Unexpected lessons

I was homeschooled growing up, so when I set about to do the same for my own children, my primary goal was to make sure they learned to love math. It sounds silly, but math was a huge sticking point during elementary school for me and I just didn’t want that to be the same for my kids.

We started working on math when the kids were little and thankfully, I think we’ve created a culture of positivity around that subject. So I’ve felt pretty good about our work there. For instance, today, Liam had a lesson in math plus 200 mastery questions. He tackled the mastery and then came to me to tell me that he needed a break. This, for us, is a huge victory. One of the things I have not modeled well has been listening to my body and mind when I have pushed the limits too far. And yet, working with the kids to teach them to recognize these limits in their own lives has proven to be lesson that is far more valuable than times tables. So he did a huge portion of his work, took a break to reset and then dove back in.

Liam loves history. Sylvia loves science. I love nuturing these loves. Nurturing a love for science is easy for me. But when history came up as a love, I was surprised. I mean, I enjoy history and museums and reading biographies, but Liam had never been interested until last year. We started using The Story of the World curriculum and he wanted to learn everything. He kept listening to the cds over and over and spouting information, so I decided it was time to start giving him comprehension tests to see what the outcome was.

There are days when all Liam does is history. Because he’s in the zone and learning and thinking and talking about it. While it always creates a ping of “am I doing enough” in me, I see his growth. And I see him teaching his sister to love a subject so deeply. She has been a hesitant reader, progressing slowly and anxiously, but watching him throw himself into something has given her the courage to do the same. We work and work and when they’ve hit their limit, they have learned to tell me instead of melting down, unable to communicate.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned though, has been how. to. let. go. of. expectations. I knew it. I’ve read all the books, listened to the podcasts, perused the blogs. But until I saw the difference a day of living graciously made in my life and the life of my family, it just didn’t connect. Lowering those expectations and allowing myself to not conduct things in our homeschooling environment like I “think” they should be done and instead realizing the needs of the hour and working with them. It’s freeing, I tell you. Sure, I still want to accomplish things so that the state is pleased with me, but this isn’t about living up to perfection. By learning that, I think I’ve accomplished my own mom curriculum. I’ve got about a B+ average right now, but their enthusiasm for learning is helping my own growth curve. Maybe I’ll be an A student by the time Liam hits junior high? 🙂

Faithfulness on Friday

On this Friday morning, I’m sitting outside while the breeze blows my devotional off the table repeatedly and the kids play. It’s going to be another hot one today and I have to laugh at the times I thought that for sure I’d be able to survive without the air on until July. Ha. The best laid plans, right?image

I ordered the Study on the book of Hosea from Kristen and so far have really enjoyed it. When I’m done with that, I’ll start the one from She Reads Truth on Hosea. What can I say? When I find something I’m interested in, I tend to soak up every word on the topic.

This morning as I put laundry in the washer, I was thinking about my life in the last 10 years. I’ve had to repeatedly filled out health history forms recently and so I’ve had plenty of time to review decisions and choices and simple products of time. And as we have nailed now causes for why my body is on a suicide mission, I’ve considered how we often ignore other ways we destroy ourselves.

Sure. There disease is everywhere we look. It’s in bodies as the result of irresponsiblity and the result of genetics. It comes because we cannot prevent every possible interaction of bacteria or viruses. Disease is just a part of living. But we so often forget the diseases of our souls.

This morning, I couldn’t help but think back over the last 10 years and realize that while my body has not improved, the diseases of comparison and inferiority and insecurity and bitterness have been treated and healed in my life. And while my physical symptoms have lately caused me to spend more days than I care to admit laying on the couch, exhausted and ill, bitterness has not reared it’s ugly head.

Perhaps, it’s because I’ve learned more about the sovereignty of God. Perhaps, I’ve accepted that I live in a fallen world and sometimes, that nature just does it’s own thing. Perhaps, I’ve finally realized how loved we are and that if we can just accept the love offered, we can spend our time celebrating the 1,000+ blessings in our life inspite of the hardships.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; GREAT is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Maybe you already know this. Maybe accepting that you are loved and even when things are horrid, He is still good, is not a challenge… or one you can easily usurp. Perhaps, I’m just slow in this realization. Regardless, as I thought over my life and where I am right now, I couldn’t help but feel so grateful. Grateful that in spite of how I feel, I know He. Is. Good.

