Day three of DH working day shift and me and the yay-hoos being home with no car. But I am finding its all good. This absence of daily running the roads has actually been a blessing to me (and the kids, whether they realize it or not). Yes, when you've spent years staying overly-busy, visiting friends almost daily, meetings here and there, running little errands, being very active in homeschool groups and church activities and scouts and 4-H and sports (all good things mind you, as long as they don't keep me from being the Keeper at Home that I have been called to be) suddenly just sitting home can seem like being trapped and isolated. Yesterday I was in that stage. But by this morning I realized we're all sleeping better and rising earlier, starting our school day more efficiently. Chores are getting done. We are playing more...the kids have no one else to play with (for a change) and they are actually enjoying each other's company more...we're planting a little...reading more for pleasure...hatching tadpoles....having lengthy Bible readings and history discussions. It's amazing what one can do with a freed-up schedule. Why do we do this to ourselves? No one is immune, not even homeschool families. For some reason we as parents are taught to believe that our kids need to sample it all. And that we, as moms, to be fulfilled, have to serve on every board and be involved in every ladies' group in town. Afterall, it doesn't seem like enough to just be a mom. And other times we get overly involved because there are true needs to be filled, and because we know we are called to be servants. Nothing is wrong with activities or serving (and indeed we need a dose of each in our lives for proper growth). But just like flowers, too much water will rot them, too much sun will burn them up; they need a balance to grow healthy and strong. Why do we think we are so different?
In a few days after I've read all the magazines that accumulated last year, after we've played every board game in the closet, and I've made all my lesson plans for next year, then I guess I'll even be ready to come out of my forced cocoon and emerge back into the overly-busy, overly-stressed world. But I will know now what has been true all along...my ministry is this home, and this family. When I give away too much of myself helping everywhere else but here, and when I allow my kids to give their best time to the peers and social groups they are in and come home with nothing but grumpiness and attitude for me, we have gotten the scales tipped out of balance... again.
I was so afraid it'd be hard on us to get our family on this day-shift routine after 11 years of nights and I dreaded it all weekend. But now I see (as usual, after the fact) that the Lord always has a plan and His will is always better for us in the end. Did I mention my DH is doing pretty well adjusting to his new shift and has been granted some much-needed overtime hours? My husband needing the car this week wasn't an accident either; I believe God was giving me a taste of much-needed rest and time to think, so that when we do jump back into the grind, we can always remember to keep that proper balance in our lives. I've known this balance was important all along, but every few years I find that the Lord tends to need to refresh my feeble memory about how it all needs to work. :)