Need a Break?

When McKenzie was really little, she had a difficult time saying her “C’s” and her “G’s.” C masqueraded as a “t” sound while G imitated “d.” Exuberance, passion and cuteness are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about those early conversations with my girl. She would come running up, feet not touching the ground, out of breath with excitement, holding her latest discovery for me to see.

“MOMMY!!!! Lut at this tute taterpillar I just dot. Tan I teep it? And tan I teep it until it mates a tozy tottoon?” I want it to be tomfy!” (Translation: “Mommy!! Look at this cute caterpillar I just got. Can I keep it? And can I keep it until it makes a cozy cocoon?”)

And later that night, before bed, as she prayed, “Dear Dod, thant you Dod for this day and for my new tute, taterpillar. Tan you teep him tozy tonight?” (Translation: “Dear God. Thank you God for this day and for my new cute, caterpillar. Can you keep him cozy tonight?”)

I loved that little voice. In fact, I grieved when she worked with a speech therapist in kindergarten and quickly learned to say those letters correctly. Ok, I knew it wouldn’t be as cute when she was a senior in high school, but it sure melted my heart when she was five.

The other night at dinner, Emily and Hannah remembered how McKenzie struggled to stay at the dinner table for the duration of dinner. This, of course, led to accusations from both of them about how McKenzie got away with so much more than they ever did and how I was so much harder on them. I adamantly denied such claims, but giggled a tiny bit knowing they weren’t completely off base. This led to Emily’s impression of McKenzie’s cute little voice filling the kitchen with this question almost every night: “Tan I tate a brate?” (Translation: “Can I take a break?”)

We all laughed at the memory of it, including McKenzie who loves whenever her older sisters tell a story about her. Emily dramatically described a typical dinner of conversation and questions which would inevitably be interrupted with McKenzie’s high pitched voice, “Tan I tate a brate?” Emily then exaggerated and explained that this would happen every night and I would always say something sweet and syrupy like, “Oh, my sweet honey love, if you need a break, you go right ahead and take one, but let me kiss you and your cuteness before you leave.” McKenzie would skip away from the table to the TV room where she would watch something educational like Sponge Bob, while Emily and Hannah would have to endure the rest of dinner, sitting up perfectly straight, chewing with their mouths closed, forced to eat every last lima bean or spinach leaf. (We don’t even EAT lima beans!)

Such exaggeration is completely unfounded and unfair.

You believe me, right?

Ok, I admit it, sometimes I would just be too exhausted to say, “No! You can’t take a break. And you can’t take a brate either! Eat your dinner!” Not only was McKenzie cute, but she was persistent, and if I said no once, she would keep asking. And there were nights at dinner I just wanted to breathe and talk with Emily and Hannah and Steve and not have to keep hearing, “Tan I tate a brate?” over and over again. Truth be told, a lot of nights it was just easier to say, “Ok” because I needed a brate (break) too.

It’s Friday. Anyone need a break about now? Not just from my 31 days of writing (tired of me yet?), but just from a long week where you might be feeling weary or overwhelmed or just simply tired?  I have been thinking about so many things this week, so much my heart is processing, so many stories in the news that can be overwhelming. I think it important to not only allow yourself to physically rest, but also to allow your soul to rest.

One of my favorite blogs is called Chatting at the Sky, by Emily Freeman. Her tagline says, “Creating Space for your Soul to Breathe.” Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Emily writes,

Maybe a break means taking time to listen without the pressure to hear something profound; a time to read without the pressure to learn something interesting; a time to receive without the pressure to turn the gift into something more useful.

Just because you take a break from something doesn’t mean you’re resting. My soul was desperate for me to know the difference.

I encourage you to read the rest here ,but even more than that, I encourage you to give yourself permission to rest.

May you have a beautiful, restful weekend. See you tomorrow.