Graduation

My youngest brother graduated from high school on Sunday. And that morning I just couldn’t grasp the passage of time. He’s been a part of our lives for almost 17 years and yet it seems like yesterday he toddled in through our door for the very first time.

Because I’m so much older than him and having the advantage of being the sibling and not the parent, I’ve gotten to cherish his life for him and not experience the hardships like one responsible for the outcome of his development. Toddlers are hard. Elementary aged children are begging for balance between still wanting to curl up with their lovey and keep up with their peers. Preteens are dramatic. Teenagers are moody and hormonal. And if you can only focus on these hallmarks of development, it becomes difficult to cherish the moments.

Of all the advice I got prior to having children, I wish that had more prominent. I wish more people had been willing to acknowledge how difficult life is and yet how much beauty can be found in the midst of the hard. Instead, I was given endless commentaries on diapers and feeding and discipline, but no one really told me that I’d never get any of those moments back.

Watching him walk across the stage and get that diploma was one of the most special moments of my life. I wished I could have frozen that moment for a while and just soaked it up. I’m not sad the moment is over, I’m just realizing even more so how quickly life passes by.

I’m so grateful for the moments I get to experience… and my thoughts turned to his birth mother. I wished I could have shared this with her. I wish I could have told her how wonderfully he turned out. How handsome he is. I wished she could have seen his soccer accomplishments. Of course I wish these moments for the mother he and I share, but she got to see so much in the years she was alive. Birth mama only got him for 8 days. And I wonder if in those 8 days, she was able to soak up enough of him?

I came home and hugged my own babies a little tighter. The moments will pass quickly between now and the day when each one walks across the graduation stage. Until then, I plan to soak in as much as I can of not only my babies, but my brother. I can’t wait to watch their lives unfold!

When there are no words

I am a writer. Perhaps not a well-known writer or a highly paid one, but still a writer. I love to write, coming up with endless reasons to put pen to paper, from lists to greeting cards to journals. The stacks of journals and stationary attest to this fact. Not to mention my obscure peculiarities about pens.

However, when people know you can write, they expect that you can also speak whimsically on a moment’s notice. But there is a great difference between the written word and the spoken word.

Often I find myself frustrated at my inability to get the words from my head to my lips. I want to speak them out. I do. But my heart is too full to speak. So I don’t.

I didn’t realize it was much of an issue until I wanted to pray. Those moments when I just am too overwhelmed to speak. Be it joyful or sad, the words don’t come easily.

Emily Freeman writes in her book of a young woman who following the death of her mother couldn’t access the emotion enough to bring it to the surface. And I understand. So often, we aren’t given the safety of even putting a name to the emotions within us, so that when the time comes to actually express them, we cannot.

Today, I was reminded of this struggle when I opened my journal to record recent events and realized that although I had much to write last Saturday, I only got two sentences out. And I laughed at how often I long to communicate and simply cannot.

I’m no better at the deep communication than my four-year-old. I stumble around and change the subject and cry rather than actually explain myself. Perhaps I have not yet learned to give those emotions a name, but what I can do, is teach my children along side myself.

Together we can put names to feelings and emotions. Together we can learn to take responsibility for how we respond to those emotions and choose to respond wisely. And be gracious with ourselves and others. Emotions are powerful – so powerful that they often take our words away.

I struggle often with my words, but there is comfort in knowing that God is willing to wait patiently for me to get them out. And while I have often stuffed down my emotions so as to avoid dealing with them, He still waits for me to be in the right place. And little by little, I get the courage to put words to the thoughts and emotions within.

Hopefully, I’ll finish writing about the trampoline park soon. I have the words for that, I only lack the time. But with those blank lines open before me, I hope that in time, I’ll learn to not shy away when the words are not there. And while I learn, I’ll be ever so grateful for a loving God who can translate tears and mutterings into something that makes a connection from my heart to His, even when there are not words.

On the hidden story

I grew up in churches that didn’t spend much, if any, time on the sovereignty of God. As a matter of fact, I was in my 30s before I ever really was introduced to the concept. I had no idea and considered my life through the lens of someone working for God’s favor and constantly failing.

