Each day of the week we took one of the five senses and read & studied it: Sight, Smell, Taste, Hearing, and Touch. Everyday we also did science experiments like: drawing blindfolded, blind taste & smell tests, Guess that sound game, and mystery guess grab bags with socks on our hands.
It was a really interesting week and I personally learned a lot---still a lot I don't understand too! The human body is [beautifully] complicated!
Sometimes I'm torn between the hustle of "opportunities" out there for my kids and the sanctuary of home. Music lessons, sports, clubs, classes...the list goes on. For three years we've played soccer and it hasn't been too much a burden. One practice, possibly one game. This year we did homeschool soccer, and aside from it taking up 11-4 of my homeschooling Thursday---the kids enjoyed it. [ha!]
As my kids are getting older I'm spying out the "opportunities" out there and weighing the cost.
I asked myself the other day, "What really develops Christlike character in my children?" I started to make a mental list:
1. Hearing The Word
2. Praying together
3. Talking about things we're thankful for
4. One-on-one wisdom talks with daddy
5. Daily life lessons with mommy
6. Living with siblings [learning sharing--putting others first--kindness--forgiveness]
Seeing as how most of my list happens at home---I started to feel a little better about my [to some] limited activities for the kids. I want my kids to make friends, and I don't want them to be sheltered, but at the same time---
I don't want them to spend most of their life out of the home either. Most of their time---in the car---going from this place to that, or with so-and-so, and not---me, my husband, and their siblings.
This isn't a judgement on those who like to stay busier than myself, but for me---I am easily overwhelmed by my house load if I'm gone too much. Peace is quickly sacrificed when my space is backed up, crumby and neglected. I'm not one to keep a spotless house, but I do value a peaceful one.
Are they out there? Moms who can take there kids to lots of activities, instill Christ's character, and still keep a peaceful home? Yes! I know them, but I'm not them. If you're like me, let's not try to be them---some of us---we'll, we're more prone to rush, anxiety and overwhelming ourselves.
Let's be free---to be us.
As it is, meals are already hard enough to come by, but the value I've already seen when we sit around a table---no where to be, no rush. Remembering life isn't a constant emergency. Is worth it.
I suppose I say all this to say---possibly let us rethink why we do what we do with our kids. Is it truly adding the character and value to them we'd hoped when we signed up, signed that check and driven back and forth weekly? Or is it "what we do" with kids?
Certainly there is a balance. I'd love to find it. We're just stepping into this season of activities with our coming of age children, so now more than ever I want to get this right---prayerfully---the first time.
I want to say YES to things that bring my children closer to Christ,
and NO to things that busy up our life.
Things that leave us all feeling
a bit tired, a bit rushed, and a bit further from knowing Him well.
What about you?
How do you handle the balance between kids activities and a Christ-centered home?
1. A baby in arms
2. Another baby in arms [after 2.5 years of trying all 9.8 of him has arrived]
3. Leaves falling on me like rain as I read under a tree
4. Hard questions that expose my lame excuses for bad habits
5. A few chapters into One Thousand Gifts
6. Climbing to the top of a mountain I haven't in awhile
7. A trip to Wal-Mart...alone
8. Peace of mind Psalm 91 brings me
9. Mailing photos to relatives [actually making it to the post office---I normally loathe]
10. Having my Thursdays back [last day of Homeschool soccer today]
I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to wait.
To wait for a child for much longer than 9 months. To wait...for years. Then, to get "the call", and 72 hours later hold a precious 16 day old infant in your arms.
After two blue, and a 6 year spread of time---here holding pink.
She and I have been friends for two years, and all this time I've watched her wait.
Wait with such grace.
Wait, while 4 of us with swollen bellies bring babies to chest.
Celebrating with us, never once showing the ache I'm sure she felt.
Tears. Prayers. Patience. Waiting. Trust. Hope.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life." -Proverbs 13:12
Sweet baby girl, you are my most favorite tree this Fall.
I'm not your mom, but I know her, and I celebrate your arrival into her arms. I can't think of a better word to describe you than---victory. You are victory. For them, for me, for those who still wait.
You shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
bringing forth fruit in season,
your leaf shall not wither and
whatever you do shall prosper.
[from Psalm 1:3]
To see her meet her parents for the first time...watch this clip: