Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Pespective is a funny thing.  Time is a funny thing.

I sure think about things a little differently from where I stand today than where I stood ten years ago.

I am really enjoying this new perspective on life and on my family and on the decisions we made in faith years ago, because now those choices are starting to bear their fruit.

As I mentioned this summer, our family tried all sorts of sports camps.  We took tennis lessons, played basketball, did swim team, learned to dance, act, play soccer, played volleyball, went to an art camp, the girls even tried their hands (and feet) at Tae Kwon Do.  Organized sports are things we've mostly stayed out of for the first 12 years of our lives together, in favor of doing things as a family or playing with neighborhood friends.

When our summer activities were over, I asked my two older children what they enjoyed most and what they might like to continue with.

One wanted swim team, the other wanted Tae Kwon Do.

We considered carefully how feasible each activity would be for each child and for the family.  Their practices would fall on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Mondays, which we have protected for so long, Wednesdays which is our busiest day with piano lessons and church activities, and Fridays when we like to socialize, relax, and play with friends.

Scarlett really is good at Tae Kwon Do, but was it something she needed for her development?  We love the values it teaches, the end she wasn't willing to give a year committment to it.  And the days interfered with how we like to spend that time. Same for Guy.

So, we skipped both things, in favor of our regular routines, home, friends, free-play, piano, scriptures, family home evening, crafting, baking, family road trips, etc.

Another time when I asked Scarlett about activities she might want to do during the school year, she said, "I don't like to be THAT busy during the school year. I need time to do my homework, and I like being home and playing with my friends."

Over the years I have watched my friends run from one activity to the next.  I have sometimes questioned if I was doing the right thing for my family.  This summer was so fun, and I enjoyed watching them accomplish things and shine, but these last few weeks as we've made the choice again to be together rather than to go in separate directions, and hearing my children's choices has helped me to understand, looking back, that we really did make the right decision for us as a family, a decision that has brought us a lot of happiness and allowed us to make a lot of stress-free memories together.

I remember once back in Lewisburg, some parents at school started a "running club" which met only on Sundays.  I talked with one of the moms and expressed dismay that we could not participate.  Her reaction to my perceived criticism was met quite defensively, and I then had to smooth out the ruffled feathers of my friend.  But what did we do?  My husband started a running club of our own with our children and kids in the neighborhood.  He ran them around the block and promised rewards for those who ran the 1 mile loop every day after school.  We have found lots of ways to protect our family time together and still enjoy the benefits of different sports, etc. One way is not just to sign up for things that don't practice or play on Sundays and Monday nights, but to find activities the three oldest could participate in together.

This is a decision we make over and over again, a decision that now we can feel happy about and more confident in.

On Sunday during church, I looked at all of the empty spaces on my personal planner.  To me those empty spaces represented potential for how our family could fill that time together.  It represented freedom.  The Spirit confirmed to me again as I looked at my calendar the blessings of our choice. Now to seek the Lord's help in filling that time with the very best activities we can together...

Is there anything that perspective/time has taught you that you'd like to share with me?  I'd appreciate hearing about it in the comments...


  1. You are choosing the right! A friend talked us into signing up one of our boys for soccer so he could play with her son. It was the worst Autumn ever. The daily practices and twice weekly games were right at the time we usually fixed and ate dinner. We suffered through one season and never signed up again. A couple of generations ago (I'm 60, graduated from HS in 1975) most families did what you are doing. Satan lays a trap for parents to weaken the family by enticing them to put their children into every good thing. But there are better and best things to do; and as your fruits are showing, you are choosing them. Keep up the good work.

  2. I like the idea of choosing carefully among good, better and best activities as we only have so much time. Setting priorities.

  3. This is perfectly timed! We're just finishing 8 weeks of dance and Frnech lessons, each two times a week, and I'm exhausted. I didn't realize how disruptive it would be! I was feeling guolgu about telling the kids we couldn't do so much, and then I read this! Afterward I talked to the kids and found out they're feeling the same way.