I Exchanged “Real Quick” For These Two Words—and It Changed My Mom Life For Good

Re-heated coffee in hand and clean clothes in the other, I made the announcement to let the family know I was about to have an appointment with one of the basic human needs – clean.

“Guys – I need you to watch the baby please, I’m taking a shower…but I’ll be super quick!”

As soon as I got behind the door without all the voices (which I love but c’mon – Mom of any number of kids needs silent serenity) I looked into the mirror and asked myself, “Why does this need to be quick?”

Run to the store…real quick.

Jump in the shower…real quick.

Sit quietly…real quick.

Read a little…real quick.

Catch up with a friend…real quick.

Write down thoughts…real quick.

Do you ever find yourself trying to do slow things too fast? I do.

I took a deep breath, realizing that it had been a couple of days since a real shower that wasn’t 60 seconds in length.

I turned the water on and let it heat up longer than normal. I stood and let that hot water take away the “real quick” and took the time to finish thoughts.

At a snail’s pace, I washed the paint out of my hair, shaved BOTH legs without injury, and even lingered after I was finished.

“A spiritual discipline of regular rest from the constant drive to check items of a to-do list can be a powerful symbol of our trust in God’s sufficiency.” Christianity Today

Motherhood has been my full-time job 24/7 for nearly 18 years and sometimes we need to allow our busy, hustling, selves to feel cared for. To rest without guilt, pressure, or fear of getting behind!

Someone else can do our job for a time friends. I mean things might fall apart temporarily but its fine.

With much sacrifice we…

plan and make the dinner,

organize the clean up crews,

pick up toys,

listen to hearts,

help with school,

discipline the unruly,

encourage the disappointed,

nurse the sick,

read the stories,

adventure outside,

listen to lots of words,

disciple toward Jesus,

calm the tears,

and a whole host of love tasks.

The ratio of running ragged to real relief is so off-balance isn’t it? Sometimes because we don’t have a choice – other times because we don’t allow for the slow down.

“Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28

Maybe you get into Mom mode too. You rush through things that should be breaks.

I am learning that living in the slow moments is a ministry that God uses to clear our hearts and refresh our spirits…but we must give into it.

So as we step into Holy Week, one that is supposed to be

slow and reflective,

rich and repentant.

cheerful and celebratory – may we really find longer moments to sit and soak up all that has taken place and the joy set before us!

Take that lingering shower…somehow. Drive around the neighborhood one more time. Read the pages of scripture. Slower.

This is real life Mommas, and we must not become blurry in the hurry.

Slow down for Him, for you, and for them.


This article originally appeared at Jenny Howell’s blog.

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Jenny Howell
Jenny has been married to her high school love, Kris, for 20 years and is the momma of 5. Her heart beats for laughter, mountains, coffee, mentoring gals, and parenting her tribe. You can follow Jenny's writings at her blog: Jenny Howell.