Saturday, July 23, 2011

Swimming Success

It would appear the seagull has left the building.
Not a seagull

Screeching has been replaced by a lot more positive self-talk on Keaton's part in the morning:  " I go in da pool, an I play wis Mike (his instructor), an I make bubbles and NO SCREAMING."  
We like to celebrate with chips bigger than our heads

Then he comes, he swims, and he conquers -woohoo!
Yay Keaton!

I think what I love best about watching his lessons is how proud his siblings are of him. I think that's something we have done well - created a culture of encouragement in our family.
I had to endure this
To get this - Love ain't perfect, but it is grand!
We all try really hard to celebrate the successes big and small of each family member, and not spend too much time asking "why not me?"  

Anyway, I love that there are a line-up of hugs and high fives and snacks waiting for each kid as they exit the pool.
Chips followed by apple - the yin-yang of snacks.
Summer Love and Guilt

This summer has been my favourite so far.

We are busy enough to say we are doing something,  but not so busy that we can't have fun.  
Time for pancakes in the morning

I made the decision to say no to a few good things in July, and while I still feel that guilt that I am not doing enough, I can't ignore the fact that we are in a very good place right now because of it.

Time for the beach with Nana and Papa
I feel I must confess - we didn't do VBS at our church this year, not at all.  The kids didn't go, nor did I volunteer my time or effort. We "just" did swimming lessons and then some random summer-ish things on some of the afternoons.  There have also been some one-off good things in the previous weeks that we had to do, but they were good too.  In part because I had less on my calendar than I might have.

To ease my guilt, I bought a bag of cheese off of the things we need list from church - so in a very small, abstract way - we did help.  As my friend Karis told me when i was kvetching about my guilt - "cheese covers a multitude of sins"...including skipping VBS, apparently.  
Time for Drama Camp
I have really enjoyed this past week.  Although I feel like I have been beating back guilt with a big stick.  Our church is great.  They have a phenomenal kids program throughout the year, and VBS is no exception.  We didn't say no because it was a bad thing.  We said no because it was going to make our busyness a burden if we added it to the list of things we were saying yes to.  

We are so blessed to be busy. We have so much freedom, so much choice, I want my kids to hear me telling others about how glad I am we get to do life together.  But it takes work, and where we live, it takes saying no to a lot of good things so we can actually have time to live. Complaining about how busy and crazy my life is easier, but hardly better.  I want to squeeze the joy out of every moment if possible.

It's all about balance, I suppose. If I say my family is my priority but commit to so many things that we are all cranky and too over-tired to build good relationships, then something is amiss.

This is the sermon I give myself on a regular basis, anyway. I am trying hard to find the right balance, and I happy to say that this week, it worked out!

It's time to go enjoy some more summer - the sun is actually shining!

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."
John Lubbock


  1. Love this post...and not just because I was quoted, although I chuckled.

    What a blessed life we live that we get to say no to good things. I completely relate to this...I am in a season right now where I need to say no to nearly everything except being a mom, doing my job, loving my husband and moving from one house to another.

    Thanks for this encouragement!

  2. hear hear! Great post. Once again, we are saying no to league hockey - an 'arena' I know both boys would excel in (in this crazy hockey province), in order to avoid spending every. waking. hour. at the rink. The happy medium will be each of us playing on a once a week rec team with no tourneys, driving, and best of all, no over-the-top-'hockey parents'. It will mean more evenings together and less stress. Will it mean my schnertzes won't play up to snuff with the 'league' kids? Probably, and they likely won't hit the majors, either. But I hope as parents they will one day reflect on our choices and see where we have put God and famiy first to the benefit of both.

  3. Thanks Karis and Chris - your encouragement means so much. It's good to know we aren't alone trying to find balance. I believe we won't regret saying yes to the right things!


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