936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
The busyness of life has overwhelmed these past few weeks. I began working again, not only that, but building my own business. Months ago I gave up a part-time work-from-home job in order to focus more on my writing. I had been working at that job for 10 years, and we knew it was time to move on and focus on where I could build and nurture what I am passionate about.
But then came this opportunity. It is one that has the potential to lead us in meeting many of our life goals, one we can pursue together as a team, one that excites us and will challenge us in the ways we desire to be challenged, one that is right in line with our interests, passions, and experiences.
It’s an opportunity that can free us to work from anywhere, and when we want; one that will enable us to travel, discover, and a live a life in tune with our values. All of this makes it the opportunity that we have been praying for.
Maybe it will do all of those things. And maybe it won’t. But for now we are praying, and seeing where it goes. Oh—and learning how to balance it all.
It teaches me what the important work in life is—the work you do with your hands. Lately I have woken up with my mind filled with what needs to be done, eager to open the laptop and begin solving problems and creating beauty; but once in a while, about once a week perhaps, I don’t open the laptop. Instead I pour myself a cup of coffee, grab a little boy or two, and we head out to the garden.
It is there that my mind is cleared of the fog and chaos that builds up from too many hours spent staring at a screen. With my hands in the soil, my elbows brushing bean pods as I yank green weeds from around the pepper plants I learn to feel, so that I can think again.
I remember months ago when we placed our first seedlings into the ground, using our hands to gather up the soil into little mounds, and then pushing our forefingers and middle fingers to dig out a small hole in the mounds, just large enough to place the clump of roots into the ground. We would then gently press soil around the base of the seedling, nesting it within the ground.
I remember the anticipation of watching them grow, of wondering how big they would become, and what they would look like, and how much fruit they would bear.
And now that the plants have grown and produced, and some have finished and died, I find myself eager to return to the beginning, to plant a second harvest, to dig my fingers again into the soil, and nurture the tiny sprouts and seedlings, to watch the life cycle again.
The garden has become to us a sanctuary and a classroom, because in the garden my boys see me working with my hands; and because it is there that I smell that strong, almost basil-like scent that emanates from the mature tomato plants. And it is right between the pepper plants that my biceps feel the strain of tension as I pull weeds from the dirt floor. And it is during those mornings in the garden that my eyes witness the startling green hue that travels over the plants as the sun makes it ascent into mid sky.
All of this– the connection of the senses to the earth God has given us to enjoy—this is essential to the balanced life. Whether it comes from a garden, a hike, a walk along the river, or laying down in the grass to watch the clouds—these experiences sought out on a regular basis are absolutely critical if we are to live an abundant life.
Yes some days when work deadlines loom, my boys will witness me sitting in front of the laptop for a whole afternoon, them kept busy with play doh, markers, paint, and jumping off of furniture—hopefully not at the same time.
And this too will teach them a lesson in hard work, but never at the expense of teaching them what is truly important in life, like how deep the Organic Oregon Sugar peas need to be pushed into the soil, and how far apart to space the spinach seeds. Those are the lessons I won’t let be stolen by the busyness of life.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!