I like to live life at a different pace. Life is slower in our home than in many. My husband and I made a commitment early on to keep the frantic pace of life at bay. Some may call us boring. Some say we are depriving our children of opportunities. Others I am sure think we are not social enough, and lack thereof keeps our children from future success. We know many though who envy our choice. We have had many ask us how we do it. Most walk away saying they wish they could, but they’re already too invested in the frantic.
I don’t really know why we made the choice we did. I know in part, it was a result of working with youth before we had our girls. We listened to the kids complain about exhaustion, talk about playing sports they really didn’t want to play any more. We saw them slip away from church as athletic practices and social events took up their time. We heard them discuss grown up topics-things they were too young to be thinking about. Life events around us also impacted our thinking. We watched marriages crumble. We have seen depression set in and three different friends commit suicide. We lost Paul’s mom early in our marriage and long before her time should have come.
We live a slower paced life. We have made it a priority to eat meals at home. We eat breakfast together and eat dinner together every night. We have made it a point to have uncluttered weekends-time for just us-time just to clean cars, work in the yard, watch television. We have made it a point to take family vacations-alone. No extra friends. Just us. We have told our girls we expect them to do their very best, but we have not pushed them to be “advanced”. In fact, we have treasured watching our girls be kids, enjoy being kids. We want that innocence and unencumbered life to last as long as it can. We want them to grow in wisdom, not just in knowledge. We want them to know rest and what it means to “be still and know that I am God.” We want them to have strength to serve. We want them to know that home is always their safe place to fall.
We have made many mistakes along the way. We fight. Our girls complain. We may have to pay a little more than others for college tuition. I don’t know. What I do know is it always makes me a little sad to see how many talk about or post about enjoying time with family, having a break from the hectic schedules, eating dinner all together for the first time in months… all because it snowed. Why does it take a snow day to get us to slow down? I fear we are addicted to the hectic. I fear living fast paced keeps us from dealing with our realities. Yet, the majority are exhausted. Our children are losing faith-literally walking away from their faith. What if we lived every day as if it were a snow day?