It is amazing just how quickly time passes! We are always rushing from one thing to another – school, sports, church, chores, homework, time with friends, family obligations, scouting activities, various classes, and the list just goes on. Chrytos said, “To survive we must begin to know sacredness. The pace at which most of us live prevents this.” How much time to we really spend in the present instead of just trying to get something done in order to reach the next event?
I know that I don’t spend enough time focusing on the here-and-now. At the end of the day, I look back and realize all of the little moments that I missed to truly be present in my boys’ lives. Yes, I am right there next to them, but instead of focusing on my little ones, I am thinking about what is on my to-do list. Even in planning special time for them, such as an up-coming birthday party, I seem to spend more time planning than I do actually enjoying the precious time that God has given me to spend with them.
One of the most sacred things in my life is my family. Over the past month, I have been able to slow our family’s pace which has allowed us to enjoy one another more but they desire more of my attention. As I continue to remove the activities and obligations from our lives that distract us from what is important, I strive to replace them with not just more time at home but more quality time together. I will never find the perfect balance of being in the moment and preparing, but I certainly don’t want to miss out on the sacred in my life by speeding through it. With that, I am slowing down the pace and focusing on what is sacred – my family!
Is your pace slow enough to know sacredness?
As the trees bud and the flowers bloom, I am reminded just how special each season is. Every season provides us with different challenges while also presenting us with different gifts.
With spring’s storms, rain comes to wash away the gloom of winter and brighten our lives with the lush beauty of the natural world. With the warming temperatures, our friendships also tend to deepen as we spend time enjoying one another outdoors with barbeques and get-togethers.
Spring gives way to summer’s long hot days which encourage us to slow down and splash in the cool water.
While autumn brings a blistering winds, it ushers in a refreshing crispness and a bouquet of reds and golds raining in the trees.
Winter chases us inside with its frigid temperatures but the quiet landscape is gorgeous decorated with white snow. Winter also seems to bring families together as they gather to warm their hearts and souls in front of the hearth.
Not only does Mother Nature bless us with unique gifts with the changing of the seasons, I find that I am lavished with fluctuations through out the day. As of late, my emotions seem to be running the gambit – lets just thank Mother Nature again for this as I have been “blessed” with early (at 36!) perimenopause.
Even though my days don’t run as smoothly as I wish, I am blessed to have both the highs and the lows. The highs are appreciated so much more when it was only moments ago the lows were visiting as I tend to upset much more easily than normal.
During this season of my life, I was not expecting to be dealing with this emotional roller coaster but planned on simply enjoying my wonderful family. However, my emotional travels provide for a very full life.
My quick temper brings with it the opportunity to practice patience.
The sadness reminds me to take time to focus on all of my blessings – especially our two sons and my wonderful husband.
While the frustration teaches me that I can’t always have my way.
As I walk through the seasons of my day, I am growing (hopefully!) while relishing the life God has so graciously blessed me with!
Loving our children comes naturally to us. But, we don’t always convey it to our little ones in ways that they feel it – at least not at the moment. (It take years, and yes, even decades for children to equate your discipline with love. Although, lack of discipline doesn’t make children feel loved either.) It is so easy to get caught up in getting all of the chores done, everyone chauffeured to their particular event, and feeding everyone that making an effort to ensure our children FEEL our love is not even on our to-do list. Don’t they realize that we love them by everything that we do for them??? Well, sometimes, but isn’t it always nice to truly know that you are loved because someone important in your life has shown you in some small way? I know that it makes me feel like I can take on the world and I can accomplish anything when someone I care about does something to show they love me!
In an attempt to make sure that my little ones feel loved, I am going to try to incorporate more of the following:
- Take the time to stop what I am doing and truly listen to them. Giving someone your undivided attention lets them know that you care about that person and what they are saying.
- Read aloud to them every day – several times a day, if possible! No matter how old my children become, I am going to continue to read to them nightly. You can never be too old to be read to!
