Monday, December 10, 2007


In a Bible study a few weeks ago, I was asked to describe what I love most and what I dislike the most about the stage of life I'm in. I thought for a moment and knew without a doubt that my answer to each question was the same. Freedom. Freedom is what I love most right now, and freedom (the lack of it) is what I most often struggle with in these years of my life.

What freedom our family has right now! I don't need to be reminded that this is a precious time for us. We are all together, all the time. No one's in school, no one is being rushed around for practice, music lessons, or parties at friends' houses. We have so much freedom to do whatever we want with the five other most special people on earth to us. Every day we're all together, sharing life together, with little interruption from the outside world. We can go to the mall to hang out, or spend all day at the park discovering leaves and feeding ducks. We can take long leisurely afternoons to read books and work on puzzles. Every Friday night is Family Night, no question. We can make cookies (real ones that don't come from a tube) and there's three little sets of feet standing on tip-toes on chairs eagerly trying to reach the mixer to dig in and help mix them up. We are all together (with the absence of Daddy who's at work during the day) to sit around our table for three meals and a snack every day, no question. We all get at least 2 hours for napping and "quiet" time every single day. I love being a family. I love, love, love this time of our life.

On the flip side...we have very limited freedom too. It takes some time to get six people ready and out the door to do something. I am, 24 hours a day, surrounded by four people who need me to do most everything for them, or help them so they can do it themselves. My time is not my own, so I need to be insanely intentional to make sure I get some of that time for myself every day. We have specific wake up, nap, and bed-times that we need to get home for when we're out. I almost never shower or go to the bathroom without someone talking to me from the other side of the door. I almost never pick up and go anywhere without serious preparations. We get dates together a couple of times a week at home after 8:00 when every one's in bed but, Jim and I have to do some serious planning to get out of the house together alone- you know, like adults do. We have to find a sitter, give them instructions, and of course, we need to pay them when we get back. Our time out is limited and we are always checking the clock to make sure we're back in time. We often dream of days to come when we can take a walk together in the afternoon for 20 minutes and leave the kids at home alone. Ahhhh. Can't wait.

I know, I'm certain, that someday when these sweet children are grown I'll look back on these times and never regret the years we spent with so little freedom, because the years of time we're spending together now and the fruit that will come from them will be well worth it.

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