Monday, September 17, 2012

Warning: heavy post to follow. MPM.

Oh, heeeeyyyy.  So, it’s Monday.  Again.  Seriously, didn’t we just do this?  Like 7 days ago? 

However, as much as I dislike Mondays, I really can’t complain about today.  It’s a brisk 60-some degrees out, my windows are open, I have an apple spice candle burning, and our first fall batch of taco soup is simmering on the stove.  Someone really should invent a scratch and sniff internet, no?  Today I’m embracing fall because by mid-week temps are supposed to be back up into the 80s.  Oh, Iowa, why must you tease me so?

This week is another busy one, which begs the question: how much is too much when it comes to activities for kids?  Now, I know this is a personal question for each individual family and I’m not convinced that there is necessarily a correct answer.  But, by golly, I just wish I knew!  J and I have been talking a lot about this.  Worrying whether or not we’re doing it right.  Praying for direction and answers. 

We want our children to be well-rounded individuals.  We want them to try new things, learn and grow, make friends, and have opportunities.  We want to cultivate their self-esteems, while learning what it means to be part of a team.  We desire them to learn what it means to win, but more importantly how it feels to lose.  And then what it takes to jump back on the horse -- so to speak – and learn from their mistakes. We want them to learn what it means to commit to a team or activity, the importance of practice and persistence, and how to respond to critique.  But most of all?  We want them know the importance of their actions – of being Christ-like in all things – of witnessing through behaviors and words – on a field, in the classroom, on the playground, at the bus stop, between practices, or playing with neighbors in the yard. And that’s a tough one.  Especially for me.  Obviously.

And the other thing?  The runner up for Most Important (to me) Learned Characteristic?  I want them to value the importance of being home.  With us.  As a family.

The question then becomes, how do you find the balance between the 2?  Running from here to there and being at home?  How do you know when you’re doing enough?  Not doing enough?  I’m not going to lie – it would be SO SO SO easy for me to keep my kids home with me all the time.  I adore the time we have together and I’m what most might call a home body. Ideally, we’d all lock ourselves in this unnecessarily large, but feels too small home and just be here together.  Wrapped up in blankets.  Doing crafts. Sipping soup.  Smelling yummy candles.  But, friends?  I know that’s not what He has called us to do.  He wants us to go out into the world and share about His love for us.  To show our friends, teammates, neighbors, friends, acquaintances what it means to be a believer, a follower of Christ. 

Oh!my!  This has gotten wordy. But clearly this is a heart issue for me.  I love being busy.  I love watching my kids play sports, sing in the choir, go to camps.  But I want it all to be for the right reason – for Him. And also?  I could use a weekday evening off every once in a while.

Whew.  Feels good to get that all out there.  So, let me hear it…how do you handle activities in your family?  One per kid per season?  The more, the merrier?  Who thinks I should just suck it up and get used to it?  Give it to me straight – no hard feelings.

God,

I pray that you helps us to guide these little feet.  Show us the direction in which YOU want them to go.

Amen.

August2012 370b

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There doesn’t really seem to be a natural segue between my heavy brain dump and Meal Planning Monday, so we’ll just get to it.  Here’s what’s for dinner at Casa de Starr this week.

Monday:   Taco Soup

Tuesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Thursday: Spicy Sausage Pasta

Friday: Sour Cream Pancakes

3 comments:

Molly said...

I am soooo with you on this! But I don't have an answer!

Tammy Engebretson said...

Completely agree...it's so hard to know if you're making the right choices. Here's sort of what we've figured out as far as activity level. Each child can choose only one sport/activity a season. Then we always want them to be involved in one activity that includes some type of performance, i.e. piano recital, singing in church. As for other activities, we decide as we go.

tisa j. said...

Have no answers Missy either but think/pray about this ALL the time too. Right now the only hard and fast rule we have developed is not to schedule ourselves in such a way that BOTH parents have to be running different places at the same time--that way one can be home working on dinner, playing, etc. so that the other children are not just getting dragged from place to place. Ours are quite young, so it has been easy to limit our oldest, 6, to one night a week, and then our middle, 4, can do activities/lessons at the Y, for example, during the day before her afternoon preschool. I too REALLY value family dinners at night and am just not ready to give that up yet more than about 1 night a week or perhaps for a reasonable period of time, like a season. Lots to talk about here--perhaps we can do it sometime when you can also talk me off the ceiling about soon being a family of six! =) Anyway, I feel ya!

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