A Year of Habits, no. 31

It’s August.  I’ve had this feeling of stress squeezing my heart for a week now.  At times I’ve fought it off but it’s there, the knowledge that time is running out and soon the freedom of summer will be a memory.  There will be weeks of adjustment and tired children and a million things going on (a million things to pay for, too).  It’s already started.  This week’s calendar was packed with activities and I’ve already managed to forget a couple of things (never a good sign).   I have to take a deep breath and close my eyes to combat the sick feeling it all gives me.

I love having my children home.

So here I am.  We had a great week and managed to season the growing busy-ness with some great summer activities.  We read good books.  We played in the rain.  The children had a massive water fight.  We sat outside and visited with people we love.  We celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a fun outdoor party, finishing off with a movie projected on the side of our house.  As we sat and watched I had to remind myself, “This is it.  This is low tide.  This is still summer.”  It was a wonderful evening.

We went up the canyon for an evening in the mountains with our ward (church group).  It was a beautiful evening and the children had a great time.  The adults visited and the children explored.  A gentle breeze blew as the sun went down.  Then we watched the moon sink below the near mountaintop as well before we packed up and headed home.

We attended a funeral.  I always find that time spent at a funeral is time well spent.    It’s such a small thing to do, to sacrifice our time to attend a service dedicated to the memory of friends and loved ones.  I have never walked away from a funeral without a greater appreciation for the individual who passed away and a desire to be a better person.  I find funerals motivating.  They also offer perspective, reminding me what really matters in the end.

We attended a baptism.  Once again, time well spent.  It is a joy to watch people bursting with pride and happiness as loved ones make sacred covenants with God.

My husband and I went out to dinner with some good friends.  We’re grateful for their friendship and always come home happy after spending time with them.  It’s wonderful when we squeeze things like that in.

I watched some of my children make good decisions this week, some of them in the face of poor choices on the part of others.  I am grateful when I see small pieces of evidence that they’re trying to become the kind of people we’re hoping they will be.  I feel thankful for those glimpses into their hearts and hopeful that we’re on the right track.

I spent one-on-one time with several of my children.  I’m working on that.  I’ve caught myself more than once realizing that my soft answer needs more work.  With some of the children I don’t struggle, but there are times when I notice I’m becoming more frustrated or critical than I intend to be.   I need to work harder at that.

I’m still eating well and that feels good.  I also made some great meals for my family this week and tried a couple of new recipes.  (The fact that I mention that might mean that I’ve been a slacker.) In spite of my efforts to clean out, organize and so forth I’m not feeling physically ready for the start of school.   I still have so much to do, and still have a list of things I wanted to do this summer.  I’m going to work at both lists and while trying not to overload us this week.  We’ll see how it goes.

I am grateful for my blessings.  Today is Sunday, the Sabbath day at our house.  It was one of those days when church was more of a workout than a spiritual feast.  My little ones were a real handful today, indeed, I’m not sure my 3 year old ever stopped crying until her eyes finally closed (mid-scream) tonight around 9 pm.  It’s been somewhat exhausting, but it ended well and my heart rejoices in the privilege of being a mother.  Several times I had so many little bodies leaning on me that I hardly knew what to do.   But they love me and I love them.  I love their smiles, their giggles, their hugs, their funny little quirks.   We’re a family and I am thankful.

Life is good.


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