Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer and Small Children

It's summertime, and I'm thankful for seasons, even stuffy, unbearably hot Florida seasons.
There's something so comforting in the cycle of routine. A predictible change.

Our park adventures must now be limited due to suffocating heat and aggressive mosquitoes. But they have been replaced with more than our fair share of trips to the beach, pool, and library.

I love that even though I have boys, in the strongest sense of the word, the joys of coming home from the library and spreading out our treasures across the floor, are not lost on them.

I love that The Dude loves to swim so much that even when we are not in the pool, he proudly insists on wearing his swimmies around the house.

I have abandoned the coupon resolution with a sigh of relief, as it was really not much of a money saver for a family that consumes mostly produce. We are back to doing our grocery shopping at Aldi, and the time I save that I used to spend cutting coupons can now be spent planning summery meals like the quinoa BLT salad we ate for dinner last night. Delicious. And much more fun than cutting coupons.

Because who really has endless amounts of time? We're all so busy. But I've been realizing lately that busy is not such a terrible thing. I love chasing after my kids, and I honestly love cleaning my house too. I love the motion of my children and the feeling of experiencing and accomplishing and really LIVING. Mothering small children sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap, but it has got to be the most rewarding job on the planet. In what other job would someone wake you up at 5:30 am just to tell you that he loves you, and then climb back in his bed and go to sleep?

I mean, you have to admit, that's pretty awesome.

The way I see it, busyness, if it is with the things that God has called you to, is one of the most rewarding states we can find ourselves in. As long as we do not find it to be an end to itself. Because that end is only emptiness.

I have been appreciating my job a bit more. Yes, it is still excruciating to leave my little ones behind, but I have been recognizing in myself recently a tendency to want to bask in the happy little bubble that is my home life. My life at home is terribly comfortable. We may not be wealthy by beachside standards but we're definitely in the top 3% of the world. We have everything we need and many many things that we want. My husband is affectionate and supportive and dedicated to our family, and my children are happy and healthy and intelligent. Going to work reminds me that I'm not comfortable just so I can grow fat in it. I am comfortable in order to give of myself to others who are not so comfortable. I need to be thrown into the often dark cold terribly painful world of the children I encounter at work. And even more so, I need to see the work of God in the human heart that rises above all of that.
There's also something about going to work and being asked to perform complex mental tasks when in this sleep deprived state that is rather humbling. And then coming home to piles of laundry strewn around the house and fire ants in the living room.
It's these things that remind me of my weakness, and that "when I am weak, then He is strong."

But I'm still trying to find the balance in the busyness, and JT is working on this too. We only get one shot at this parenting thing after all. But we're pretty good at capturing the moment. JT lives mainly in the moment, and I love this about him. The moment is all we have, after all, and eternity depends upon it.

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