In so doing, every time something hard would happen, I’d immediately respond with a “I don’t know what I keep doing to make God so mad at me!” Because of my religious upbringing, I wasn’t aware that not every little thing that happens in life is a direct result of ME and the scoring system I thought was in place.

I didn’t know and so with each struggle, I added in the burden of a hindrance and thereby stunted my own growth. Without even trying! But then, our church did a 10 month sermon series based on the book The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. For the first time in my life, I was shown the little stories in the overarching theme of each book of the Bible. And for the first time in my life, I realized that there is a plan for everything, even the hard. If they had done that series five years ago, I wouldn’t have gotten it. But they did it when I was ready to learn. I knew something wasn’t right in my life and I wanted to fix it. I wanted to do something, but what I needed to do was learn.

Sometimes, there isn’t so much a need for action as there is for humility 

I asked a lot of questions. I sent our pastor dozens of questioning emails. I made a lot of tearful phone calls while I tried to understand scripture. I sent texts very late at night when I reached a stopping point in my understanding. But I learned and I grew. And used up an embarrassing amount of tissues.

It’s been over a year now since I started digging out truth for myself. In that year, I’ve learned to stop saying that God is mad at me for every little thing. And you know what? We’ve had a lot of things happen in the last year. Hard things. Scary things.

As my focus switched from being overwhelmed by the hard to anticipating the plan there came freedom. It’s freeing to realize that I don’t have to strive for perfection in an attempt to live. It’s freeing to realize that when things happen, I am not alone, left to my own devices to cope with life. Even recently, some things have happened that were absurd. It is what it is. I cannot change them, but I can wait to see how the Lord plans to use them. And I am waiting with excitement.

For me, understanding the sovereignty of God went beyond my personal needs. It superseded the typical Bibles verses about worry or sparrows. Understanding that He is actually in control… that the events of my life don’t throw Him for a loop… life changing. You might be reading this and wondering what on Earth my problem was. I cannot answer that… I really don’t know. But I feel like Psalm 116:5-9 was written for me. I was/am simple. I am human and I need the Lord to protect me from myself day in and day out. And like any loving parent, He so graciously does.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. 

On waiting… and waiting

Every morning and then several times after throughout the day for the last few weeks, I’ve been checking our weeping cherry tree for blossoms. I know it’s coming because of the season. I know the date is upon me because the first time it bloomed was while I was away at my sweet infant cousin’s funeral. And as the anniversary of that approaches, I feel more and more anxious to see the floral joy I just know is waiting inside those tight little buds.

My tree is quite young, only 3 years ago did we plant it in the midst of my {equally young} hydrangeas. As of this morning, I can see the flutter of white around the edges of the buds and I know it’s coming. Yet, it is so difficult to wait!

What are you waiting for? Is it an answer to a long-sought prayer? Is it a night of rest from a child who just. cannot. sleep? Is it for peace in your life when all seems lost?

Over the weekend I realized that I had finally gotten an answer to a prayer almost 20 years old. And yes, I most certainly am shocked that 20 years have passed. Along the way, I’ve tried to step out on my own and tackle this. I’ve felt that since it was my dream, it was my job to get the ball rolling. No matter what I tried to do, it always fell flat. Always. I set the dream aside {eventually} and moved on.

At the time, I was in such a hurry to grow, to take off on my own and “honor God”, that I didn’t/couldn’t see all the immaturity and false thinking standing right in front of me. Had I continued forging my own way, it would have been about as successful as my tree blossoming in the middle of February here… or at least trying to, as ice would have cut that journey short. And as a matter of course, in my own life a proverbial frost occurred. Circumstances wore me down and I hardened. I chose to cut myself off, to seal out relationships and absolutely the Lord.

But then, one Sunday, sitting alone in the back of the church our pastor offered an analogy about a tree that has been bitten by a harsh frost:

“Sometimes the harsh frost of life freezes our heart, but in God’s timing the energy of Christ bursts forth into a new harvest of spiritual growth and energy.”

