It's the little things in life....
Do you feel that as you've gotten older, the little things that at one time you didn't appreciate, have become more valuable? (Quiet time, having the time to vacuum, being able to complete a phone call without distractions, having the motivation to complete a work-out, etc.) The current phase of life that Chad and I are in is a phase that God put us in for a purpose! I can see the life lessons we have learned and are continuing to learn daily...and as busy and at times stressful as it has been, I am truly thankful for God's ability as a father to put us right here - he new it was the best thing for us!
So what was our focus one year ago?...What were the goals that once were? Well, that would take far too long to list and I realize none of you have any desire whatsoever to read about that. I will say, the things that matter now are far more precious, valuable and meaningful long term! Spending time with our children...truly spending time with them and not just trying to capture everything through the lens of a camera. Now, I am a little embarassed at the lack of use my camera has gotten within the past 6 months,...but I'm proud of the fact that I've been actively working on capturing the moments in my heart - truly inhaling the moment mentally.
Chad and I went to Amelia Island this past weekend and although I brought the camera, we didn't take a single picture. (For me - this is a huge no!no!). But as we were sitting on the beach with our toes in the sand, Chad told me to take a deep breath...feel the breeze on my face and capture the moment. His words of advice and wisdom brought tears to my eyes - I don't think I will ever forget our little vacation...it was by far the most relaxing, enjoyable and valuable time I've spent with Chad in a long time - yet we did NOTHING worth blogging about. We at lunch and dinner on the beach on Sunday (we actually called in delivery to the beach!) and it was just fabulous!
Things I appreciate now?...well, to name a few:
1) I value quiet time and have learned to actively seek it out. Quiet time doesn't just happen!!
2) I value actually feeling good and not just looking good. This is a hard one for me as I'm great at faking and pasting on a smile...once again, I have to actively seek out taking care of myself phsyically and emotionally because if I don't do it - no one else will!
3) I appreciate every woman who works while raising her children...my hat goes off to any woman who works full-time and especially those women who do it without a spouse by their side. It is NOT an easy thing...I don't care who you talk to - working with young children is a challenge.
3) I appreciate my children's good health (mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally). Shepherd and Rauly are getting to the age where they're emotionally and physically able to better express themselves and I just praise God for their intelligent minds, healthy bones and muscles, and their hearts which desire to know more about their Heavenly Father. Although they exhaust the heck out of us with their incessant need to know and do more - I value and LOVE the fact that they are motivated to know and do more!
4) I appreciate and value time with my friends. I have always enjoyed my friends and knew I was a lucky girl to have several girls here in Jacksonville that I connect with so easily, but I've learned to really value and cultivate these friendships. I've learned that if I (or my girls) don't plan nightly outings, we won't see each other - so I now purposefully plan times when I can be alone with my girls and develop our friendship further!
Major life lesson learned?
Nothing in this life worth having simply happens! You have to be purposeful in life - know what it is that you want and need, and stay on track - life is distracting and before you know, you can be taking the wrong path heading in a direction you never intended to head down. Perseverance is highly under-rated in this day-n-age...there are far too many quitters (in marriage, in work places, in churches, etc.). Nothing is always easy and to be honest, most things post challenges that you'll have to work through..., which means that there will come a time when you will be forced to choose: Will you persevere and reap the blessings? Or will you quit and never learn the lessons and blessings God has in store for you?
(I promise my next post will INCLUDE pictures - my mom's about to kill me with the lack of pics of the house...sorry mom!)