A Summer Reading

bittersweet

A few months back on a train ride home from D.C., I finished the book “Bittersweet,” by Shauna Niequist. I highly recommend reading it. Each chapter challenged me to the core. What an amazing writer.

One particular section focused on deciding what we will and will not do in life. So I made a list. As this list materialized, things were pretty lopsided. I saw that I basically take on every committee, outing or activity that comes my way. In itself, it’s of course not a bad thing. I love work, church, my friends and all the other things on that list. I realized that this busyness was taking me away from my family.  Getting to know my girls and show them how to love is right about up there as one of the upmost important things in my life. Being so busy, we were together most of the time. But they need me fully present not just there.

As a little girl, I remember always wanting to be with my family. I simply wanted to spend time with my Dad, Mom and Nanny. (My grandmother lived with us until I was 15). Riding in the truck with my Dad going to his job sights and eating off the food trucks was the best. I actually loved the regular Saturday room cleaning days with my grandmother. We would fold every drawer and clean the closet until it was organized. Each shelf was dusted with joy as I did it with her. I tried to be with my mom every second I was able to. I loved sitting with her.

If I think about it that way, I feel like I have been missed the boat a little as a parent. I spend so much time organizing activities for them instead of just being with them.

The girls loved having us coach soccer. Our favorite days are now spent watering the flowers wishing the kids were wearing bathing suits because they are covered in water.  I love our neighborhood because all we do is hang out in the driveway. Someone will be out soon to play or chat with.

I am not saying at all that I regret for a second anything I’ve invested my time in. I enjoyed teaching my students and my career. I am so thankful for each moment teaching those kiddos new things. I love studying Special Education and working with a team that supports our local schools. All of that is a big part of who I am too.

I love Thursday nights at church with our women’s groups at Willowdale. I need time for me. Reading about Jesus and learning to serve Him is one of the best parts of my week. Praying and reflecting keeps me very grounded. For five weeks, we actually studied about this very topic. Creating margin in your life. It is such a gift. One we often forget that God spent the seventh day creating it.

I really needed to learn to make space for what was important. I can’t tell you exactly what I started saying no to. But I do feel so invested in the life of my family. I made a list of their favorite things my kids like to do while I was on that train a few months back. It’s so easy to make them happy. Ice cream, nail polish, soccer balls, books and tickle fights.

I am blessed. I can’t think of a better time to embrace this. Bring it on summer. I am going to soak up each moment.

 

P.S. Please still invite me for wine and coffee. I still really need that time with you too!

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