I remember sitting there and the tears just running down my cheeks. I knew I’d been frozen. And in that moment, I also knew that the sunshine of healing was coming. It’s been almost two and a half years since that day and I still can remember the intensity of emotion as he spoke those words. It was in that moment that I first realized God has His own time table, one that often does not match up to what I calculate should happen, but His design is for the greatest good.

In that very same sermon, Exodus 3:7 was read and in my notes, I underlined the word concerned. The word concerned connotes a “marked interest that arises due to a personal relationship”. The book of Exodus frequently speaks of the Israelites’ sacrifices…. the sacrifices that were ultimately replaced by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. His sacrifice was of a personal nature. He knew me and my dreams and my fears and then and now. He made the decision to save me and to become my sin, so his interest is very personal.

His interest is personal enough that although you may feel alone, you are not. When it feels like you are shouting prayers into a vacuum, you are not. He is waiting until the proper time for your answer. And when the time is right, the answer is spectacular. It doesn’t mean the waiting is easy, or that you’ll have an abundance of patience. But I can now say with full confidence that waiting is worth it.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t still be checking my tree… frequently 😉

 

 

On needing a new prescription

A few days ago, we got up and raced around trying to make sure am medicines were taken, breakfasts were eaten, children were clothed appropriately and we were on time to the dentist. The only thing I suppose I should pat myself on the back for would be the 3 minutes to spare arrival at the dentist. So nope, forgot two medicines, the breakfast that was eaten wasn’t *that* filling and we left the house totally under dressed for the weather. Whoops.

Despite  mornings like this being a regular occurrence in my home, you might notice that my Instagram feed isn’t filled with frustrated selfies or snap shots of my messy home. Not because I want to hide this aspect of my life, but because it just isn’t worth focusing my sights on.

I suppose I could #firstworldproblems as I whine about how it was too nice a day to stay in and clean bathrooms, but is that really the point? We all have our own standards for life, standards that can at times be excessive without the input from the lady on IG who just can’t get her act together to dust. It’s not that I don’t care, because I do. I like a clean house as much, if not more, as the next person, I really do. But what I don’t care for is the focus.

It doesn’t have to be a clean house, it could be your marriage or your child in the super-fantastic developmental stage of egocentricisim. Whatever it is that takes your joy, your focus from the blessings in life, that is something that shouldn’t be framed on IG, much less your mind.

This isn’t to say that you can’t acknowledge a bad day, a messy house, or the tough parenting day! They are there in abundance, believe me. But should you focus on them? Why would you want to? Why give more time and attention to something that drags you down and hurts your spirit? Are we not called on in Colossians 3:2 to fix our eyes on things above, not on earthly things {paraphrase mine}? And to follow that, Phillipians 4:8 –

“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Do you see it? It’s not a call to ignore the yuck, it’s a prescription for new lenses. My morning was a disaster, my house is a mess, my hair… oh, my hair. When we bring these things to the forefront of our minds, we wait {whether we realize it or not} for someone to tear us down. We wait to see if the perfect mom from MOPS who cloth diapered all her babies and makes the best bread from scratch will notice. We wait to see if she will like our post and then we torture ourselves wondering if she liked it out of judgement or pity.

But when you swap out that negative, condemning, egocentric lens on your life for something that focuses on the blessings and the love and the glory of the Lord, dust pales in comparison. It takes time to adjust to a new lens prescription… you have headaches and all too often want to just toss them in the trash {at least I did while adjusting to my current one!}, and during that time, you’ll be forced to recognize that changing how you look at life, is work.

It is work. Change is hard. It takes a willingness to grow and to hurt a little on the way, which is why we so often set out with the intention, but quit before we are truly at the finish line. I speak from experience… please believe me! As hard as it is, I will say this: when you stop trying to change your focus solely through discipline, and you rely on scripture to rewrite your mindset, the change happens without even realizing it did. It’s worth it to focus a portion of your quiet time to write out your blessings. It’s worth it to make a list of all that you are grateful for. The more you saturate your brain with the good, the lovely, the pure, the less you’ll see the condemnation, even for those dirty dishes.

