Real Life | Fall Playlist and Some Other Stuff

I want to talk about three things today. They aren't easily labeled however, so I'm gonna just type away and see if their names appear.

1) What We Value and Prioritize
It's the idea of putting money into family experiences {travel, hobbies, experiments, learning activities} rather than "things" {bigger houses, entertainment packages, etc}. But even as I write this I realize that everyone has different things that mean a lot to them and each can have value in the way they are used. We choose to tent camp rather than travel in an RV, but family vacations can be meaningful either way. We haven't bought into the world of Wii yet, but might find a time in our lives where it meets our family goals. I think that's the important thing -- be intentional about what you want as a family and then invest money/time/energy into those things.

We put money, time and energy into travel planning, outdoor adventuring, yummy foods to enjoy together, and crazy science and engineering activities. Our house is pretty small, isn't really decorated and our furniture is hand-me-down, but for now this suits us. I enjoyed reading this post by Sheena about after-school activities and iPods and other things that can eat up time and money and how they choose outdoor adventures instead. I'm right there with ya, girl. :)

And I LOVE this post by Dig This Chick -- she writes, "When we are hiking or swimming or skiing or biking or camping — we connect, deeply. We connect with ourselves, with each other and with the natural world creating a transcendent boom. Every step into the simple, lovely act of existing outside together pushes us into ourselves and opens us to each other." Seriously. And the photos. Are you kidding me? Making me want to go to Montana, lady.

2) Keep Planting Seeds
There's this thing that happens inside me. Like every few weeks or so. I'll be thinking about life and meaning and purpose and other such deep down things and I'll start to wish for the harvest. You know? Where you see all your work reaping rewards? Where you feel like it was all worthwhile? Where you know for SURE that you were doing the right things and making a difference in the world?

Maybe I'm the only one, but I desperately want to live life well. I haven't always known what that meant -- I still don't entirely -- but there's a deep ache in me that seems to tug and pull and make me search. I think it's God. I think He wants me to be authentic -- to live out the art that He's put inside me, to take off the masks and truly reflect His character to the world around me. He wants us all to stop it with the hiding and the guilt and the addictions and the shame and just enjoy the freedom and the joy of really living, awake to Him.

And when the kids are unruly and I wonder if my parenting is scarring them for life, I remember that it's just another day. There will be better, there will probably be worse, but we keep living life. I keep living life on purpose, with generosity for others and grace for myself.

I thought up these lyrics in the shower -- "we may not see the harvest, but we'll still keep planting seeds". That's it. Seed-planting time. 

3) Label the Emotions
My little Buzz is growing out of his 4T britches and showing such emotional growth as well. I want to write a whole post soon about Emotion Coaching, but I'll tell you what -- it has helped him greatly. He has gone from irrational fit-throwing and explosions of temper to emotional awareness and control. I overheard him say to his brother the other day, "Peter, I'm sympathizing!" And on another occasion -- "You made a really cool discovery, Peter!"

I see him putting himself in the other person's shoes, thinking about how they are feeling, and deciding to say things that will positively affect the situation.

AND NOW...for the playlist. Summer's songs were energy and ka-pow, these melodies are haunting, quiet, mellow. There are some Advent songs in there too. I LOVE this collection of songs on a cold fall's morn. I hope you do too. :)

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