kids ran it up to me and i took a bite.
it was good.

do you remember the story of God creating the heavens and the earth?
do you remember how throughout this monumental process he would stop work and consider all that he had accomplished and then...declare it 'good'?

if it were not for my unhurried husband i wonder how many times i would actually pause my work to declare it 'good'.  how many moments in this life has he slowed me down long enough to actually enjoy instead of passing by on my race to the next thing?

the beauty we find in slowing...
it's why i write.
it's why i take pictures.
it's why i go on walks through gardens.
it's why i'm simplifying my life.
it's why i married my husband.

what slows you down?  and what have you found waiting...for you to declare it's goodness?