The other day I was sitting in my bed fretting because I feared that we were too understressed and not scheduled enough by the outside world. I literally had this fear that something was wrong because of those two facts.
What on earth has this world done to us to make us feel like if we are not stressed then something is wrong. Are we just so used to living a life of chaos that it's normal? I think so.
In December we basically cut out all outside activities except for church, cub scouts and Activity Days (think Mormon girl scouts). We eat every meal together at a reasonable time every night, and Chris is always home now. What a contrast from our previous life.
Now don't get me wrong, it's not all unicorns and fairy dust over here. It's freakin hard with all of these people to take care of, but when it comes to what's important, we are just plain ol getting it done.
Never in history of this family have we been so utterly on top of the things that are important. Never in the history of this family have we been this under scheduled. NEVER!
We took a giant leap of faith in December and decided to experiment on the word. You see our church leaders often warn us about over scheduling. Our stake leaders recently warned us about participating in club sports. I always took this advice in the column that they are not referring to us because we were getting along just fine.
Well it wasn't until we left our swim team in December that we decided to take that advice and test it. To just take some time off. We did an experiment. Well guess what...they were right. Because we quit school and swim. Our world has totally opened up to us. The things (most important) that were once burdensome have now become a joy.
I can't even tell you all of the wonderful things we are now able to fit into our day because we are not distracted by swimming and yet another homework assignment, book fair, or math night.
We have increased all of the good things in our life and are feeling the blessings tremendously. The best part of it for me personally is all of the time I have now. You would think that homeschooling would make me more busy, but it's actually been quite the opposite. We do actual school from 9am-1pm for the bigger kids and Elle is only about an hour plus reading time later in the day. After 1pm I'm totally free. We make dinner, we go to the park, we go to the library, we play with other homeschooled kids, we have play dates, we organize, we garden, we wash the car, we memorize articles of faith, we read until our eyes hurt. We. Just. Are.
I firmly believe this is the way it's supposed to be. I know that this is what the leaders mean when they tell us to be less scheduled and that there are blessings. I have seen my children's relationships grow and flourish in a way I don't think they would have otherwise. They've learned tolerance and the ones that used to pick at each other have learned how to get along...because they have to. I'm already a very patience person, but my patience has increased beyond measure. I rarely feel frazzled these days. I have time for me now. Chris and I have time together at night because the kids are all in bed at decent hours instead of driving home from swim practice or working on that big project for school.
I guess this post is just a post for me. I needed to get it out. I need it here so when I'm tempted to put them in overly competitive activities I can remember what a poison it can be. The immense clarity that has come along from this experiment is just so priceless. I'm truly thankful for that horrid event that made us leave our swim team. I'm thankful for the school not being able to meet the needs of our kids. I'm thankful that the our children pushed me to home school them again...they were relentless I tell you. Truly great things have come from some crappy trials and this family is thankful. I just wish we hadn't waited so long to listen, but here we are now. Life is good!!