Five Minute Friday! Already. Again. It’s another Friday?! The summer is flying by. I haven’t been blogging much (or at all) because I actually made the decision while still in the Philippines I wanted to be better at being present with my children.
You’d think with me working from home and us doing homeschool I wouldn’t struggle with being present. But I do.
I get so busy with trying to make ends meet, with trying to fit everything our American culture deems “important” in each day. I can get to the end of the day and too often realize I just orchestrated life all day and didn’t actually participate in any of it.
I realized while in the Philippines how much I was struggling with just slowing down and being. In the Philippines it’s not about how much you got done during the day. The work is there, you chip away at it. Some days the heat wipes all energy or thoughts of energy out of your mind and you. just. can’t. do. anything.
Other days you get more done.
Maybe this is true where you live too – but, here in Alaska we don’t have the energy sucking heat or humidity. You might freeze, so you put on a sweatshirt. But you can pretty much always full-on work (hard labor kind of working) for waaaay too looong. Especially since it doesn’t get dark in the summer. As I type this, it is 12:22AM – if I wanted, I could go sit outside and read a book without a light. It will get a little darker, but not a ton.
Having house help in the Philippines helped me see how much I didn’t ever stop – until there isn’t food to prep. no bathrooms to clean. floors to sweep. laundry to wash, dry and fold. [let me rephrase - those things were still there, I just wasn't allowed to do them] then what do you do when school is done?
I’d go lay down on my bed with two fans pointed at me and read or nap. Regardless, I was starting to learn to enjoy just hanging out.
It was so strange. but so wonderful! [stop]
The above photo was one of many excursions while in the Philippines. What you can’t see is it is nearly 100* it is in the shade. The suffocating humidity was lessened a bit while sitting in this shade and hearing running water. We left that day on an adventure – we didn’t know if we’d actually find what we see out to hopefully swim at the base of another waterfall.
We did and we didn’t: We set out for an adventure – check, we got that. It was fun, all 8 of together. hanging out. not sure what we’d find. exploring together. Swim at the base of a waterfall – no go. Apparently, when the people who told us about this place were there – there was significantly more water. (they talked about a 6 foot pool of water – the water never passed our knees.) We didn’t swim. but we thoroughly enjoyed the shade after hiking across corn fields for a half hour to get there.
I still have so much in my head I want to say and remember about being present, but I’m not going to. I’m just going to challenge you to go out and BE PRESENT (I actually explain what I mean by that so much better in that post). If you have children, go play with them. If you don’t have children choose to be present with the person/people you spend each day with. If you aren’t usually around people – go. do something different. when you get groceries, actually look at the cashier and tell them ‘thank you’.
Listen to them. Really hear them.
Hear what they say. Hear what they don’t say.
There are so many hurting hearts all around us. We just have to look outside ourself.
Sometimes, the hurting heart is ours [that is okay] and we need to focus on someone else for a while.
We hiked a mountain today – I can’t walk thru my living room for the mess from moving rooms, cleaning, moving my office – but we went. My mom definitely thought I was nuts – but it was my parents’ 43rd(!) anniversary and my dad is in Georgia for a conference. My brothers & their kids are not around – so it was my children and me left to spend the day with mom. So we did.
It makes me sad to think I was struggling with being present a year and a half ago too, and despite my thinking about and wanting it to be different – I’m pretty sure I’ve failed. Royally. I guess I’m improving a little – last year it took me until September to “run away” and choose to do something fun with the kids.
So thankful I can turn again to my Heavenly Father and ask for His strength, endurance, and forgiveness. This will be a turning point. Again.