- Schedule time to spend with each child individually. Not only do children need to know that we love them, but also that they are special enough to take time to get to know them better by spending time with them one-on-one.
- Touch them – hug them, kiss them, tussle their hair, tickle them – use loving touch to remind them of your love.
- Surprise them with a sweet note in their lunchbox or a specially cut sandwich.
- When they participate in an event - whether that is a sport, a dance, a concert, an art show, or just a impromptu puppet show – truly watch and pay attention to them. They are showing their love in their actions, we must do the same!
Visit Mom’s the Word for more ideas to Make Your Home Sing.
When was the last time you did something special for someone just because you love them? It is so easy for me to take my husband for granted. His presence becomes just part of the scenery at home more often than I wish to admit. I love my husband dearly and want him to know just how important he is to me - not just because he provides to well for our family, but because he is the wonderful man that I love and want to spend the rest of my life with.
Here are some of the ways I am going to try to show my love just how much I love him:
- Make him his favorite treat just because. He loves chocolate chip cookies!
- Set aside uninterrupted time to spend with him in the evening instead of pursuing my own interests to let him know that he is important to me. More often than not, once we get the kids in bed, we tend to migrate to our own activities until we go to bed. We rarely make the time to reconnect with each other on a regular basis like we need to.
- Complete his chores for him. Even if it is a simple as bringing the trash bins in from the street after refuge and recycling has run, it make his day that much easier.
- Write him a love letter telling him why I love him – not just that I love him. Everyone needs validation from time to time, and what a great way to share the wonderful way he makes me feel than to reaffirm all of the wonderful qualities he possesses. This is a gift that will keep on giving as he can read it any time that the wants a pick-me-up.
- Show him that I want him, not just need him. Cheap Trick expressed how we all feel so well – “I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I’d love you to love me.” I want him to know that I choose him day after day because he is the man that I love and want, not just my best friend.
What special things do you do for your husband? I would love more ideas to help DH feel how special and loved he is!
This post is linked to Make Your Home Sing Monday.
There are so many things that compete for our attention – work, finances, chores – that inevitably we lose sight of all the precious moments and wondrous beauty that fill our lives on a daily basis. So, as I snuggle in to dream about plum fairies, I recall with great joy some of my favorite winter blessings.
Photo: Corin@ 2008
The Beauty of Winter
- The glistening of icicles delicately dangling from the rooftops.
- The peaceful beauty of new-fallen snow.
- The view of little ones enveloped in cuddly, footed jammies.
- The crackling fire flickering its soft, brilliant light in the fireplace.
- The tracks left in the snow by wildlife reminding us that we share this special place and time with other creatures.
Photo: Tiffany Washko
The Joy of the Cold
- Watching the kids play… and play… and play… in the snow until we force them to come in to warm themselves with delicious hot cocoa and mini-marshmallows.
- The warmth of my favorite mug warming my hands while sipping steaming hot cocoa.
- Cuddling on the couch with my husband to watch a movie after our children are asleep.
- The crispness in the air and the crunch of snow under your feet as you traverse through a world where the ice and snow have changed the landscape and life seems new.
- Snuggling with the little ones while discovering new worlds and revisiting beloved ones through the pages of marvelous books.
- The warm kitchen with the scrumptious smell of brownies baking in the oven wafting through the house.
Photo: Michael Wade
- The excuse that it is simply too cold to go outside allowing me to pursue my indoor pleasures while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors through the windows sheltering me from the frigid temperatures outside.
- My familiar, old, flannel nightgown protecting me from the chill of the cold, dark night.
- Thick, soft, warm socks caressing my feet and keeping my tootsies toasty.
- Being curled up in a cozy cocoon of my favorite throw while reading a great book.
Some of these pleasures are available year-round while others are truly wintry treats. Even when our funds are scant, our hearts can be overflowing with joy and love as we delight in the wonders and beauty of the season without spending any money.