...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Find your seasons of freedom....

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing enough for my children....I'm pretty sure this is universal. Every parent wishes they had more resources to provide the right amount of activities for their children and if they have enough resources to do it all; they want more time.

In my wandering and searching for just the right amount, I started to look backwards. Way back. Long before families were run tired and ragged from activities and school work. I think somehow I've been caught up in this quest to expose my children to all the right things, sports, music, languages, fine arts....the list goes on. In this quest I find that I begin to lose something very fundamental. Freedom.
Although each and every thing on my list is beneficial, it was becoming tiresome and it was all encompassing. I was losing something, slowly it was slipping through my grasp.

Freedom. Childhood. Exploration. Self-realization.

All of a sudden my children were being told by everyone else how to do something, how to be, how to play, how to create. They weren't able to explore on their own without the pull of the piles of homework and expectations that were put upon them by all the planned activities.

This is MY experience and I AM a freedom fighter by nature. I am an explorer and a creative soul. I do not color inside the lines and I don't make a lot of schedules. SO this mama was trying to keep up with something that just rubbed me the wrong way. My children were holding up and yet pulling against the constraints of the activities. 

And then one day as I was teaching World History and my kids were asking questions and it turned into this full day of exploration and talking and natural learning and my lesson plans kind of went out the window. My children had this light in their eyes and excitement over learning something new and I knew that we had grasped onto something. Freedom! The freedom to learn the way it made sense, to hold onto the information and use it in the real world. It was a scary moment to step away from the text book and learn with passion. Normally, I forget everything I learn until the end of the test and I move onto the next thing and drudge through it until I've passed someone's expectation of learning. I don't want that for my kids. I want them to grasp it, to love it, to understand it. I doubt this will happen with every subject for every child, but it could. IF we can find the freedom in it. The joy of learning another subject can come alive when we are allowed the freedom to appreciate it in our own way.

I have to remember that the best things in life are free. The freedom to allow my children to explore on their own and find adventure in the outdoors to learn by their own mistakes....is priceless.

I don't know the right rhythm for every season in our life, it changes every year. But I have learned that living and planning through the expectations of the world around me produces failure and burnout. SO I am looking back, way back to the season of life when families worked together, played together and learned from each other. When children were allowed to play until dark and explore their own passions with the freedom to make mistakes and try again. Where trophies and tournaments and loads of homework weren't the only things that filled their minds and hearts. I want to leave an openness in them that challenges their hearts to search for what's important to them.

I am challenging myself to not panic in the moment when other people's children are playing Mozart on the piano or traveling to Europe to sing songs or winning the world cup or finishing college at 15. I am settling into my own ordinary and extraordinary. I am learning to pace myself and be busy enough for my extroverts and quiet enough for my introverts. Stepping back when my schedule starts pulling me away from the freedoms I hold dear.

Find your freedom. Explore your world with abandonment of expectations!

Be wild and free mamas!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A view from the top..

I was able to leave on an adventure to North Carolina this week. It was two, 8 hour travel days all to myself and a wonderful 2 days with one of my closest friends. Her 8 children and beautiful home on the outer banks of the Atlantic were a time of rest and fun. We were able to take moments to ourselves to visit and encourage each other during this exhausting time of parenting. We are both in the midst of tweens and teens. She is back in the age of toddlers and diapers after adopting 3 littles from China in the last 2 years. It is tiring and fulfilling in the most frustrating way. Yet, it feels like the moments are racing away and the children will all be driving and moving away at any moment.

It is always such a different perspective when you watch someone else do the parenting. It's amazing really, that a person can be bombarded from all sides, running on no sleep, and still manage to have this grace and softness for each little person in their home. It is truly a God given gift to be able to love our little monsters! I love my monsters more than anyone else in the world ever could. And although, every day holds these huge moments of failure, I must remember that this is my job. My most important job in the world and God knew that I was the very best person to guide these little people as they learn to navigate the world around them. I am the best person to love them and teach them.

I am reminded daily how quickly this world is changing. The news is pretty much off at our house. I get all I need from the internet and I am so quickly discouraged by the biased media... I suppose we all need a place to exercise our freedom of speech, our blogs, our Facebook, our IG accounts; but it is in our homes that we are able to truly have a platform. No one REALLY listens to us, but our children do. Our children are the ones who watch and learn from our every move, our every word and action. This is the place to be teachers and to make the biggest impact on the world around us. We have this platform in our home that reaches far beyond the world of social media.

As I was flying over the United States, from Arizona to North Carolina, I felt so small on the airplane. I am always amazed at how tiny I realize I am. From above our little tiny homes its easy to understand a little better how many times this world has changed over. How many generations of mamas and children have journeyed this life and struggled our struggles and loved their babies and lost sleep and shed tears. How many will come after me and worry my same worries? In my smallness looking out of the tiny window from the airplane. I realize that from my home, my perspective is small, my job seems small and my little world insignificant.
And Yet,
My moments are big, my feelings, my hopes, my dreams are big. They are big to me and they are important to my creator. He is using me to shape the little people in my home. And although I am not on Capital Hill, I am not running for Senate or even the neighborhood HOA. I am doing what I have been called to do.
I am finding purpose in the race I'm running, and contentment. Yes, contentment. That's a hard one.

Taking 4 days in someone's home and watching the magic of parenting, not the perfection, just the daily moments of grace. It was this reminder, to take a moment and evaluate the way I use my moments. I am self evaluating this life, this smallness and learning to embrace it.

Embrace the small moments and your small people.