A couple days ago I read a post that reminded me of how differently we live. This last Wednesday Pioneer Woman went to the "big city" with her husband and their four kids. She did the Thanksgiving grocery shopping while the rest of the family went to a theater for a movie, popcorn and Twizzlers.
Nothing unusual about that. Millions of Americans do it monthly, at least.
My kids have never experienced that. From the looks of it, until they have jobs of their own, they may never know the inside of a movie theater.
No big loss, but it did remind me that much of America knows leisure time. Our outside-the-home leisure activities include visiting one of the several libraries in our area, or one of the several parks, or less often, a museum. Even then, our time is rushed due to Daddy needing the van for work.
I don't read many blogs anymore. Miss Beth's activity level, at twenty-three months old, makes it difficult to take little breaks. The few I read seldom give such life details, so I don't often think about how differently we live.
I stand in awe of God's grace.
He has taken so much from us. Even leisure time. And yet I have joy. I am fulfilled. Stressed, yes, but much of that is not financial. A special-needs eight-year-old child and a toddler with her hands into everything make stress my constant companion. My other three passed through the hands-into-everything stage, so I have perspective. This too shall pass.
If someone told me that, sometime after quitting my teaching career, I would....
... pay every utility bill a month late
...barely scrape up enough money for my house payment
...never take my kids to a decent restaurant, or to a movie theater
...never buy my kids or myself a new outfit
...not have a vehicle of my own
...always worry about how much gas I was using,.....
.....I would still be teaching. The fear would've been insurmountable. Such a lifestyle would never, never work for me, my head and heart would have screamed.
We look forward to library visits and park visits. All of us. There are so many around, and so much to do at each one, that we're always satisfied.
But how will my kids turn out, with so little knowledge of the world?
They'll be rich. Materialism will not have consumed them, distracted them, betrayed them. They'll know God's sufficiency, His power, His truths, His grace.
I stand in awe of God's grace.
My gratitude list:
- delicious sausage herb stuffing, pineapple/marshmallow sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, corn, steamed green beans, cranberry sauce, wheat rolls, gravy, and turkey (never mind that the nutrition data blog says that this meal is probably equal to 3000 to 4000 calories)
- My toddler, though impatient and stressed while Mommy cooked hour upon hour, did not prevent the meal from happening or being delicious (we had no guests to help entertain her).
- I managed to do two loads of laundry while I cooked, to keep the pile from being gargantuan the day after Thanksgiving.
- The library was open today and the boys actually found a Curious George video. They missed that cute little guy after we shut off the cable. So did I. Love that monkey! Too bad my toddler is not amused by library videos. None of mine paid any attention to television until after age two. Makes meal prep a stressful venture, let me tell you! Even so, Miss Beth hasn't received any burns from my busy stove. Praise the Lord! Now mind you, I've burned plenty of meals because of her. Can't wait until the day husband is home during dinner prep.
- this healthier, homemade hot chocolate mixture
- My aunt, who is leaving our area to spend the winter in Florida, came by tonight to give the kids a Christmas gift--20$ gift card to the neighborhood Pizza Hut restaurant. They are giddy with excitement!
- homeschooling around the holidays, and no cable TV (both prevent the gimmes)
- no money for Christmas, which means we'll experience the Christ in Christmas
- One of the libraries groups all the children's Christmas stories together. We can feast on them readily all month, without Momma having to search.
- With each passing day, I love Little Men more and more. Last night, after the boys went to bed, I did a search on Louisa May Alcott's life. Very interesting. I love that we're reading so many classics with good moral character as the central focus. Priceless. Kids remember lessons learned through story.
- My husband--loyal, faithful, hardworking, sacrificial. He missed college football so much on Thanksgiving day! I was sad for him. Good food softened the blow considerably. :) He ate so much he had to lie on the floor after the meal. Miss Beth thought that was great fun and crawled all over him.
Hope your day was special! Bless you, friends!
Just wanted to add that I need to write honestly on this blog. It helps me spiritually, intellectually, to write about things as they are. Never worry about us or think that you should offer to send something. I always appreciate your love and caring attitude, but God takes care of us. I'm not being stubborn or prideful when I say this. Really.
Love you, friends!