Making Family Memories

How many times as a Mommy or Daddy have you wondered if you were successful at making family memories? Or tried to make more time to do things with the kids to make lasting memories?  Or even desired more time so you could make those connections with family?

Well, I am here to tell you I can answer yes to all of the above. Not sure if you are familiar with the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but after reading this I learned I was a quality time person. This I hope is self explanatory, but it basically means I show love and desire to be loved through spending time time with others. It can even be the time someone took to do something for me or think about a gift to buy me. With that said I am always focused on the idea of TIME with those I love. Whether you are quality time or not you may have family that is and they are desiring more time with you. Leaving you to wish you had more time to do that. Or wondering how in the world can you afford to spend more time with them. I will elaborate, but this is much more simple than I made it out to be over the past 10 years. Yep, took me 10 years to realize I was making family time very complicated.

Another reason I desired memory making time was that my own father passed away when I was seven years old. Over the years since that accident I sub-consciously drove my schedule to squeeze in as much QUALITY time with family as humanly possible. My definition of that was gatherings, vacations, events, in other words, BIG type moments. Sure I seen the value in the little moments, but something in me wanted more. Once our kids started arriving I immediately started thinking of all the vacation spots I wanted to explore with them. Oh, and when could we get that camper or cabin to make summer time memories. As time began to tick away I felt myself feeling guilty for not doing MORE with our kids. Sure we had taken them on some week long trips that I can vividly recall, but what about the other 51 weeks during the year. Okay there are the birthday parties and holiday parties. So, lets say the other 50 weeks we are making NO memories as a family, right? Dear God what will my kids have for memories someday when I am gone. INSERT GIGGLE … as I honestly thought and felt those things for a VERY long time. How stressful!

The change happened gradually as God revealed to me daily these little moments of Joy until suddenly the dots connected and I flash backed over thousands of memories made in our home, back yard, driving from activity to activity, bedtime, bath time, dinner time, etc. Spending time with our kids making memories is the easiest thing we can do and the cheapest. The problem is we complicate it thinking it has to be done a certain way or that money has to be spent for it to be a valued time. Or we ruin moments or let them pass by because we weren’t truly present in the moment.  Instead we were focused on the tasks that will be there tomorrow or YEP … the phone, tablet, computer, or TV. For me I wondered … Am I watching him practice his sparring or forms at Karate? Did I see that she FINALLY mastered that step in tap class? Yes, she completed a cart wheel! I asked my kids what their favorite family fun time is and they all replied that it was when we turn our favorite radio station up and dance like crazy people. How about how just last night they ran around the yard chasing firefly’s while watching for the three bats that were flying through the yard. Or even before that we made pizza’s on the fire and roasted marshmallows. Memories are made everyday. You just have to step out of the way of God and let Him show you how to love and appreciate the little moments. If you are not a quality time person, then it might be harder for you to realize that others need you to spend little moments with them everyday. Will we still do the big trips and have the big parties sure, but now instead of focusing on how we can’t do certain things I focus on the things we can do or are doing.

Time is what is valuable not the money spent of it. God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me.

NOTE: I am an affiliate with Amazon, but I just had to write this as the whole thought came to me last night watching them chase those firefly’s. Besides the book is wonderful. Two others he wrote after that are The Five Love Languages for Children and The Five Love Languages for Teenagers. I must add I was at a conference last week and one of the speakers was a very powerful speaker and touched our hearts. He promoted this book. He told us over and over to appreciate the little moments and that we will never get this day back. Maybe he is why I seen the little moments and felt the need to share with you. Thank You Mark Mcleod for sharing your heart with us for two days. God Bless You!

 

 

You Are Doing What? Homeschooling Really?

Let me begin by taking a journey back in time about 20 years ago sitting at my Grandma’s kitchen table learning my Uncle and Aunt were going to home school.  I remember saying and thinking the very same thing I assume nearly every one says when they hear someone is home schooling ….”How will they learn to communicate with others?” Now I laugh hysterically loud at myself for being so naive and even uneducated about how people really learn to communicate with each other. Over the years I grew to stop thinking about home schooling at all.  In my mind it was just something some people choose to do to educate their children.  I do recall thinking the girls were quiet or shy, but never thinking that was due to homeschooling. I just figured that was their personality.

Now jump ahead to my 20-something years. I am beginning my public school teaching experience and associating with people that challenged me in my thinking of school, character, faith, government, etc. I began to have my heart and eyes opened to what I know to be the truth about a great deal of things. I had not really decided to home school my kids when they arrived; heck, I wasn’t even married yet. As time went on I just came to know home schooling was what we would do. Figuring out how to convince others that was the right thing is another story. We eventually decided convincing people wasn’t our job or place. Our role was just to let God lead us through this journey and He would take care of the rest.

Why are you homeschooling? In all honesty, I have never truly been able to answer that question with an answer that the person doing the asking would understand. Not that they wouldn’t get it or where … well, dumb, but because at first it was me just following my gut…my God’s leading. I really did not even know I was doing something so crazy. Why I was making waves in our small town … in our family.  Don’t get me wrong we did get some love and support, but mostly silence. I would wonder at times if it was really worth it. I would ask myself why? Again, I still can not verbalize why I KNEW we were to home school. I just KNEW it. Today I see, hear, and learn about our world about the state of so many things…I discover things about our kids learning abilities and I think “Oh, I get it NOW God! I see NOW why you led me … us into this amazing beautiful world!”

Today, right now as I am typing the 1st draft of this post in the Fall of 2014 at 10 pm, I have a full heart. I have a head that wonders if it is doing it all right. I am amazed at how the mind works. I am truly blessed to have read and discovered learning styles, multiple intelligence’s, abilities, etc before we found dyslexia. It has been a heart breaking heart warming tear jerking journey. That is another story. Yet, you know I still know beyond any doubt that home schooling is right for our family. With that said I also know that it is NOT right for every family. Could every family do it YES…”With Christ all things are possible”, BUT to be right one has to believe it is right NOT just do it. That is how I know it is right for us I believe it is God led.

Now it is June 2015 and I am editing the final draft. Nothing has changed, but do want to add that though I never question that I am supposed to be home schooling our kids I do question my abilities all the time. Then I thank God that I do not have to do this alone and that I trust that since He led us to this journey He will lead us through it. Thanking Him every moment of every day!

So, why are we homeschooling? Because my heart tells me so…..