Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cabin for the 4th of July: When I chose to see, or stumbled upon Kairos.

It is no surprise that the month of July escorts temperatures that tip the scales above 100. We typically find reprieve from the heat in the mountains just a short drive east of here at our family's cabin on Vega lake. While the temperature at the cabin is usually cooler than in town, it's still quite toasty, making for a pleasant jump in the lake to take a turn being pulled behind the boat on a tube, skis, kneeboard, or - new this year - a wakeboard. 

But God must have known that I needed a cool-down, not just physically, but emotionally, giving us a weekend with clouds, cool breezes, and evening rain showers. 

I've been putting significant effort into reigning in my emotions, not the regular emotions that make life colorful and memorable, but the emotions that make me see red, make me fall apart, or lash out at others. Taking my mornings to enjoy coffee, the sunrise, and seeking God (this is one of my favorite parts of summer). Most recently a friend share an article/blog post where a mother spoke directly to my heart, and offered some wisdom on a specific area of struggle. This idea of multidimensional time, chronos time and kairos time. 

What's this have to do with my weekend away? For the first tow days I was stuck and frustrated with chronos time, the passing of minutes. Stuck and frustrated because time was passing and I wasn't enjoying any of it. My children arguing, being rude, proclaiming boredom, refusing to share- all of this was stealing my joy. 

Halfway into day two I lost it, told my son to pack his bags I was taking him home. Tears, pleas, promises... And a realization that I had set down a punishment a bit too grand for the offense, and one I really couldn't follow through with logistically, I gave him one last chance. 

I also realized that I was allowing myself to get taken up with the frustrations rather than seeking out the moments of joy and beauty - kairos. (Honesty disclaimer: This realization came after a Xanax and a nap- my nap.)

This became my unintended mission (yes, I see the dichotomy of that phrase) for the remainder of our mountain stay- seek the kairos - those moments outside of the chronological passing of minutes- when it seems that the world is put on pause, and you glimpse the extravagant beauty of this precise moment.

The sun setting behind the distant peaks, reflecting off the lake, the soundtrack of nature smoothly transitions to the track titled "Evening".... Kairos....

Freshly washed earth, still and silent morning air, rhythmic thumping of heartbeat, running shoes, and breath greeting the sing song chirps of morning..... Kairos..  

Roar of boat engine, gliding across smooth waters, my children's smiling faces and outstretched arms sailing behind the boat, their confident, brave, and daring spirits shining through.... Kairos....

Exclamations and wonder at critters found, creating habitats with care and attention to detail, enjoying the the uniqueness of  creation, then  releasing them back to the wild.... Kairos...

Sleeping children exhausted from a weekend of fun and adventure, the sticky remnants of ice cream glistening on their lips, and the warm desert air once again pressing on my skin, welcoming me home.... Kairos... 

I'm learning to trust, quite slowly, that my God is mighty, that I can rest in His power; where I lack He is abundant and taking time to seek kairos shifts my attitude to gratitude.