Keeping Priorities in Organized Chaos

With over ½ of our summer gone (scary thought!), and after lamenting that all of our plans for academic studies have gone awry, I find myself asking that all-too-familiar question: where has the time gone??!!

 To be sure, we have been busy.  In fact, I sometimes think that, regardless of what our car might look like to others, this is how it feels to me:

taxi in motion

original photo credit

 This would-be yellow taxi has gotten three kids to work, college, volunteer efforts, and even to camp outings with the church as the weeks progressed.    We have also continued with dance, to an extent.   After completing this year’s dance recital in early June,

micah the chimney sweep dance recital 2014

Our son was to teach his first ballet intensive at another dance studio in the city.   However, the Lord had other plans.   It was a bit disappointing for a kid who was about to make a substantial amount doing what he loves—a nod to his increasingly deep desire to dance as a career—as well as lesson in pride for mom and dad, but we press onward.   He and his sister (shown here with ice on her injured knee) were able to attend a workshop with “Dance Moms—Miami” stars Victor Smalley and Angel Armas.

micah and savannah with dance mom miami stars

I have been in school, too, blowing the dust off of my algebra skills as the oldest tackles her one required math course—online.   It was the only option available by the time she secured a job and clarified her work schedule.

With many kudos going to hubby and our youngest, we have managed a bountiful summer garden, and have even been able to use our first fruits to bless others.   This is a cayenne salsa made with our own red and green tomatoes and our own cayenne peppers.

cayenne salsa

Did I mention that our cup runneth over with cucumbers?   We should be very well hydrated!

Finally, I did actually repaint our kitchen (pictures to come in a separate post).  I also have plans to re-do the oldest’s room—at 19, she’s a bit old for the zoo animals stenciled on one of her walls (LOL!!)  I have to start thinking guest room.

Having said that, I have done very little that I actually set out to do when the summer started.  It would be very easy to beat up on Belinda as I find myself in that same predicament that I set out to avoid each summer—scheduling meaningful activities for the kids without overwhelming myself in the process.  But, unlike in previous years, I choose instead to focus on what good has come out of being this busy and ready for rest at the end of the day:

 I hug and kiss on each child and ask them what happened during the day.   And I listen.

 Does that “sound” strange to say/ write?   Perhaps not if you have ever been busy enough to where all you want at the day’s end is to sit and be left alone.   OR if you are in conversation with those loved ones around you, but you realize later that you cannot recall much that was said.   Those behaviors might not fit you well, but I imagine at some point there is someone in your life who felt neglected, even if only for a small moment.

It occurs to me that our kids might not be where I wanted them to be academically when our school year begins at next month’s end, but ultimately, that is not what they will reflect upon in years to come.  Years from now, I want them to know that when the day ended, Dad and I cared.   We loved them unabashedly, and we took a genuine interest in the things they found interesting.   And I am quickly becoming okay with the notion that doing so means that it might take an extra few weeks to get into that grade-level math book, or might require us to continue through early American history rather than progressing more rapidly toward the Civil War.   My victory this summer will be that I was at peace with prioritizing affection (defined as love, care, regard, and/or warmth) over activities, and that is victory indeed.

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