Our time together this summer in Mexico was a treasure.
As we drew near to the end, I began thinking about what changes I wanted to make once we returned back home. (I love how getting out of your norm can give you a fresh perspective and cause you to reflect on life and priorities and what is most important to you.) I knew that school would be starting, Sam would be back to work, and then suddenly we would be in the full swing of things again.
Have you ever heard someone say, “plan your life or someone else will?”
I have too.
However, the hardest thing for me about that phrase is that it always sounded so limiting and confining. As if I have to plan out my whole entire life (when I barely know what is for breakfast the next day) or at the very least…I need to plan out every hour of every day this week in order to not have someone else planning it (or filling it up) for me.
That never sounded like freedom…and that is coming from a natural born planner!
But I think our trip to Mexico caused me to realize that when I came back home I didn’t have to have my WHOLE life planned out. I simply needed to prioritize and be intentional about the most important things to me. And that if those things were planned out, the rest of life could just be.
I started making a list and one of the things on my list was being intentional about spending time with my kids.
But if spending time with them looks a lot like tracking them down to clean up their room or finish their homework or unload the dishwasher, then I knew that something had to be missing. Sam has talked for years about wanting to do karate again. He decided that this fall he would look into taking a karate class with all of the kids…just them and daddy. He found a place where they can all take a class together and it makes me smile ever so brightly every time they come home all wearing their matching gis.
But here is the thing.
If I want to spend some quality time with my kids, it isn’t going to be doing something active. It is going to involve rest. And while rest and 5 kids might seem like an oxymoron, I have found that it is sometimes achievable.
In fact, I stumbled across the perfect solution when I purchased this box set of Little House on the Prairie. It was one of the first packages that arrived at our door after our trip.
And we have loved it!
Maybe it is the fact that my first thought was that even if it was just the girls and I watching together it would still be some special (and restful) quality time. And then I discovered that the boys enjoy watching it just as much as the girls do. And ok, even Sam enjoys it, but I keep telling him, “this is MY thing with the kids.” 🙂
Maybe it is the fact that each episode seems to teach a little life lesson that everyone can grasp, even our five year old.
Maybe it constantly reminds me of how special a family bond is and how imperfect we are as human beings. Yet we all have the same daily choice to choose love.
Maybe it is the beauty in watching them build their home from the ground up and then watching Caroline put her one, single, porcelain doll on the mantel and seeing the joy that she radiates on a regular basis.
Not because of the things that she has but because of the people that she loves.
For three months now, one of our new Sunday morning traditions (during our weekly Sabbath) is to stay in pajamas, gather together in the basement, grab blankets, snuggle, mommy grabs coffee and we watch one new episode of Little House on the Prairie…together.
And maybe I just kind of also love that the container is cute and small and…isn’t it creative?!? It reminds me every day when I walk passed it to get to the laundry room that life is sweet and to keep things simple and to treasure those that you love.
Especially if it involves watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie…together.