Friday, April 8, 2011

Slow Down

As I was rushing to a meeting this morning, I heard the still small Voice. And what did He say? "Slow down, Olivia. Slow down." And maybe He wasn't just talking about my speedometer...
Because when I got home and went through emails, what did I find but an email from Screamfree Parenting. These emails (subscribe for free at the top of their home page) are a GREAT (free!) daily reminder of what parenting should really be.
And this is what this morning's email said:
"One of the great illusions of our time is that hurrying will buy us more time."
-John Ortberg, U.S. author

Invariably, when I am in a hurry to check out at the grocery store, something will happen to make my line slower than a your average snail. The cashier changes shifts. The register runs out of receipt paper. The lady in front of me is buying some rare Guatemalan melon the cashier has never seen and he has to send three bag boys to find one with a sticker on it. I used to think I was cursed in the “waiting in line department” since this happened to me at banks and in traffic jams as well. But now I think I was just participating in a natural law.

The law is this: Hurrying actually slows you down. This is true not only with cashiers and bank tellers, but with our kids as well. Ever noticed that when you are hurrying to get out of the house with your children, something always happens that slows the process? It’s almost as if the more you speed up, the slower your kids get. I think that’s because hurrying is a needy thing to do. It is a symptom of impatience and anxiety. It is a form of weakness. And kids can sniff out weakness a mile away.

When you hurry, you aren’t creating more time. You are missing out on the only time that is truly yours – the present. Working yourself and your kids into a frenzy just for a couple of extra minutes isn’t going to really get you anywhere. Plan ahead and give yourself margin – more time than you think you’ll need  - for a task. Then enjoy yourself along the way. That’s tough to do, but practice helps. The next time you’re at the grocery store, give your patience muscle a bit of a workout and choose the longest line. Who knows, maybe the simple act of not hurrying will pay off and your line will outpace the one next to you.
-Jenny Runkel, Director of Content and Co-author of ScreamFree Marriage
Exactly what I needed to hear (of course).


  1. So glad you posted this, as I accidently deleted mine from my inbox before reading it! This is great advice. It's so easy to think that "hurrying" my kids will actually help matters. Usually, it only frustrates them and turns me into the Wicked Witch. :) I'm trying to be better about giving myself more time to do things, which seems to help when I actually do it! :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for this gentle reminder :).

  3. This seems to happen to me while I'm driving. I kid you not, every time I get going at a good comfortable speed or when I start trying to drive hurriedly, someone pulls out in front of me and wants to go ridiculously slow. For example, this morning, I was on my way into town and I was in a hurry because my cousin had forgotten her purse at her house and I stopped by to pick it up for to drop it off before I had to go into work. I started taking back roads because they're usually quicker, and wouldn't you know, this ancient car pulls out onto the road as I'm coming around the corner and they go 35 the WHOLE way down the road. I was so irritated, I felt like I could've just blown up at the coincidence of it all, because that is ALWAYS happening to me. I pitch major fits in my car over that. Like, I really just can't find the justice in it, at all. It's irritating just thinking about it, lol.