They didn't want to be home...when their friends had swimming pools. I felt like I was always filling their requests with "No" or "Not right now...", and it all didn't seem fair.
I was frustrated. Frustrated with all that I couldn't give them, and with all that they were asking for. Wasn't I raising my children to be grateful? Weren't we striving for a simple life full of love and laughter and not just things?
How had we lost our focus? We were not being thankful for all we had and allowed things to control our happiness.
I had had enough. I didn't like who I was becoming and if I wanted my children to change, it had to start with me first.
I started a Summer Bucket List:
I filled it with simple things we loved that we could enjoy as a family for free or almost free.
|Waiting for the fireworks to start|
|Eating watermelon outside|
|Taking a walk on the beach|
|Backyard campfires and lots of S'mores!|
Our Summer was full. As we learned to enjoy the simple things again, we became even more creative. We made so many beautiful memories.
One hot afternoon we set up a $5 slip and slide and borrowed a kiddie pool. When the kids were exhausted from playing we handed out ice cream sandwiches and ate them under my willow tree. I overheard my daughter exclaim, "A water park in our yard and ice cream?! This is the best day ever!"
I looked at my husband and smiled. Our water park looked rather pathetic, but to our children it was glorious.
As our summer is winding down we crossed one more memory off our list. We set up our tent in the front yard and slept under the stars.
I laid there in the stillness of midnight, listening to the crickets and even catching a shooting star. I looked over at my sleeping family, all 8 of us crammed in a tent on our lawn. I just had to smile. It was ridiculous, but it was beautiful.
It was in this moment that I remembered how blessed we truly are. I thought of all the families who live like this everyday because it is all they have, and the families who just wish for a roof over their heads.
This morning I am tired and sore from sleeping on a lawn that is more dirt than grass. But I think it was one of the best night's sleeps I have ever had. My body may not feel refreshed, but my heart is renewed.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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