Savoring the Goodness

Now that it’s over, I’m ambivalent about this summer. (I’m so ambivalent, I almost wrote I’m “sort of ambivalent.” Isn’t that like a double negative–but the opposite, which would be a double positive?) The kiddos played and had a good time with their sitter and we had a few family adventures along the way. But I’ve been skimming back over the last 18 months of pictures I just uploaded to Flickr (Yes, it’s embarrassing, but I’m in the process of sorting through 13.4 GB of pictures right now.) and I just feel like last summer was much more…

…Fulfilling?

The Ladybug had a few new adventures this summer.

The Ladybug had a few new adventures this summer.

I think I’ve been suffering from “rushing-around syndrome” lately. The start of school sneaked up on me. We had a weekend at the lake, the Ladybug’s 9th birthday, and then it was all things back-to-school. Then soccer season started and Wednesday night church and Thursday night work meetings…and I’m about to have to prop my eyes open with toothpicks to get through the day!

She went camping with us and she went to overnight church camp...

She went camping with us and she went to overnight church camp…

Know what I think? Our family days are suffering from a lack of gratitude!

Not just being thankful–let’s be honest, we all think we’re thankful. (Especially since admitting the opposite would mean saying we’re spoiled and ungrateful!) But do we actually stopping during the day to savor the goodness? To express our gratefulness, count our blessings (“…name them one by one…”). To praise His goodness.

I know I haven’t been. Not as much as I usually do–not as much as I need to! Because looking through all those treasured pictures I found myself in tears–overwhelmed by how blessed our life has been. How much goodness is in our days. I was choked by the idea of losing any of those moments! So precious. Recently I have wept for the pain of life–but it’s been a long time since I’ve wept for the joy of life. And that should be an equally powerful force in my days!

And she went fishing, and swimming, and turned 9 years old!

And she went fishing, and swimming, and turned 9 years old!

Here’s a few things we’re committed to getting back too around here…

  • Family Movie Night. On Fridays after a busy, busy week we will come home, straighten up our house, make a dinner that everyone likes together, and share it in the living room with a rich, family friendly movie. It will not be family-sit-in-the-living-room-and-eat-dinner-together night. Not family-watch-a-TV-show-together night. Family Movie Night. I’ve even scrounged up a new “secret stash” of budget and family friendly movies to get the year started. (A few on our upcoming play list…Treasure Island, A Little Princess,¬†20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, King of the Wind, and Saving Winston.)
  • Evening Book Time. Quiet coloring, drawing, reading, or workbook time for the boys while the Ladybug does her homework and I cook dinner. The boys can enjoy themselves and relax from the day without the Ladybug feeling like she’s being punished and missing out on family life just because she has homework. It keeps resentment at bay and helps add “family time” back into our hectic days.
"And the hot summer days seem so heavy...but don't they float like the breeze through your mind. When nothing appears in a hurry, to make up for someone's lost time."

“And those summer days sit so heavy…but don’t they blow like the breeze through your mind. When nothing appears in a hurry, to make up for someone’s lost time.”

  • In-Person Wake Ups and Bedtimes. In the dark, early morning before chores (and coffee) it’s so easy to look up that daunting flight of stairs and just holler “Rise and Shine!” and head toward the kitchen. The same goes for passing out hugs and kisses at the end of a long, long day. But we need those moments together. We’ve gotten lazy having such a kick-back summer. I hate to admit it, but early days make better days, and we’re working on once again moving our schedules further up into the am hours. {sigh, I do not enjoy 5 am.}
  • Simplifying. Our purging and painting was put on hold when the end of summer sneaked up on me, but less stuff means more time, and we’re getting back to it! And we’re not stopping until there are no more piles. Of anything. As I told the kiddos (and myself!) the other day, if you have so much stuff that you don’t realize you left it on the floor, you don’t need it.
  • Prayer Journals. Nothing reminds you of God’s goodness liking seeing answered prayers staring back at you in black and white. This is a daily discipline that I need to get back to and share with the munchkins.
  • Thankful Thursdays. I blog to process our life, dig out the good and let go of the bad, count our blessings and savor the goodness through pictures…Thankful Thursdays will be back!

I know the school year is starting for lots of folks–or just around the corner for others. What do you see in your household that really needs refreshing or commitment?

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