Saturday, October 4, 2008

Simple Living: Part Five

Simple Living this week has focused on us as a family.  With my husband working long hours, apples to can, and wood to stack, the kids and I have found ourselves at home a lot this week.  And as much work as it's been, it's also been refreshing.  It's given me a lot of time to reflect on how happy I am to have them in my life.  

Upon canning applesauce this week, Big Boy (who's almost 3 years old.  Wow!) wanted to be intimately involved in the whole process.  At first I was hesitant to have him in the kitchen with me, but it soon became a joy to have him by my side.  We waited until Baby Girl was down for her morning nap and went to work.  Although he didn't make it through the whole process, it reminded me to slow down and include him in new and unique ways.  Such as counting the apples as we peeled them.  Or talking about how nutritious they are.  Or reminding ourselves what a blessing it is to have been given several pounds of apples.

We opened up new conversation, talking about his favorite part of the week, the family in his life, and the imaginative world that is growing inside his head every day.  And I was reminded of what a unique and special creature he is.  There's no one else in the world like Big Boy; God created him special to be a part of our family.

Baby Girl would get up and join us.  And we were blessed to see that she too is growing in ways that we hadn't realized before.  This week, she started to wave at us.  It's so cute.  She's petite for her age and this little wrist just pops out and starts waving back and forth.  Big Boy and I were hauling and stacking wood while she sat in her exersaucer and waved us on.  While mentally grumbling about all the wood that needed to be taken care of, I stepped back to reflect on what was really happening.  My son, daughter, and I were all spending time together, being outdoors, not spending a dime, and preparing the blessing that God had given us for the winter.  
I also realized what a blessing it was to physically show my children the value of hard work.  That although it was a lot of work to stack the wood for the winter, it was necessary and something that was worth working for.  Although I suspect it will never be something that will consistently be an enjoyable chore, it is one that will be a valuable life lesson for my children.

Our evenings were spent staying up late, waiting for Daddy to come home.  I loosened up on bed time this week, sensing that Big Boy just needed to see Daddy at the end of the day.  It became more about what my children needed than what I needed, which was often an earlier bedtime rather than a later one.  More books were read, more cuddle time was had, and in general, we found greater patience with one another.

I learned a lot this week.  I learned that prayer can be spontaneous and immediate.  I learned that patience can only come from the Lord.  And I learned that some soft worship music in the background of life can go a long way to smoothing over cooped up frustrations.  Simple Living this week just meant being family.  Rediscovering what's going on with each other.  Like the fact that Big Boy really does empathize with his sister.  That Baby Girl loves to be held and gaze into someone else's eyes.  And that I am learning more and more to juggle the two of them.

Although full, this week was simple.  It was about working together as a family to make our family work.  And that was a true blessing.

To learn how others are pursuing simplicity, check out Keeper of the Home and Simple Saturday.


Linda said...

I remember baking when my daughter was 3, she is 6 now. It was very special.

Stephanie said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing about how you enjoyed your family this week. I agree that it's so good for your children to be a part of (or at least watch) the hard work that has to be done and to recognize the value of it. By getting to work alongside you and talk about it, they will probably be more grateful for what God has provided you with as well.

And I also just love the age of 3. What a special time. I can't believe mine is turning 4, but I find that I love every new stage even more than the last!


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