Monday, October 22, 2012
Days of Beauty: Why Slow Day?
Slow Day ~ I've had quite a few questions about this concept and why I started it, what it means in our home, how we make it work. Since this day adds beauty to our home and week, I thought I would try to answer some of these things in the midst of processing beauty.
It all started during my visit to Colorado this summer. I usually take a day of retreat while I am there and this idea of slowing had been rattling around inside as one topic I really wanted to think about and pray over while I was on my retreat.
Here is my initial post which came before we started implementing Slow Day in our home. I keep my words quiet here on slow day so they will probably erupt into a long post today! :)
So a good place to start seems to be here: why slow day?
This question takes me back a few years to when Emily was just four and the world of opportunities seemed to be opening before her of things to get involved in: Awana, Children's Choir at church, school, etc... Have you realized how many commitments are available to our sweet four year olds? It is a magical age in the realm of over-scheduling and suddenly we are faced with decisions of how much to be involved in, how often to go and so on.
Especially since this was my oldest child at the time and we were doing all of this for the first time, it was (and obviously still is) a BIG struggle for me to think about the time spent out of our home if we did some of these things.
We decided on one thing at church and one more physical activity: Children's Choir and Ballet. That felt doable and good, we had to say no to other good things - but we did that. Also remember that we had two children under four as well, so they were a big consideration in these decisions.
Fast forward a few years and now we have three who are over age four. Now all of these opportunities are tripled. The girls are still in ballet and loving that and we still do Children's Choir. Samuel's activity is soccer for right now and they are all in Awana because we feel like it is very beneficial for them and they love it.
As our children crossed this magic age four and the opportunities were and still are multiplying - it is a constant battle for me to not be too busy. Even as a homeschooling family, the opportunities are endless - field trips, play dates, park invites, classes, lessons, and more. We live in an age of opportunity for sure. We can do anything, anytime, at any age.
What exactly are we teaching our children in this? That the world is theirs for the taking, that it is being held out to them on a silver platter? I will admit that we still do a lot and we are still busy - but I know if we had not been thinking about this each year - we would be exponentially committed and involved in more than we could handle.
I am an introvert - which very quickly translates into being alone energizes me, peace and quiet and slow energize me. And, I think this is where my struggle begins - I am in a season of noise both audible, visual and scheduling-wise. In order to maintain my balance - I have to have some slowing, some quiet and some peace to recharge me from the noisy season I am in.
As anyone who has young children, had young children at one point or has even been around young children knows - peace, quiet and slow are not exactly their mode of operation!
Not only is it healthy and needed for me - I have to believe it is good for my children to learn how to live slower and more quietly. That doesn't mean I constantly walk around shushing them - it means that we more of a quietness of life and heart.
There are so many ways I am still learning in this and so much I need and want to learn in this. This is just the beginning and clearly this is becoming a series of posts not just wrapped up neatly all in one. This is most definitely long enough for now! More to come ...