Recent Facebook posts, paired with the sun-kissed skin of those adoring its photos, revealed Spring Break vacations from many across the country. How many times over the past week have I either asked or answered the question, “Did you have a fun Spring Break? What did you do?” It dawned on me yesterday that by some standards our family didn’t do anything particularly exciting…but that by looking at it from another angle, we did something extraordinary.
Sitting in my living room yesterday, I welcomed back the children I take care of after school. We sat in a circle, each child re-telling their Spring Break adventures. After everyone had a chance to share, I asked if anyone wanted to hear what I did over Spring Break. One of my daycare kids said, “Did you, just like…. clean the house and cook for your kids?” 🙂
My first reaction to this innocent comment was to feel badly that from a child’s perspective, I’d done such boring things over my Spring Break. What if my kids felt the same way? What if I am a boring parent? What if I ruined their Spring Break because we couldn’t fly somewhere exotic? What if, what if, what if…
And then I stopped myself dead in my tracks. I forced myself to re-think the fun and laughter we’d experienced over Spring Break. It was as if God revealed to me that grandiose plans are not necessary to create grace-filled moments. That the seemingly mundane can indeed be miraculous. That slow and simple can be soothing to the soul.
Fellow stay-at-home mama who didn’t vacation over Spring Break…may I encourage you? And myself? Let’s remember a few things…
*Cleaning the house gives way to teaching responsibility to our children. It opens opportunities for me to re-tell the story of how we prayed and prayed and prayed for this house five years ago. How we drove by it countless times, hoping and praying it could be ours…God answered and provided. Re-live these types of stories with our children…kids love stories, and they need to hear how God plays an integral part in their own life story.
*Cooking for our families opens doors to nourish not only their bodies, but their hearts. Stir that soup and bake that bread with joy…knowing that God can use it for His glory. I don’t know that I will ever fully realize the impact that family meals, cooked by my mom and enjoyed around the table together, had on my life. It’s so important.
*Down time is important, but often hard to find. Enjoy it when you can. Spring Break at home brought about opportunities to snuggle and watch movies, read books, and just relax. Unfortunately, in the busyness of life, those moments don’t happen every day. I’m extra thankful for those moments last week.
*Crazy and uenxpected things will, and often do, happen with little ones at home. Sickness, injuries, ect. Try to do better than I did when we had unexpected craziness last week…rely on God’s strength and patience to guide you through. Pray. A lot. Don’t storm off to the grocery store (for necessary supplies for said crazy event), all in a tizzy, and fill your cart with several boxes of chocolate cookies you knew you’d want to eat later to unwind. Bad idea. Don’t do that. Lesson learned. 😉
*Surprise your kids every now and then. What was supposed to be a walk through the local pet store last week to look around, turned into impulse beta fish purchases for each of my children. That is so unlike me, but it was so fun. The kids were THRILLED!
*Enjoy the simple moments in your day. God’s gifts abound each day…we just sometimes need practice recognizing them. As we recognize them, thank God for them, and make it a point to allow our children to hear our thanks. Thankfulness is contagious. I want to be contagious.
The point of all of this today? Honestly, I’m not really sure. I feel like I’ve rambled on and on without a whole lot of direction…but I felt led to write, and so I did. I felt led to share that little piece of my heart, and what God revealed to me about our Spring Break. Maybe someday God will provide a way for me to experience a Spring Break trip with my kiddos. I’d love to someday experience flying in an airplane for the first time (for me and my kids!) or experience seeing the ocean for the first time for all of us. God certainly speaks through experiences like that. But even if that never happens, we’ll continue to love each and every opportunity at home that He gives us. Because each of God’s gifts, no matter how seemingly large or seemingly small, is significant. Each one matters. Forever.
Blessings to you all today!