The girls have fairly large white boards in their new rooms. They love to play school all the time and use them a lot. Money well spent if you are pondering getting one. One of the fun outcomes of having those boards is our nightly ritual of writing something on each board before the kids go to bed. Sometime I write; sometimes Chief writes… sometimes both… sometimes the girls write to each other. The girls love to read what we wrote before they go to bed or when they wake up, if we do it after they are asleep. It has been a really easy way to encourage them, give advice, joke, practice math facts or whatever. They love it and we do too!
One night a few weeks ago I wrote on Soccer Girl's board. She was really tired from lots of activities – soccer practice, speed and agility training (holy smokes!), play dates, a sleep over and a soccer tournament. She was a little overwhelmed and just plain exhausted. I wrote a few things and then wrote…”remember to rest, read, play, pray, listen and love this week”. I had not started out writing with those thoughts in my mind, but as I wrote rest and read (trying to encourage her to lay low and not be on the go so much), the other words just flowed out of my hand… to the lime green marker I was using… to the white board.
Now several weeks later, those six words are still on her board, written up in a corner in small print. I noticed the other day that she had now underlined them. I have thought of those six words a lot since then. I think they are brilliant, if I do say so myself. Each is so simple in meaning, but has so much impact.
Rest… everyone needs true rest from life’s busyness; time to themselves, just for themselves. Read… there is so much to learn, adventures to take and humor in books. So much can be gained by making time to read. Play… taking the time to truly play and enjoy life does a lot for your mind and body. Pray… so much peace and focus comes from praying. Listen… we all can learn so much more if we stop talking and stop our brains to just listen to others. Love… how much better would this world be if we let others know how much we love them? Show them with your actions and words (and the thoughts in your head).
So while I may have written those six words down for my daughter, I think I also wrote those six words for myself. Words to live by…six simple words.
Summer is in full swing… we even had some 95+ degree weather. Man it was hot. Thank goodness for air conditioning. I honestly don’t know how we lived so long in this house without it.
We are overbooked for sure. I tried to be proactive this summer to keep us busy and to not let the kids miss out on opportunities. But I think it has backfired to some degree – we are all worn out. I am sweating often just making sure everyone gets to where they need to be and picked up on time. Soccer girl is dragging, Lizard can only handle so much activity before she implodes and Little Man...he is just carted everywhere, when he just want to play in the dirt. Then throw in a few unexpected doctor appointments, surgery for the dog and other stuff. What do you have? The makings for Mom overload!
Whatever happened to the “lay around and do nothing” approach to summer? A lot has to do with my kids getting older and then are involved with more things and have more friends. A lot has to do with me and not wanting us to be at each other’s throats when we have too much time on our hands. But, I think a lot has to do with society and how we are a go-go-go society. Heck, we can get annoyed if someone does not text us back right away (after all, I know they have their phone with them all the time!). This little video of a comedian on Conan O'Brian is only about 4 minutes, but cracks me up every time I see it!
Once August gets here, we slow down quite a bit. We will enjoy more popsicles and run through the sprinklers more (we have some, but not enough). I will try to remember this feeling for next summer. As with anything in life, it is about choices and being thoughtful about those choices. One of the verses I am trying to memorize this summer pretty much sums it up for me.
“...a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15