We stood half way up a mountain yesterday. I breathed deep and savoured the moment, stopping to capture these memories forever on my camera. Jonas tucked up proudly on his Papa's back, the girl's wide-eyed at nature, sticks in hand. Everything is to be explored - touched and tried, memorized and questioned. We talked about slugs and pine cones, waterfalls and the water cycle. Little minds, hungry for filling, eager to learn.
It has been wonderful to get away. To have intensive time together, without the daily interruption of routine and schedules... and boy, have we needed it. We were ready, SO ready for a break. I was probably the most ready of all... ready to have time together as a family, and the opportunity to have focused time to home in on some unsavoury behaviour I mentioned in a previous post. I have learnt, over the years, that aside from their own struggles and battles with sin, often the children's challenging behaviour stems from over-busyness, and too often the culprit filling the diary is me. Wiping the diary clean gives me space to examine my own heart, to have room to follow through and be consistent with discipline, and to make plenty of opportunities for the struggling child to realign. Obviously having David at home for the summer is probably the biggest help of all. When there are two of us holding firm, it's easier to follow through and be strong than when you feel you're facing a battle alone.
And I'm praying. A lot. (Though never as much as I could be!)
I'm feeling increasingly challenged that my first and primary responsibility at the moment is to these little ones of ours. Too often I am distracted and over-busy, and by nature I want to be involved in every new and exciting project. But I'm slowly learning that at the heart of motherhood lies a necessity to sacrifice, and in this season of the little years, that sacrifice is perhaps more pronounced in the areas of my time and energy. We won't get this time back, these are the key training years, and so prioritising thoughtful and purposeful, gospel-centred parenting is key.
But when you're up a mountain looking down, when your little girls are standing under waterfall spray with mouths wide open, drinking deep, when your son gazes out on all the surroundings, chattering away as he's strapped carefully to your back, the beauty of family hits you again.
Family is where we are real, and vulnerable... and that can be scary.
But it can also be the most beautiful thing on earth.
Me and Mine in July...