Updated: Jun 7
This month I've been posting about the busy season of school ending and graduations. This time of year is normally busy, even without graduations. There's summer vacation, camps, chore charts, child care, and work schedules to coordinate. There are end-of-year field trips, pictures, and parties.
Then when you have a child (or two!) who are graduating, it adds an entirely new layer of chaos. I've been feeling that chaos lately as one son moves to high school and the other moves to college. We have family coming and going, coming and going. My brother-in-law takes amazing photos so he's here with his family for a week with an entire day of senior portraits. While that's lovely, it also means MORE cleaning and cooking. It means entertaining while I also have three paid jobs that need my attention. The graduation events are beginning and while they are all fun, they are also stressful.
As I celebrate the lasts, it's difficult not to get hung up on cleaning, coordinating, cooking, and managing. It's difficult to slow down and just BE.
Here's the thing, though. When we look back five years from now, we will not care if there was dog hair on the floors, but we will remember if we missed a special moment with our children. We'll regret not taking time to observe instead of spin. We'll wish we took time to watch a movie with our child before sending him off to college. We'll regret not playing Monopoly with our daughter before sending her to high school. We'll regret not playing catch with our son before he goes to middle school. People often ask HOW to slow down and embrace life.
While this may seem over-simplified, here's my 3-step process for embracing the moment when the chaos comes calling:
STOP. Look around. Instead of just working the list - look at your husband or children. Are they doing something memorable? Is there a memorable moment waiting to happen?
DECIDE. Decide to leave the list and play - watch - notice - observe - engage. Sometimes I want to join in when my kids are playing or watching a movie. Other times I just want to sit back and imprint the memory in my mind to pull out later. I'll surreptitiously get my phone out and snap some pics. But I am strategic about engaging or watching. I want to be sure to remember.
EMBRACE. Embrace your decision. Remind yourself that the dogs will shed more tomorrow, the dishes can wait until later, dinner can be pizza or frozen leftovers. At times like this, when life is so busy and so many "lasts" are happening, it's important to take a moment and give yourself grace to step off the wheel and enjoy the blessings God has given you.
I hope this helps. It's a simple list, but I find I often overlook the simple when I'm busy spinning in the chaos.
Praying peace in the mess during this season ~
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