We have two of our children, their spouses and six little grandkids staying here on our property right now. Jared and his family are here from Costa Rica and Ashley and her family parked their RV here and are living out of it most of the time. The cousins are having a blast together. And over the weekend Dan and I were presented often with tiny handfuls of wildflowers, handwritten notes and pictures, slobbery kisses and many hugs….and a lot of laughter.
We didn’t do anything spectacular. For our family, celebrating has never been about spending copious amounts of money or providing elaborate parties and events. Celebrating has been more about family time and sweet sentiments. The hand-written words of love and appreciation in a simple card brings tears to the eye and makes a more memorable impression than an expensive gift.
“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” Charles Kuralt
Yesterday I played I was the Queen (I like being the Queen!) and four of my princesses were to bring me whatever I asked for. Little Juliet (who is 3) brought me a rock she said was beautiful because “…it came from the envi-won-ment.” How many 3 year olds say that?! My son-in-love built a bonfire and as I watched the little ones chase ashes in the wind I had to snap photos. Talk about a beautiful moment. The tinkling sounds of laughter and squeals of excitement fell over our property like a blanket of fairy dust.
Because we had been gone for a week, Dan and I had a lot of work catch up. Emails to answer, newsletters, blogs, podcasts to do. Interviews to schedule, house to clean, laundry piling up. The list was long and stress-producing. But the squeals of laughter and tiny feet running through the yard were more important. The work will wait. The house won’t fall apart because it isn’t tidy and neat. So for two days, we played. We lapped up all the love of family we could and it was so worth it.
If I truly believe the love of family is the nucleus of Creating a Haven of Peace, I have to continually work on knowing when to stop work and engage in playing… listening… interacting. Not always easy when there are so many people, projects and events pulling at you. If I take being a role model seriously, I have to remember that my children and grandchildren are watching to see if I play as hard as I work. In our world where being busy seems to be a badge of honor, finding this balance isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of giving yourself permission to rest and enjoy. I know from experience, when I flip that switch and go from work mode to play mode I don’t fret about what isn’t getting done. I firmly believe that play shouldn’t be relegated only to children. It is an essential part of our lives and needs to be scheduled in for a balanced life…and for sanity.
Do you take time out to play without feeling guilty? I’d love to hear how you spent your weekend! Hope all the Mothers had a delightful celebration yesterday!