"Does she have the slightest clue what to do right now?"
"Why doesn't she just....?" (Fill in the blank, because kids always know what they want you to do.)
"I wish she would just say something."
"Is she even thinking at all?"
Their wills and mine had hit with a resounding clash, and I'd simply called a halt to all our speaking. Arguing, debating, reasoning - whatever you want to call the "discussions" we were locked in, each from opposing sides - they were getting us nowhere. And the fact is, sometimes I just don't know where to take us from that point. Everything seems to be flying around like pots and pans swirling through the air with bangs and clatters. But I do know one thing for certain. I will be the one to take the lead. So I looked at the ground and let thought after thought run through my mind, chasing away the craziest ones first.
Two visions stuck out in particular. One was that of Jesus kneeling on the ground and writing in the sand as the Pharisees waited impatiently for Him to pronounce judgement upon the woman caught in adultery. The other was an image, I believe it might have been Sarah Edwards, wife of the evangelist Jonathon Edwards. She would sit at her kitchen table with a towel covered over her head in prayer at moments throughout her day. The children knew not to disturb her during this time, either handling their disputes that came up in a reasonable way themselves or holding them until Mother was once again available to address them. These pauses for prayer and consideration in the midst of chaos were just what I needed to remember. How I wished I had some sort of prayer shawl to pull over my head just then, to hide behind as I sought to meet with my Savior.
I'm not talking burkas or anything here, just a sort of physical means of "time-out" so I can sort through some of this and know where to go from here. Lacking the fitting accoutrement of such a calming shade behind which to veil myself, I simply brought my hands up to my face and covered it. I lifted up my problem and asked for help, direction, and strength. Peace descended to clear and cool my racing thoughts. After a while, I lowered my hands and was able to speak with composed clarity, but more than that my heart was at rest. So maybe my kids thought I was loco for a few minutes, but I'm pretty sure I'm onto something here.