{When I went to Ann’s site to link up to her book 1,000 gifts, I happened across this lovely post. You should head over there next and read it!}

Being Still

I finished reading Beth Moore’s book Believing God {aff link} this week. It took me a while, as I had a lot of digesting to do. Her writing style is very gentle and yet to the point. I like it… which makes me laugh because I honestly had no idea who she was until a few months ago. Toward the end of the book, there were a few things I wanted to remember, so I spent some time Tuesday afternoon copying them to my journal and thinking about our current season in life.

Beth was describing types of challenges in life and our responses. Not all require us to wage an internal war, but instead ask us to be quiet and wait on the Lord. I was struck… shaken… to my core.

Keep up your day in, day out fundamentals, be still in ME, and trust that I am in control – total control. I don’t want your involvement on this issue. I just want you to practice keep your hands off of it and letting me have it.”

I read this paragraph over and over before writing “This is where I am right now. With everything that has cropped up – just practicing being still and trusting.” Matt and I have talked about this several times in the last year, we have done all we can in our struggles, only to have that inner voice telling us to simply be quiet and wait. For me, a type-A action-oriented person, this is hard. Not hard. Virtually impossible.

As my day progressed, I felt more and more that I was to embrace this… that I read this for a purpose. At 4:31pm my phone rang with the news that our rental {which is for sale and therefore vacant} was broken into and the copper piping stolen. I hung up the phone and stood in my dining room laughing.

Isn’t it the Best? Despite all our efforts and precautions, someone still broke in. And yet, I chose stillness over fear. Perhaps for the first time in my life even. This year I have determined that instead of chasing perfection, I am going to embrace growth. Growth happens at it’s own rate… no matter my goals or plans, I have to just keep pushing forward and trust that the process of growth will still occur regardless of how it feels to me. In this moment, I can see the growth.

Stillness is hard for me. But this small victory of not allowing myself to panic and instead trust that everything will work out shows me that I’m learning. I’m making progress. I’m growing in the stillness, inspite of myself. Because of Him.

 

4 Tips for Helping Your Child Adjust to Glasses

I started wearing glasses when I was in college. Textbooks with tiny print + the lousy lighting in the Biology department meant I spent a lot of time squinting. I wore them throughout college, got a “nice” pair of glasses when I started my first real job and then never went back to have my eyes checked again. All those years of squinting made me adapt to an impaired vision – I quit driving at night and always sat close to the front of the room. Two years ago, I went in for a routine exam and the doctor was horrified at my prescription. Horrified. I now wear glasses on a regular basis and it is amazing how clear things are! {please note the mockery in my tone… it’s directed at the condescending nurse who asked me how I didn’t walk into walls without glasses… ahem}

4 Tips for Helping a Child Adjust to Glasses

We figured our kiddos would have to wear glasses at some point in life since both of their parents do, but I didn’t realize how difficult it was for Liam to see until one day this summer a friend watched him trip and fall and promptly told me to take him in. Sure enough the next day, the eye doctor sweetly explained that because of a significant difference between his eye prescriptions, Liam’s depth perception was off adding to his already challenged eyesight.

A week later, the cutest little pair of black framed glasses were on his face and he noticed just how BIG the world is! {Also, he stopped falling 20+ times a day.} Since I hadn’t had my glasses all that long, I remembered how uncomfortable it was to adjust to them. Their constant presence on my nose, the headache for the first week while my adjusted to seeing things normally and gosh darn it, the desire to toss them in the trash and continue to spend my days squinting.

The first day Liam wore glasses, I counted 17 times I had to remind him to put them back on. The next day it doubled. Adjusting to glasses is hard. Add in the desire to rough house or play in the pool in the summer and you really need to take some extra steps to help your child stick it out. Our eye doctor explained that because children often don’t realize that their sight isn’t clear, their eyes adapt so that they can function, but when you introduce glasses, the eyes are forced to relearn how to see.

4 Tips for Helping a Child Adjust to Glasses

In light of our experience, I thought I’d share with you what helped us make the adjustment to glasses simpler!

