Three hours before bath time and I already knew we weren’t doing to make it. It was 3:05pm and the kids and I were heading thirty five minutes away to meet Lukas to buy a Christmas tree. An experience every year I attempt to make magical. Wear Christmas garb, shop for the tree, eat a nice dinner, come home with plenty of time to make bedtime. Annoyed I’d left the house later than I wanted, annoyed I hadn’t built more margin into this magical moment, annoyed we’d be in a rush, I tried to communicate to everyone involved — Tabby, Lukas — that my annoyance wasn’t towards them but at the situation.
Lukas was a safe place for me to process these feelings. He didn’t try to fix it, he just listened as I vented and declared, “ugh, I just don’t even want to go!” I wanted to go, I REALLY to go, to experience the event, to make the memories, but I didn’t want to go with this bad attitude. I didn’t want to be around myself, why would my family want to do the same? After pouring all those feelings out, Lukas paused to let those feelings sit and asked “is there another way to reframe this?”
Immediately the phrase “scarcity mindset” came to my mind — I was focusing on all that I didn’t have (time) instead of all that I did (a beloved family to make memories with). Lukas encouraged me we could salvage the evening, encouraged me he’d accept me just as I was, encouraged me we might be a few minutes late to bath time but that will be okay, he encouraged me we could do this and we both hung up.
In the stillness of James starring out the window, Tabby napping in her car seat and Lukas loving me just as I was in that moment, God laid a phrase on my heart — this is enough.
This time, this three hours between the moment in the car and the moment bath times need to start — it’s enough. It’s enough to achieve all He needs me to achieve. It’s enough to buy a Christmas tree. It’s enough to eat dinner (albeit a fast one). It’s enough to share moments of joy and to make memories with one another. This time we had — this is enough.
He presented it in a loving way (primarily through the love my husband offered in our conversation), one where my heart opened to receive what He had to say, I am loved, I am safe, and it was up to me. It was up to me to choose whether I would spend the next three hours focused on the scarcity of what I didn’t have, or up to me to trust in the abundance He offered.
Through the rest of the thirty five minute drive my heart lightened, God allowed me to rest in the phrase “this is enough” and let go of my need to manage the three hours and instead just live them.
We pulled up to the plant nursery and Lukas was waiting but finishing up a call. The creep of “we don’t have time for this!” tried to infiltrate my mind, the annoyance at how all consuming Lukas’ job can be started to make it’s way to my brain and I shut it all down.
THIS IS ENOUGH.
It gave me grace for him in that moment. The grace wiped the scowl off my face and replaced it with a genuine smile.
This is enough.
The tree picking adventure included James falling head first into concrete and busting his face, him following his sister and her rain boots into giant puddles that covered his tennis shoes, socks and pants, in water… in forty degree weather, and an important extended family phone call I couldn’t miss. All things I couldn’t have planned would happen and yet, there was enough time for it all.
Oh, and since I realized AFTER James pooped I hadn’t restocked the diaper bag, I made an additional Target run for diapers and footed pajamas to solve the “my son is covered in ice cold water” dilemma. My unplanned Target trip left Lukas in charge of finding a dinner place. We both have strict diet needs so that’s not the easiest job but he managed to find a place we could make work in our tight timeframe.
I pulled up to Waffle House a few minutes behind the rest of my crew, grabbed poopy pants James and walked back towards the door only to run into some very special women in our lives.
The family phone call I’d taken included them in the discussion so getting the chance to hug their necks and discuss the situation with them was divine. A gift from a God who can do more in three hours than I could ever imagine.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory…” Ephesians 3:20-21
The three hours was memorable. It was absolutely enough. James got to bed at a decent time, Tabby got to stay up late (a HUGE honor for a three year old) to prep the tree before bringing it inside.
And now, this morning, while my heart is full with the memories we made last night, I carry the Lord’s message into today. This moment, this time I have right now, this is enough.