One Minute That Changes Everything
“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
Some days, I’m just ready to be done.
You know the kind of day: When it’s noon, and all you can think about is getting those kids in bed, grabbing a bag of marshmallows and a glass of red wine, and collapsing on the couch to watch reruns of The Office. Even if you make it past dinner, you’ll always have that one final hurdle standing in the way of you and that couch: Bedtime.
Oh, bedtime… How often I have rushed through your routines. I go through the motions, just hoping and praying those little eyes will shut and they’ll slip into their nighttime coma so I can be “off the clock.”
A few weeks back, I’d come to the end of a long, LONG day. My boys were going through a wretched combo of grandparent detox and post-vacation boundary-pushing. Their struggle was natural, even expected, but it was exhausting—an unending cacophony of boogers, battles, battles about boogers, incomplete task lists, spit-up, high-energy kids stuck indoors, a baby who wouldn’t nap, and never enough coffee. I was beat.
All I had to do was get through bedtime.
The minute 7:00 p.m. hit, I whisked Baby J upstairs and began the process. The PJs couldn’t go on fast enough, and I prayed he’d nurse quickly. I was a jumble of raw nerves and emotion.
Tired from his day of crying and not napping, Jamison quickly fell asleep while nursing. I silently celebrated, plotting how I’d slip him into bed without being noticed. The couch was calling me.
But then I paused. I took one look at his little face, those squishy cheeks and perfectly smooth skin, and I couldn’t move. I pulled him a little closer and watched as he breathed in and out, lips slightly parted. Everything about him smelled sweet.
I sat there in the near dark holding my sleeping babe. The love I felt for that kid was so intense I almost forgot to breathe. I pressed my nose up against his forehead, prayed over him, kissed his blonde head, and tucked him into his crib. Peace filled the room.
I couldn’t have stayed more than an extra minute—but it changed me. That minute became a purifying wash over what had been a day of grit and gristle. All the tension, the frustration, and failures I felt began to fade.
As I tiptoed out of his room that night, I realized that staying behind that one minute, to look at him and love him and snuggle him close, had replaced my grit with gratitude. The sins of the day were wrapped in sweetness, and I was content.
But that minute has become my reset button.
No matter what my day has looked like, no matter how drained I feel, I need that minute at the end of each day to look at my kids—really look at them—and remember what beautiful, complex, unique gifts each of them are. I gaze at their faces, ponder their personalities, and laugh at how different each of them is. I pray about the men they will become and beg God to help me be the mama they need tomorrow.
Nine times out of ten, I leave the room changed. God uses that minute to replace my “survive-the-day” mentality with a content and grateful heart. I enter with baggage and leave with blessing. I come as a failure and leave equipped. He meets me there to renew, refresh, and remind me of His love so I can do it all again tomorrow.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
– 1 Peter 5:8