Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Watch the Kids, Here They Grow!

Recently I did a study in which I listened to feedback from a wide variety of family and friends about what my faith looks like to them. One interesting observation I made from this study is how different my schedule looks to different people. To some people, I appear to be following God, going along keeping pace with Him as I love and serve my family. To others I appear to be overcommitted and anxious, seeking to please Him rather than resting in Him. This morning the Lord pointed out that what I tell people makes me sound really busy, especially to people who tend to stay home a lot more than we do. Often I even use the word "busy" to succinctly summarize our life to others. But what I really am, during this season each year, is just...gone.

We're really only doing 2-3 activities: finishing up a few academics, practicing for the play, and practicing for the dance recital. It's just that two of those activities require a large amount of time and commitment, so we have to say no to other extracurricular opportunities. Practices are scheduled around a lot of other people's schedules and stacked close together for our convenience, and they're not here in our home; rather, they're in another community a few miles away. To other people, when I explain that we're gone to a family gathering on Sunday afternoon plus practices and/or performances for the best parts of five days this week, that's a picture of "crazy busy."

But actually, if the observers were IN the picture, they'd find that what I'll be spending the bulk of my week doing is either having fabulous conversations w/my kids, or else just watching them! We'll be talking during the drives to and from town, and they'll be thrilling me by either mimicking favorite lines they've picked up from favorite shows or by starting discussions about all the right questions (the ones I've been hoping they'd someday ask ME first!)--about God, relationships, driving responsibly, managing money, etc... And I'll be watching them learn what to do in the play...or supporting them by helping their classmates run lines...and then watching them learn their choreography...which never gets old for me b/c it's part of their personal bend--one of the things God created them to do. No matter how many times I watch them practice a piece of choreography throughout the school year, the novelty never wears off. During most of the year I buy groceries and do errands during dance b/c it's the only day I'm in town, so I only catch little snippets of their class. But by this time in the year, they have extra practices so I have lots of chances to do errands, and can spend a lot more time at the studio, just watching, or taking pictures, or sometimes relating to the other dance moms.

So anyway, I say busy, and I guess I look and sound busy, but really...I'm just out havin' fun w/the kids! ;~)

"Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine." --Ezekiel 47:12