slowing down and being who we really are (homebodies)

It’s been good, these past few weeks, to slow down. I’m finding that I really enjoy it – not in that fast-paced, exciting, adrenaline-rush kind of way…more like the peace when you sigh and let out the breath you hadn’t realized you’d been holding or the feeling of sinking into your comfy couch and curling up under a blanket with a mug of hot tea and a blanket.

The truth is…I am a homebody. Miranda is definitely a homebody. The jury is still out on CaiQun – she loves it when we go out, but she also gets over-stimulated fairly easily, and when you ask her what she wants to do, she’ll reply almost as often as Miranda that she wants to sit on the couch and read books together. These are girls after my heart.

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There are so many others around us who can do more – who are ministering in this way or attending that event and on and on and on. And the truth is, we could do more. But I’ve been re-evaluating lately whether we should, and time after time I come back to the answer that we need to be calm. Breathe in, breathe out. Live in a way that nourishes our souls and the souls of our girls.

My girls don’t do as well when we have multiple commitments each day of the week. They can get pretty easily exhausted.

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Sometimes it’s absolutely worth it to have a busy day (or a few). After all, this is the season for weddings and for travel, and we have great passion for both and certainly no plans to abandon either. We also love being involved in different arenas, particularly getting to be a part of our church and of the art community here in town.

I think it’s wise, though, for us to embrace who we are and how God has made us, particularly in this stage of life. With two small children, going anywhere – even if we’re excited about it – can be a challenge.

I’m filling our weeks with fewer activities, and I’m saying no to things that sound fun in theory but are fraught with high probabilities of significant practical issues. I’m finding that the girls do so much better that way, and it also frees me up to do the things that I say I’m passionate about but than often get shoved to the side when my time is stretched – reading books with the girls, making sure we have reasonably healthy meals planned, and keeping the house from turning into a complete disaster zone. I can listen to Miranda’s stories and work with both girls on puzzles and learning numbers. I can include them in cooking. We can play out in the back yard together. I’ve also actually been getting a bit of time to read. I’ve started sorting through our pictures from China to choose which to order as prints. I’m attempting to carve out bits of time to be more thoughtful and contemplative myself.

We miss out on some things – a lot, actually – but we also get to do the things we really want to do and that are encouraging and good for us.

I’ve also been spending some time researching educational philosophies and homeschooling curricula, and the more I read and research, the more excited I am. I’ll share more on that later, but I see so many awesome possibilities for our family as Matt and I work to teach our girls, and I’m really looking forward to all of that.

Slowing down, it seems, has been good for all of us. We’re enjoying it 🙂

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