March 9 last Spring our third child was born, a beautiful healthy boy. For the past eight months we’ve been in what I like to call “hamster-wheel-mode”, going from one thing to the next, never quite getting it all done, crashing completely spent in front of the TV, going to bed, then waking up too early to start it all over again. My husband, Eliacin, and I haven’t been too happy with this rhythm but we’ve been too tired to think of anything new.
For my birthday this past week Eliacin gave me a wonderful gift, the gift of time-off! We took a couple of days and went to a cabin up at Cama Beach State Park. The cabin had two full beds, a microwave, a fridge and a sink, (and heat) with a bath house a short walk from our cabin. (And for anyone living on a limited income these are really inexpensive off-season!) No stove. No TV. We took all our meals premade and just reheated. We went on 2-3 long walks a day, and played games with the kids at night. We watch a heron come every evening to fish right in front of our cabin. We stared at the water and the rain and trully started relaxing more than we’d been able to for a long time. Then we started talking.
What we realized pretty quickly was that once again we were off-track, saying and doing completely different things. Believing in a life-style of self-education, but spending most of our evenings in front of the TV. Believing it was our responsibility to give our kids a foundation for their spiritual journey, but taking little time to talk with them about it. So we came up with a few simple guidelines for ourselves that we are challenging ourselves to follow.
- Have a morning and evening prayer time with our kids where we read scripture, talk through bible stories and just engage their thoughts and questions.
- Turn off the TV Monday-Thursday and either read, listen to books or radio, or just go to sleep early if we need it.
- Take a family walk everyday around the neighborhood.
Simple actions that we hope will help us move forward. It is so much easier for me to give up, to stop moving forward. But everytime that becomes my rhythm, my life looses its joy, its passion. I don’t want to live without passsion. Sometimes I think of my life as a spiral. It’s either one that starts with me and moves outward sharing and giving or it takes everything that surrounds me and draws it in to myself focusing more and more on my own family and interests. Right now I need to change the direction of my spiral and regain the passion and hope I think is so essential to living an abundant life.