Well, I had all but decided to quit blogging as of January 1st. But I tossed off a quick post about Julianna and—gasp—a whole bunch of people read it.
So I’m entering 2017 with a willingness to keep on keeping on, although I think I’m going to be more off-the-cuff than I have been in the past. I’m going to go back to MWF…at least, most Fridays…depending on availability of material. I added a post right before Christmas called Friday Funnies, in which I’ll be collecting all the things that make us laugh as we raise this wacky bunch of kids.
You know how sometimes there are themes in your life, the same messages coming up over and over again in different contexts? In the last ten days of 2016, that theme was being too busy, or more accurately, how not to be.
The thing is, nobody has figured it out. We’ve all recognized the crushing weight of too much, but we don’t see a way to reduce it.
In my house, for instance, Christian has six piano students on two nights; the third is occupied by choir; and during parts of the year we might be doing baseball or basketball on a fourth. (And doubling up with some other night, just for fun.) And then there’s piano on Tuesdays and adaptive gymnastics on Sundays and band early morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays and school choir early morning on Wednesdays, and weddings on some Saturdays…
So we have a lot of discerning to do. Because we miss the deep breath and slow exhale of the nights when we don’t have to go anywhere. When the neighbor can bang on the door and say, “Can the kids come out to play?” and there are pickup wiffle ball games in the cul de sac. When we can walk up to the park and let the kids play. Or pull out a board game and have an impromptu family game night. Or I follow a rabbit hole and discover that there was a line in a Star Wars movie that none of us had heard, so we spontaneously throw it in the DVD player and find the scene…and then watch the special features, just for fun.
Another thing that’s been turning around and around in my brain is the idea of luxury and Christian responsibility. Again, something many of us struggle with. I “happened” across a post in which someone talked about how all gifts are meant to be enjoyed by the receiver—and that the pleasure for the giver is in seeing that gratitude lived out. And that includes the gifts given by God. This resonated with me. I don’t remember where it came from, which kills me because I really like to credit original authors. Nor do I think it entirely answers the conundrum. Yet it is one ingredient, added to the stew pot in my mind. Hopefully answers will—eventually—begin to surface.
And then there was this, with which I will leave you today, because after this sentiment, anything I have to say is entirely superfluous: