Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

Permission to Slow

Over Thanksgiving weekend it became clear that Ravinia and I were both fighting a cold. Her friends had it starting Wednesday. So on Sunday when it was clear we were down with something I wasn’t surprised.

“We’re sick,” I told my husband.

Then magic happened. Choices became clear. We can’t do this…or that. We have the obvious reason: we’re sick. But some things we can still do.

I always say homeschool is great because you don’t miss anything on sick days: school waits for you. I’ve usually been the mean teacher and made school happen anyway (bedside school anyone?) and in a way this cold was no exception. But it was half-day school, sick days where whatever we got done was a bonus. I wrote -sick day- at the head of the memo I try to email each day to my husband telling him what we did for school that day (with notes so he can ask her at the dinner table).

Off the hook.

It made the Christmas pace so much slower!

We sat for an hour or more sipping tea and having the candles lit on the Christmas Advent wreath (See and more tea, and reading and writing in several different advent books:
Permission to burn the candles an extravagantly long time?
We can buy more as long as Trader Joes has them, this season.
(Then I’ll buy 40 more for the Lent wreath.)

We ran a bath for a hot soak and listening to history (Amy Carmichael’s story: Victorian England, Irish flour mills losing business when steamships began bringing flour from America, the Keswick conventions, Amy in Japan the first missionary deciding to wear traditional dress, she’s now finally reached India!).

Ravinia still got to attend an early evening Posada on campus (and with her friend as Joseph, she was picked to be Mary!) while a different friend took me on a quick run to Trader Joes and a time to talk.

Too often my life here in lovely Santa Barbara has been full of hard choices because there are too many fun things to do and you have to pick. Sometimes you want to drop the whole schooling your own kid thing and just go play together! But you don’t; you keep at it, tense against your own desire, and hers.

Sick days?
Permission to slow.
Thankfulness for what does get done.

Today we baked cookies for tonight’s Westmont Christmas Festival (it’s going to be great! and we are running a bake sale). Ravinia finished a Rosetta Stone lesson and I think we can do history still, and maybe science…we’ll see.

Permission to slow
Thankfulness and…joy!
I even put up a few more Christmas decorations and played Christmas music.

ONE MORE THING: we watch movies when sick and so we watched the Nativity movie. Ravinia said that watching it made things come alive for her, she likes how it blended everything together and how everything was more immediate, although the angel was spooky (I agree; I would have done it differently…but) and some things they didn’t include. I’m finding I can trust Ravinia to think while enjoying a movie. She’s analytical at the same time as she is enjoying something.

But yes, the Nativity movie is good.
We also have the Gospel of John, Matthew, and Acts, which we can cozy up with as well as our collection of seasonal feel good shows.


It used to be what I was guilty of.

When my parents’ pastor got up to speak at my mom’s memorial service and said that she was an impatient woman (and spun it for good: impatient for God’s kingdom, never met a kid she couldn’t help, a woman she couldn’t encourage, etc.) I realized it wasn’t just me. The little girl in me hardly dared to believe. Maybe?

“Hurry up, Bethie, we have to go!”

Later, when I was to drive her somewhere and she tried to rush me, my gift of crocheted cancer cap on her head, I said, “Mom, I’ve grown up. I can get places on time. I can get you there.” But I learned she always wanted to be early so as to ensure she would be on time. That’s a good trick; I can use it! But the worry, the speed, the anxiety kills me.

I need slow.

I need fun and fast and that’s joy too sometimes.

But when I need slow, I can call it good, can give thanks and praise to God!


Comments on: "Permission to Slow" (2)

  1. Sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, but glad you have accepted “permission to slow” and have called it “good” this week. Thank you for generously sharing your everyday epiphanies with us. You are wise, and you are loved.

  2. I like that: “permission to slow.” I also refer to sickness as “God-imposed rest.” 🙂

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