What Will Our Children Remember Most?
"Following the Lord may mean leaving behind things we really care about--things that seem worthwhile but are not God's best." ~Sally Clarkson
There is nothing new under the sun. When I look back at some of the things I have written, it speaks to me still as a thought worth pondering. It is exactly where I am right now--the pruning stage.
I have so many wonderful blessings and people and opportunities, but only one life to live well.
Activities, lessons, commitments can appeal to us as we ponder what to commit to in a new school year. We don't want our children to "miss out" on any opportunity. Yet, being so busy, having so many commitments can steal energy, money and time to invest in one another’s hearts, minds and souls.
We are so afraid our children will not get all the experiences they need. We want to provide them with great opportunities. And often, we just want time away from them! But, sometimes the cost of being too busy brings about more assignments to fulfill, more activities to have to prepare for at home, more frenzy amidst the already overwhelming days. And these commitments can make for a frenzied home life. And then we wonder how all the messes built up. Stress piles up and peace can easily flow away.
One day, I was sitting on our front porch munching a piece of fresh lemon cake and sipping tea with my boys who had just returned home from New York City and LA for just a few days together as a family.
"Why do you love to come home? What do you think made you feel an attachment to home and to each other through the years?"
Both boys said the same thing. "It was the meals every night, the candlelight, the music, the sense of always having a place to belong. The food we all loved, the conversations we shared, the friendships we forged together."
Sometimes it is the simple, face to face, "I care about you and so I am going to spend time with you," times that win our children's hearts, that lay a foundation of security and stability that is more important than all the activities in the world.
As summer comes to a close, let this be a reminder to make your moments count. Create some chocolate chip cookie moments outside under the shade to talk to your sweet ones. Make a favorite dinner, just because they enjoy it. Celebrate a day and tell them you are happy today because you are so glad they are your own precious children and this is what they will remember when they leave your home.
And then before you commit to too many outside the home activities, ask yourself these questions:
- How much time and money will this cost and will it be worth the pay out?
- Is this an activity my child will excel at and enjoy or am I just doing it because everyone else I know is doing it?
- Have I planned our home life and rhythms there first and fit in the activities afterward if we have left over time?
What will I do this year that will give my home life a sense of order, peace and love?
Sally Clarkson, SallyClarkson.com
Sally’s newest book, The Lifegiving Table releases October 3. Be inspired to build a life of belonging and love around the daily rhythms of your family table.
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