Slow Down, Children at Play

I realized mid-way through my jog yesterday that I’ve not been surrendering my course to the Lord. I’ve just been setting out running my usual route without even thinking about it. Yesterday’s cool and cloudy weather reminded me to ask the Lord where I should run to. Passing up my usual 3 mile mark, I wondered how far this run would go and what was in store.

    I finally came to a sign that stood out to me to be my turn around mark. It said, “Slow Down, Children at Play.” Those words tingled as they processed. We ask cars to slow down and watch for playing children. Do I slow down and marvel at my children playing? I used to during the preschool years. Looking back, those days seem slow-paced and peaceful, compared to school schedules, play dates, martial arts, guitar lessons and don’t forget gymnastics that fill my days now. On second thought, maybe these times are just DIFFERENT rather than harder or easier. However it goes, the question still stings a little. Do I slow down and allow my children to play…play with each other…play in nature, exploring…play with legos, engineering…play without hearing me hollering “ Come on, put that away! Why do you have to make such a mess?”…
    Before I saw that sign I’d prayed that the Lord would show me what to focus on with my kids. Sometimes I can be so near-sighted, I see TODAY going well according to my schedule, but what’s going on underneath it all? Well, thank you Lord, I see it now. I FEEL it – Slow Down Julie, Children at Play. But how do I do that? What does that look like? There’s so many choices today of things to be involved it. Homeschooling  seems to add more options to the table rather than decrease them. How do I know what to say “Yes” or “No” to?
    Pondering that question led me to think about our family’s priorities and goals. Have you noticed that some people are more goal driven than others? I happen to be one of those people who NEED, MUST know where we are going and why we are going there! JGreat to travel with! I don’t want to be side-tracked and I don’t want to waste time! So why do we homeschool? An even better question is what is our purpose as a family? We choose to homeschool to make disciples of our children through providing a solid, life- equipping education, opportunities to grow using real life scenarios to strengthen our faith, and practice all these things TOGETHER. We do not fulfill this perfectly every day, or every other day, but this is our GOAL. You may have another one! You do not have to agree with mine or feel the need to take on mine as your own.
    So, if an activity enhances and fulfills this statement, I should say YES to that. However, if the activity is good, but does not help us grow, I may need to say NO, for it might pull us away from the goal. Whew! I wish I could report my excellence in choosing the right answer. But I am still learning. Writing this is proof I’m working through it.  Why is it my tendency to over-stuff-cram-quickly-hurry,-one more thing into life? Then I wonder why the kids are arguing, jockey-ing for position, acting like ungrateful spoiled brats…while I’m feeling worn out, frustrated, drained, confused and probably hungry!! There is definitely something wrong with this equation.  We have a wrong variable somewhere.
    Don’t misunderstand me…there is no formula for life. No magic pill to take. Life naturally takes on a fast pace when more than 1 person live under a roof. So let’s not rush it more by adding needless extras that detract from the beauty of the family.

Slow down mom…the kids are playing!  And they say, they won’t be kids forever…

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