  • Make sure they like their glasses – There are so. many. options. these days when you choose your frames. So many. Thankfully, on the first tray of frames, Liam spied a pair that were miniature versions of what Matt wears. He snatched them up and declared them his favorites. You wear what you like and this boy likes to look like Daddy!
  • Make sure that your child understands that they can complain about the fit – Liam didn’t say anything about how uncomfortable the glasses were on his ears until we were almost 3 weeks into wearing them. It was a simple fix, taking them back into the office and having them stretched a tiny bit and once it was done, no more pinching! But before that appointment, I reminded him that he’d been uncomfortable for 3 weeks… far longer than necessary. If it’s not comfortable, tell me so I can fix it. If I don’t know, I can’t help!
  • Establish safety guidelines – Liam’s lenses aren’t supposed to ever break. But even still, if he wants to wrestle, play in the pool, wear his super hero costumes or do anything rough, he has to take them off. Additionally, when they come off, they are to be placed somewhere safe {I prefer his bookcase}. I didn’t express how serious I was about that rule and that is how the glasses were left on a bed that they were jumping on and got crushed… at just one month of having them.
  • Reward the little victories – because I knew that he was going to have headaches and feel like his eyes weren’t “right” while they were adjusting, I wanted to make sure there was an incentive to continue wearing the glasses. For the first few days, I gave him an awesome rock at lunch, snack, supper and bedtime if he’d been good about keeping the glasses on. By the end of the first week, he was getting four rocks a day so I knew it was safe to switch over to only getting one rock a day. I did that for another week and by then only had to remind him to put them back on after he’d taken them off for rough play. These days, if I see that he’s being responsible or I don’t have to remind him even in the morning to put them on, he gets an awesome rock just because I love him!

Now that we are adjusted and the safety guidelines have been established, glasses are a piece of cake. Although, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by giant smudges or finger prints on the lenses, he is doing a great job taking care of them. Even Sylvi is aware and will remind him to take them off if she thinks their play might get “crazy”.

When we had Sylvi’s eyes examined, the doctor told us that she’ll be in need {more than likely} in a few years of her own pair of glasses. I’m glad that she has such a great example to follow. And I feel more prepared to help her adjust when {if} her time comes!

**Of course, today, Liam took his glasses off before gym class and left them with his teacher. We almost left without them. Adjustment has been smooth, but he’s still a 5 year old!**

Embracing my Introvert

I chatted on the phone with a friend this morning. I’ve know this friend for 10 years (whoa! 10 years went fast!), we’ve been pregnant at the same time twice and had our first borns within weeks of each other. We know each other very well and tend to be very honest with each other… even the ugly honest.

As I was relating what I had done with my time since we had last seen each other, she stopped me to tell me that she was surprised at how much socializing I had done. She then quickly followed it up with a comment that for her, that would be a dream to have that much social time, but she knew it wore me out. And I am really am. I had a crazy busy weekend: lots of talking and spending time with people. This week wasn’t initially better for me, but I actually breathed a sigh of relief when the fevers showed up and I knew I would  have to clear our week.

Growing up, I can remember looking at my parents’ calendar and wondering when the day would come where I would be able to stay home for the evening. Because I was homeschooled, I was able to keep to a relatively peaceful daytime schedule, but all those after school activities sure add up… they look great on a college application, but when you are a type who needs quiet to recharge, you wonder if it’s even worth it.

All my life, I have come up with excuses to not attend an event. When Matt and I got married, I tried my hand at hosting events at our home… I thought if I ran the helm, I’d like parties more.  Because I am an organized person, things always went well… but oh my gosh, I couldn’t stand to even talk to someone for three days after all the chaos left my house. Happy chaos, good chaos, funny chaos; it still drains me.

I happened upon the book – Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and actually devoured it. It was so freeing to read through why I need quiet. WHY I need a break from social events and crave the quiet. If you’re in the same boat, I strongly recommend it! Our society celebrates the loud and busy and if you don’t celebrate it too, well… people think you’re odd. I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix while I sew and I’m really appreciating how they wrote the character of Rory. I understand why she plans a whole weekend of aloneness. I plan whole weekends of aloneness. It’s awesome.

The best part was that I actually live in a house full of introverted homebodies. And it’s amazing. I don’t know what I’d do if my children were the types who wanted to go and do every single day. Instead I get the chance to nurture our little family… to help my children learn their own limits and then respect them. Instead of pressuring them to participate beyond their comfort in the socially acceptable busy that is everywhere, I get to show them how to have a life that while quiet, is fulfilling and successful!