Family

Time, Precious Time

beyond_meltingsnowIt’s easy to take things for granted—like snow in the wintertime. Out here, it’s as expected as the turning of the calendar from December to January, to February. Expected, but not guaranteed. Just like the precious time we have with our children. The more I realize how quickly the snow melts away, the more I want to treasure each moment before it, too, melts away.

 

Photo Credit: File:Звуки тающего снега.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

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Before the Snow Melts

Blog_MeltingSnowIt’s fascinating to observe how different the perspective of a child is from that of an adult. Take snow, for instance. For a child, it means endless hours of fun. For an adult, it means endless hours of shoveling.

When it snowed Thanksgiving weekend, my kids begged my husband and me to take them sledding. Exhausted from the busy school year and ready to relax for at least one day of break, I suggested some lower-key, indoor activities. “It’s not even winter yet,” I reasoned. “We have a few months of snow ahead of us. Plenty of time for sledding.”

I didn’t expect it would only snow a few times after, and hardly enough for sledding. The one time we had what seemed to be a sufficient amount, I was the one telling my kids we had to get outside “before the snow melts”. We got to the hill and they made it down only a few times before they were sledding on grass and caked in dirt.

As I look through our winter pictures spanning the past few years, I see how time is like the snow—so quickly melting away, the kids growing with each passing year. It won’t be long before they’ve outgrown sledding and are complaining about shoveling. Makes me want to hold all the more tightly to these innocent years.

It’s easy to take things for granted—like snow in the wintertime. Out here, it’s as expected as the turning of the calendar from December to January, to February. Expected, but not guaranteed. Just like the precious time we have with our children. The more I realize how quickly the snow melts away, the more I want to treasure each moment before it, too, melts away.

It Ain’t Always Easy

It’s easy to love your kids when they’re being sweet. When my daughter tells me she loves me “more than all the stars” and my son tells me I make him “shoooo happy” and they both shower my face with kisses, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to love them back. But there are days. Days when big sister doesn’t want to share and little brother won’t stop screaming at that impossibly ear-piercing pitch. Days when little princess decides she doesn’t have to listen unless it involves cookies, and little prince decrees the toilet his new waterpark.

It’s easy to love your new puppy when the little furball first comes home and showers you with love. But just wait until she showers your carpet with something else and chooses your best shoes as her new favorite toy. And that cute little stray kitty you found in your back yard? She’ll hypnotize you with those dilating pupils but one day she’ll hack up a fur ball at four a.m. or help herself to that dinner you spent hours cooking.

And what about Prince Charming? He holds the door for you, and you’re walking on air. He holds your hand, and your heart melts. He looks in your eyes, hanging on your every word, and you know he’s a keeper. Then kids come along and doors are forgotten, and who has a free hand to hold? And you pour out the depths of your heart only to watch him turn up the radio to catch the next play of the game.

Love is not easy. Anyone who’s had a pet, or a kid, or a relationship of any kind…KNOWS. The secret is out. If you care enough about someone, you’re in for some hard work. There are times when love is as easy as downing a chunk of chocolate cake, and times when its like scaling a rocky cliff. There are times when you flow in love, and times when you choose to love.

But as much as love is hard, it’s also something else. WORTH IT. For each moment I endure of quarrelling kids, there are thousands more of smiles and hugs and kisses and fun. I’ve cleaned up after my furry friends more times than I care to count, knowing how much joy they bring to my kids and warmth they bring to my home. And my Prince Charming? He’s still my prince, and he’s still charming. He’s also my friend and teammate and encourager and so much more. Beyond the hard work that is love, there are priceless blessings and countless times of saying, “So glad I stuck with it, no matter how hard it’s been.” And it’s been hard. But it’s so worth it.

Source: It Ain’t Always Easy

A Blessed Mess

blog_stable

A farmer who wants a harvest doesn’t need a clean stable. The ox that helps him bring in the harvest will do more than make a mess of the stable, but with that mess comes blessing.

 

Photo Credit: Barn – Free images on Pixabay

Lived In

Blog_Living RoomWhen I was a teen I babysat at a house where all the furniture was covered in plastic. My Mom told me, “That house doesn’t look lived in. A house has to be lived in.” And that’s the reason my home looks so VERY lived in today.

Couches aren’t meant to be covered in plastic! They’re meant to be comfortable. Homes aren’t meant to be sterile. They’re meant to have traces of life…everywhere. Who wants to live in a mortuary?Blog_PlasticCouches

If you have kids, there should be crumbs on the floor and handprints on the windows. There should even be an occasional landmine of toys. My son likes to make artwork with his sticky fingers over every surface of the house. My daughter likes to scatter her books everywhere she goes. Yes, it bothers me…sometimes. But more often I’m reminded of how long I prayed to have kids. And that means I prayed for all that kids bring with them.

There’s a Proverb that says, “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” A farmer who wants a harvest doesn’t need a clean stable. The ox that helps him bring in the harvest will do more than make a mess of the stable, but with that mess comes blessing.

Children bring with them a harvest of life and joy. Their little messes are worth it. Yes, my husband and I teach our kids to clean up after themselves. And we’ve cleaned up after them more times than I can count. And yes, I’ve snapped as many times when the place was getting unbearably messy.

But in the end, I’m glad our home is LIVED IN. That’s how it should be. And I’m blessed because of it.

P.S. The very real blog post A Little too Real inspired my thinking that led to this post. It’s a great read!

Another PostScript…Take a look at the pictures above. Where would YOU rather live?

Abundance

Nature Winter Bird Wildlife Frost Cardinal Snow

Sometimes I’m tempted to think my life is less because we have less. I have to remind myself to remember all we’ve gained in the process. Living with less has afforded us more than money can buy. And should we ever be granted abundance, I pray I never come to the point of forgetting what’s truly important.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo Nature Winter Bird Wildlife Frost Cardinal Snow – Max Pixel

Stop. Breathe.

blog_christmascandleredBefore we gear up for another trip to the shopping mall, let’s take the time to stop. Breathe. Put those lists down. And consider. What is it our kids truly need?

 

Photo Credit: Candles, Travel, Vacation – Free images on Pixabay