Spring is my most beloved season. Not just for the array of greenery and delicate beauty that blossoms after months of cold and bareness, but for the fresh thoughts, new ideas and inspiration that blow throughout the Cadwallader home.
This wind is a refreshing fragrance of lively family schedules, broader daylight hours, and colorful activities, all of which have been patiently waiting for the true signs of summer to emerge. Here in Colorado, Spring takes her sweet time and when she does grace us with her presence we usually have been waiting, quite anxiously. This year, she is fashionably late for my liking, and over these past few months of cold and snow, Spring has graciously given me the opportunity to dream more vividly of the plans for this family, over these coming summer months.
The list was birthed from sipping coffee and dreaming, while gazing out the window of a snow-covered sunrise. Fantasies of future gardening plans, home improvements, summer menus, birthday parties and updated chore lists. As I look over this announcement, I must start to gently transition the thoughts of how to get it done, to thoughts of how each member of this family can contribute to each venture. Sure, I could get a sitter or work while they are napping to beautify my home, pull the weeds, or even paint a room, but consider the difference between getting something accomplished and creating an experience.
Our children crave constant entertainment, and as easy as it is to pacify busyness with technology, we must learn to create an experience, where the end result of the adventure is an exceptional accomplishment. Putting aside our personal agendas and time frames will open up the availability and opportunity for community, laughter and deeper relationship; where the summer “to-do list” becomes your family memory maker.
Whatever you dream for your home, your life or your family’s endeavors this summer, make it a family affair.
How can we start thinking towards creating an experience? I have a quote posted upon my fridge, which is strategically located at the central gathering point of my family’s home-life, it says this:
“You are not managing an inconvenience, you are raising a human being ” – Kittie Franz
I am humbly admitting this to you as I posted this quote as a reminder to myself. I frequently find myself wrapped up tightly in my own endeavors, leading me towards frustration when my wee ones would “get in the way” of cleaning; cooking; crafts; reading, gardening, what-have-you… I glance at this quote, regularly, as to remind myself of whom I guardian.
Maybe the table is not set perfectly; maybe the spoons got put in with the forks; maybe she missed a spot under the chair; maybe it took us two hours, instead of one; maybe the paint dripped here and there.
But then maybe he experienced the pride, of a table well set; maybe she sang happily while putting away the silverware; maybe she beamed while telling daddy that she swept the floors; maybe the paint on the floor reminds them of you. And maybe the two hours, instead of the one, was just enough time to open up a meaningful conversation that has been permanently tattooed upon your heart.
What does it take, to refine our perspective of the summer “to-do’s”? It takes practice.
- Practice of patience. Resting in the truth that patience is a skill and will continually need to be sharpened.
- Practice of creativity. Explore the library, internet or bookstore to find fun crafts, activities and adventures.
- Practice of positive. Speaking affirmative truths of who your child is; reminding them of their strengths, daily.
- Practice of independence. Assisting, not taking over; Supporting, while overseeing.
- Practice of unconditional love. They are an essential part of your family, remind them of it, especially when they blow it.
You know whats best about practicing? There’s grace, and plenty of it. Grace has a BFF named Peace, and they go everywhere together. Peace allows a calm, a settling of the heart, and it’s the heart that matters, its the heart that God sees (1 Samuel 16;7).
I pray your summer is blessed with rich soil, hearty growth, beautiful blooms and fragrant bouquets! Here’s to dancing while painting, singing and swinging, digging and laughing, chatting while cooking, thinking from reading, splishing and splashing, and everything that may have never been, but soon will be. Here’s to Family: your new summer experience!