Monday, May 18, 2015

These Relationships Are Ours For the Taking

One of the best "ah-ha" moments I have EVER experienced was in the confines of my home a few winters back here in sweet Juneau.

I found an "eagle" wearing a dinosaur sweater in my backyard!
The moment consisted of being completely content with things as they were in my home. I know I have written about this before, but I am coming back to it, because I see with this gargantuan move ahead (Alaska to Virginia) that I will need to pull in and take care of these people as things change around us.

I feel that this moment was a singular grace given to me by God. I see it as GIFT because when we think we come to things on our OWN accord we start believing we have control and we lose just a smidgen of humility...let's stay little and small with our hands open and wait for these gifts.

This epiphany from the past happened, surprisingly, over a text message. My dear friend Angela, who is mothering a large family with teens and young adults and fiancés and grandchildren, asked if our family was interested in coming over for Sunday afternoon board games.

My whole family loves being in the Smith home, on any day. Trampoline jumping, evening piano recitals, Super Bowl, or bridal/baby shower, it is a warm generous home...with lovely books everywhere and quirky Disney nerd decorations and BEAUTIFUL UNIQUE people. I distinctly remember reading that text message, this offer to enter that wonderful home, and looking up and seeing how WONDERFUL my own home was.

He is ready for the OUTDOOR pool in Virginia!
It was Sunday afternoon in my own home. Performance Today was playing softly on the radio with an opera that we could not understand but was beautiful all the same. Justin was snoozing in his reclined chair with a little on him, I believe our son. My eldest was working on a puzzle sprawled out in the family room and I think the other littles were napping or reading or doing something quietly. It was so peaceful, it was so sacred.

And so, without even telling the other members of the home (because that would mean waking some of them up), I just told Angela that we were all at a really good place and that I didn't want to disturb it. I said THANK YOU, because I sensed the love and generosity in opening her family's Sunday up to mine.

I distinctly remember what she wrote back,

"Perfect. It so nice when we know how awesome our own people are."

I'm not sure if those are the exact words, but it is what I hear loud and clear today.

I wrote humorously in this post about my attempt to become an expert on the people in my home. Something I am TRYING to do, but I also look at these littles and my husband and I almost get a deep sense of the ESSENTIAL when I realize that...

These are my people.

These relationships are here for me.

Aasjfkdjsfkjasfhkjahdjkfhfkjh! I made a coffee cake from scratch!


I live these as a vocation and I'm realizing that, yes, we do want to do this particular vocation WELL. We don't want aloof, depressed, uncared for husbands. We don't want unloved, hurt, and neglected children.

Yes, we pray we are going to do it well, and God blesses and redeems it. Yet He presses on hearts,

this is your calling and I want you to ENJOY this.  

Wet dog!
Ha! I love it! He wants us to enjoy our people!

There is a beautiful intimacy about a family who truly enjoys each other in leisure. I find some of my fondest memories of leisure come from a tiny home in Columbus, OH, my grandparents house. There was an ease about the home. This ease must have come about through a cultivated respect for one another and an ability to laugh...and laugh often.

When a person is fully able to be themselves, their guard can come down and so laughing is easy. I long for my home to be the place where my people feel secure enough and loved that they BELIEVE that I think they are (as Angela's text had said) awesome company.

I've decided this week that I want to LISTEN WITH MY EYES.  I want to find moments where I can really make some ground on these relationships. Truth be told, I don't homeschool because I think that schools are ________ or that Common Core is _________. I homeschool because these relationships are mine for the taking and I'm greedily going to soak up as much time with them as I can.

This was a quick post but much needed. Our family is in an interesting time right now and I can get a bit down on myself when I feel that things are too hard and I'm too tired. Writing is a good way of getting to the essential. And tonight it was a good way of reminding myself that I ENJOY my people more when
 when I say yes and nag less,
when I stay off Facebook and turn off my phone,
when I purposefully raise my eyebrows when someone looks like they are about to ask something of me,
when I make four peanut butter and fluff sandwiches,
when I remain calm when mason jars shatter.
If we show our people how much we enjoy having them around when they are little think of how much fun it will be when they keep coming back to the place where they felt delighted in?!? Want to try this experiment with me?
Good night my friends. Let's love on our awesome people and cultivate these relationships with some new energy this week! xxoo

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