I've been counting the gifts, the 1000, the infinite gifts, graces from God for a while now. I've lost count, I've stopped and started again, I've reached 1000, I've joined the JoyDare. But still, I struggle! Some days I don't see a single gift, I'm grasping for straws, I complain (and whine). And I wonder, why can't I get it, why do I feel like I am right back where I started? Where is my "easy button"?
And then I realize, I rush though my day, I hurry and rush, and hurry those around me. I run from one thing to the next with no transition time. I don't take time to see. I forget how to WAIT!
My impatience leads to frustration and anger and even a little road rage and I crush the hearts and spirits of those who should matter most to me! And I think and pray and wonder? How can I slow down? How can I enjoy the moment? How can I teach my little ones things I haven't figured out yet?
To live balanced, or unbalanced? It shouldn't be equal time for God, for my kids, for my husband, for my house, for my craft, for my blog, for my friends. All things that are important, valuable. But must be lived out of balance. It's about priorities. What do I value? What do others think I value based on how I live my life?
HOW do I make the necessary changes? Where do I start? It brings me back to grace... Receiving grace, giving grace. Hugging more, touching more. Taking time. Making time. Wasting less time.
Swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath!
Family Matters had a giveaway on their blog this month ...for a ticket to Allume!!! I would LOVE to go to Allume! I think it would be such an adventure. All I had to do was write a post on how I was helping my family to REST in this hurried life. I hemmed and hawed and thought about it, and procrastinated some more... and then I convinced myself that I had nothing to offer in this matter because I am NOT maintaining a sense of calm in my house ... quite the opposite, in fact!
I think I could probably benefit from this resource that Family Matters has on their site... Little House on the Freeway ...help for the hurried home. Believe me, I could use some help!! :)
It's not that I don't try... We limit our kids to ONE outside (of church/school) activity. It's not ballet and swim and karate, and soccer and baseball.... We usually eat dinner together, as a family, at the table, without the TV. We pray together most nights before bed, but sometimes that's hurried, too because I am just plain exhausted by that point.
A few months ago, at the suggestion of a friend, I added a step to the bedtime routine. Individually, while in their beds, I ask each kid, "What was your favorite thing today?" Sometimes between the 4 kids, it takes 15 minutes to get through... some times it's rushed and completed in less than 60 seconds. But it gives me a moment to connect one on one... To make eye contact with them and let them know they matter. It's not easy, and on the nights I can't get off the couch, one or more of them will call out, or come back down the hall and say... "Mommy, you forgot to do our favorite things!"
I am also trying to work our way through The Jesus Storybook Bible with them, one story before bed and although we've been hit and miss on this task, too, I can see the fruit of my labor. We had an amazing conversation about heaven in the van on a recent trip into town (about 20 minutes). And God totally gave me the words to say, when I felt so ill-equipped and unprepared! Even my 4 YO is getting it!!
And each morning (or most mornings) my kids will ask me to look at the JoyDare list hanging in our kitchen and ask, "mommy, what are we supposed to look for today." and I am reminded that the greatest gift of all is Jesus, and that He loves my kids way more than I do. And when I fail them, He fills in the cracks. And when I let go of trying and striving, He gives me the strength I need. And when I put blogging ahead of my kids, He gives grace and second chances.
Thanks for joining me in this journey of mine. I haven't figured it out yet...have you? What works for you? How do you add rest to your home?