Of course, I am a loud, lively extrovert so...there's that.
Life contains moments of chaos and calm. Learning to connect with my family no matter which of those is happening at the moment is essential. I thrive on the one-on-one time I get to spend with my husband and kids. I thoroughly enjoy the structured time of school work and projects. I love sitting and reading, coloring or conversing. Adversely I enjoy leading kids in exciting and energetic worship, visiting with my loud and crazy extended family (I say that in the most loving way!), I enjoy jumping, dancing and goofing around. It is a combination of these that make me feel truly alive.
Our family switches regularly between the moments of chaos and calm. We strive to include enough quiet and rest into our lives so as not to burn out. A key concept we want our children to understand is that Sabbath rest, contemplation and getting alone with ourselves is an important part of living life to the full. A schedule that is too full and a mind that does not know how to be quiet leaves less room to hear and perceive, to learn and to grow. We also want to instill in our children the idea that God is writing a story in our lives and that story is a great adventure. Risks along with failures are the good stuff of life, so enjoy them and participate fully in life.
Capturing the moments as they come, whether chaotic or calm, is essential to understanding how to connect. I am guilty of missing opportunities to connect because I refused to allow my life to calm down, to take a break or to restore the rest I so desperately needed. I have also missed opportunities to connect because I have clung so tightly to the calm and control I believed necessary. As a parent who desires to stay connected I need to build both rest and recreation into my life. I can't become so caught up in calm & control. Nor can I give into every activity and spontaneous idea that comes my way.
The only solution to living in correct proportions is to yield. To daily yield my desires, my activities, my schedule and my attitude to Christ. I must submit to His will for me and allow Him to direct my paths. I am diligently trying to teach my children the same lessons I am learning.
As far as connection, here are some random pictures of connection in both the calm and the chaos. I will let you decide whether they were moments of chaos or calm. Either way, for our family they spell connection.
|Daddy is a huge giant caterpillar!|
|Yes, mommy's head is sticking out.|
|A tank for Winter the dolphin|
|Summer library book rewards at Taco Bell|
|When it's too cold to play in the snow|
|Meltdown at Walmart|
|Cow appreciation day at Chic Fil A (with friends)|
|A spider web in the living room? Why not!|
|The girls version of "homeschool"|
|First taste or real all-natural Ginger ale|
|Lydia's favorite Christmas reading nook|
|More ginger ale|
|Emma in Aunt Mala's big boots|
|Still just ginger ale|
|Reading Magic Treehouse|