August 8, 2012

Peel Some Citrus Today

I started this as Part 2 to Desperate and never got out of the first paragraph.  The Lord lead me in a completely different direction so I trust there is a family out there who will be blessed by it today.



We have had the most Topsy turvy summer!  Every time I think, Gee we are over that now we can get down to some slow time... something else happens.  Most recently was when I tore the cartilage in my knee during my daily run on Saturday.  Which is really a bummer because, it hurts.  A lot.  And I have to sit around with ice on it all day.  As it turns out, I am not a very good patient.  It is driving me crazy.  It is prime pool time and canning season and here I sit watching all the fun passing me by.  Allen's been busy the last few days (like, really, when isn't he busy?  LOL) and that makes it double frustrating.

So you would think at least it would be a good time to get caught up on my writing, eh?  You would be right.  Except for one glitch.  I opened my lap top to do just that and the battery has conked out.  Well not really conked out.  My husband, a former designer of batteries, tells me it is planned obsolescence.  Even though it is running just fine, they actually plan for it to shut down after x number of charge cycles so you have to buy a new one.  $125 from Dell.  How wrong is that?  And worse, that means I'm tethered to an outlet in the living room until said new one arrives.  The love seats in our living room, which are perfect for the tiny traffic area, are not very comfortable if you are trying to convalesce.  So I am not getting much of any work done.

The kids are so great about taking care of things and each other and mama.  But as it turns out, this is our worst week of the year for such things.  It's Vacation Bible School at our church.  So everyone is off working each evening.  This is the most time I am without the rest of the family in the entire year.  I hate it.  It drives me nuts.  This is my least favorite week of the year.  The end of a week with our family scattered all over is exhausting.  Because of Allen's work schedule the only way we can eat dinner together this week is if we do it at ten o'clock at night.  The rush to get ready and out the door starts as soon as his work day ends which means there is no down time together to decompress before the Suburban pulls out.  It is so stressful!  I could never live like this all the time.

But most families do.  Actually worse.  Most kids are off all day in school and they rush home to divide up for evening activities.  They eat a fast food meal in the car as mom and dad, in their separate vehicles, play chauffeur.  The whole family lives in a constant state of rush here to do this so we can rush there to do that.  And yet so many parents can not understand what is wrong in their families.

And, sadly, this means most Christian families.

There is no time for Mother to hear what is on the hearts of her children.  There is no time for father to teach and train.  There is no time for kids to run and play and be kids.  There is no time for the activities that really matter like devotions and Bible reading, talking, snuggling and the tying of heart strings.

Even within church all I see are families running in separate directions.  Families pull up in the van and run to their respective classes.  Most families don't even sit together for worship.  This one sits with that friend's family.  Another sits with that friend.  This one is working on the video and that one is working on the sound.  There is a lot of truth in the old cliche, "The family who prays together... "  At the end of worship they all run in their separate directions, again.  Each Sunday I see this child going home with that family and that child going home with yet another family.  Why?  Sunday should be prime family time since in theory no one has school or work to do.  This day should not be about another day of running and dividing up.  Why not have lunch together and discuss what was gained from the sermon?

I, for one, am glad VBS comes only once a year.  That is enough to remind me of the importance of keeping our family together for our outreach, ministry, work and play.  But I digress.

Elisabeth and Carmella are too young to go to Bible School.  Which is fine because I love having the one on one with my little Princesses.  Ellie has been looking forward to it for weeks making a list of all the things we are going to do while everyone else is volunteering at Bible School.  At the head of the list is read Jeremy The Honest Bunny  and eat oranges.

Jeremy is one of her very favorite books and we have read it so many times she will flip to one specific page and say read this one here, Mama.  The oranges are another reminder of how much those simple moments with our kids mean.  We have a bounty of fresh fruit around here now.  But, oranges are neither easy or cheap to come buy in Maryland in August.  So one might wonder why she would choose that.

I'm going to tell you.  Every December Allen takes the kids for a day long outing in which they go shopping for my Christmas gift and have dinner together.  The babies stay home with me for more of that one on one time.  Last December we got the first of our Christmas clementines the day of or the day before.  When dinner time came around, we didn't feel like cooking so Ellie and I curled up with a crate of clementines in front of the Christmas tree and had a picnic.  Elisabeth was so excited to learn how to peel them for herself.  That memory is so fond for her it made it to her top five activities to share with mama.  I sent Pa to the store for oranges on Sunday.  She begged to sit on the living room floor where we usually set up the Christmas tree.  I am right on board with that except sitting on the floor is kind of painful right now.  We did it anyway.

But do you get my drift here folks?  It's a piece of citrus!

They don't want karate lessons, dance lessons, acting class, swim class, horse back riding, boys scouts, girls scouts, campfire girls or whatever they call it these days.  Not piano lessons,  teen camp or the endless shopping to acquire stuff which fills the lives of most children today.  They don't want a tutor or math club.  Not football, baseball, soccer or volleyball.  Those things are just a shadow of what their hearts desire.  They are just a vain attempt to fill the empty hole in their lives.  A hole that can only be filled by mom and dad.  What they really want is you.  What they really want is just a few minutes of your time.  A few minutes together as a family without electronics and distractions.  A few minutes to suck up the richness of life that can only be had when this unit comes together to laugh and play and study and work and learn and yes, sometimes to chastise and reproof.

Cancel your plans tonight.  Turn off your phones.  Peel some citrus.

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