We’ve been a little absent from the blog this summer, mostly August so far. The first half of summer was filled with vacation, a family reunion, summer camp, church gatherings, Vacation Bible School, my parents coming from Maine to visit for a couple of weeks and a handful of out of town guests. Much time has been devoted to gardening, canning and preserving jams and jellies, tomatoes and just today zucchini. All of them are great things. I wouldn’t take any one of them back. We have loved every single visit, gathering, outing, . But what we found ourselves doing was activity, activity, activity and then on Jeremy’s day off we just sort of crashed. In the evenings when we weren’t busy we crashed. We were tired and for a family of introverts our souls were tired. Our family was getting the last of our collective energy.
Somewhere in the midst of activity, we asked ourselves “How do we appreciate the moment without feeling like we are constantly planning the next”? “How do we stop, even amidst the good activity of life, and take in the beauty of what lies before and around us?” “How do we capture our time with babies who are growing too fast and in 6 years will make up empty nesters?” I constantly, and increasingly, have been asking myself “How can I be content?”, because, if I’m honest…I’m not a content person. Do I love my life? A resounding yes! Would I change any of it? A resounding no! But am I content? No. My mind and creative spirit are constantly thinking on the next thing. I snap pictures of my kids and dog and husband and garden and moments and activities, and heck, I even blog about many of them. But those pictures and moments and memories don’t lodge themselves in my memory. They get left in the computer while the next moment and memory are already being planned. Quite honestly….discontentment in itself is exhausting.
I think Mary was on to something when she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) I have thought on that scripture often. For years in fact. With no computer, no camera, no videos Mary was able to hold the precious in her heart and let them dwell there. When she needed a joy booster, perhaps the only thing she had to do was reach into her own internal journal and there she found her treasure.
At the end of an increasing amount of days this summer, those questions kept nagging at the back of my mind and digging it’s claws into my heart. How do we treasure each other and our moments together in a way that forms our children and binds our family, immediate and extended, together? How do we dwell in the moment in soul satisfying, foundational, relational way?
Well, I haven’t figured the perfect answer yet, but I have put down the camera and enjoyed my time. I’ve put aside the computer and made more eye contact. We’ve planned a week of camping and some other fun things to make the most of our summer vacation. We’re doing things that kids need to do in a summer. We’ve hiked, snuggled, watched funny videos and laughed, played cards, eaten on the deck, sat outside and played. We’ve gone for ice cream and we’ve kayaked. We’ve played Mario Brothers Wii and bought iced teas at the store. Instead of fretting about busy…we encouraged each other to accept the moment and just enjoy it. Our attitudes were held accountable.
We are learning to capture the moment.