I took this shot at a session last month, testing the light as the sun went down. Sometimes it takes going back through my camera roll to appreciate the beauty all around me. This is just down the way from our home, a place where the kids like to wander about, sometimes happening upon a sticker patch (which is a nightmare!) and other times just pretending to be on a great adventure. The big sticks they find are always the highlight!
I think I will always be one who struggles with letting go. Especially around the holidays or big life events, or even the busier times on the ranch, I get stressed. Sometimes I cannot even put my finger on why, but most of it has to do with having things in order. I don't like it when the beds aren't made. I don't like to have laundry pile up. I'm not a fan of the messes, and I can barely stand to have a dish in the sink overnight. If I'm honest with myself, those feelings keep me from doing better things. I've found this Fall, especially, as we're testing the homeschooling waters, that too much of that necessity for order at all times (with four teeny ones running around) keeps me from doing the things that need to be done...loving on my kids, actually teaching them things, and really, getting through the tiny amount of homeschooling that one in pre-k requires. Add to that getting ready for a new baby, and I'm not the most fun person to be around. I yell at the kids too much. I get too frustrated when a toy I just put away is back on the floor, and I expect too much out of everyone, myself mainly.
So, I have to learn to let go. And, not just pretend to let go in hopes that I can stay up late enough to get things how I like them since I've neglected them during the day. I have to learn to just not put so much value on things that matter much less than being a good mom to my kids. Because, you know what? For too long I've attached these things to being a good mom (or wife, or person for that matter), and none of it really matters.
In the midst of this cyclical realization (it's always the same things that come back to haunt me time and time again), I saw this article on someone's facebook page. It has reminded me to take into account the daily things we do, and how we do them, and the affect they have on the life we live. It's these constant tiny actions that make for a much bigger picture. I don't have to change the world. I just have to change my days, my decisions, my priorities in the little moments.
My friends put together an Advent Study. And, even though holidays can be some of the busiest times, I am going to try this year to celebrate the small things. I. Need. To. Slow. Down. Period. That's it. If that's the only thing I do differently this Advent, it will be a huge step in the right direction. I want to remember what it's like to be a child this time of year. And, I want to savor every single moment with these little ones. Same for you? Maybe you can get a copy of this study, too, and we'll be in it together!
And, as I strive for this daily change...I will be listening to this!
Let's let go!