Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slowing Down And Enjoying the Fruits

 The Sunday Gospel for August 4th was:
Gospel: Lk 12:13–21
Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, “Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance.” He replied, “My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?” Then Jesus said to the people, “Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life.”
And Jesus continued with this story, “There was a rich man and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought: ‘What shall I do? For I am short of room to store my harvest.’ So this is what he planned: ‘I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I may say to myself: ‘My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him: ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you; tell me who shall get all you have put aside?’ This is the lot of the one who stores up riches instead of amassing for God.”

After having one of the busiest weeks we've had all summer
(and we've had a lot of busy weeks)
our wonderful priest gave a timely homily following this Gospel.

(it was as if he was speaking only to us)
He talked about slowing down in our busy world
He talked about family and the importance of 
being together as a family as much as possible.
He explained that when he was younger, he was in swimming.
He was also in Boy Scouts and his parents made the decision 
when he was in 7th grade to have him drop swimming and 
focus on one thing, Boy Scouts, and earning his Eagle Scout Award.
At the time he was not happy with his parents.
He was later able to join swimming again in 9th grade.
He said it was a decision his family had to make for the 
better of the family.

 If we are running all the time,
where is the time for God?
How can we listen to Him?
Where is the time for family?
Where is the time to actually enjoy family?
Tom and I talked
and decided to clear everything that following week
(except a trip to Fargo to visit friends for the day)

The fruit of that was so noticeable to us
that we decided to really try hard to clear things more often.

We told the kids we were not going anywhere, 
having anyone over 
or planning anything.
Which meant they had to play with each other.

This was not taken happily, 
let's just say a couple girls had tears that lasted a day an a half. 
 Pressure off, was what it was like
For me and surprisingly, later,  for them.

We've cut down on activities a little
Band is out
American Heritage Girls out
We've cut down on playing with friends, 
They now have one day per week to plan something

 With a larger family,
life is busy enough just with the day to day "stuff"

They still have plenty to do
Uni cycling
Homeschool Theatre (if it comes up)

(he finally looked at the camera and I was not ready!)
 We were calling and getting together with friends almost every day 
which is nice, but too much time away from each other.
 I've seen the kids come together 
and actually enjoy being together,
playing games
playing outside
swimming together
 I am guilty of filling up the calendar 
and planning things, 
even for this beach day,
last minute I invited people via Facebook
(sandy veggie chips, anyone?)
 It turned out to be too last minute 
and we spent the day by ourselves
 which turned out to be a blessing
they played so nice together,
I can actually say there was no fighting!
So in the end, 
we can turn off the TV, the computers,
our phones 
and actually listen to God
and spend our time with what
He has blessed us with.


  1. I love this, Jamie Jo. So very, very true. This is a major reason we decided to home/cyber clear out the clutter and focus on us. Thanks for inspiring me to remember what it is all

    And yours is beautiful, by the way! : )

  2. Very, very wise words. Building a family is so much more important than the other activities. And can I say that Sim's little tummy is the cutest ever?

  3. Yay! I love this post! I know others in our homeschooling group think we are boring, but if we start running around a lot the house falls apart, I don't get things done at home the way I like to, and the kids don't get along nearly as well. I've always felt like it's not worth sacrificing a peaceful and happy home life just to keep up with all the activities everyone else thinks we should be doing. :o)

  4. I wish we had that option. Now that school is out for summer/fall vacation, I have a little more time to relax and enjoy the time away before the last baby comes. But then Sean and I have both started college back up and that takes a lot of our time as well. Even our precious weekends are filled with homework and extra "work' work for Sean. We have started a "family movie night" on Fridays though (when we can actually fit it in)and that has been fun. We really do need to take a step back and spend more time just enjoying each other, it's just so hard with a big family...

  5. I'm so glad you're doing this, Jamie. I find when we have too much planned I get worn out and short -tempered, and then the kids get nasty. Kids like a lot of activity because they enjoy the fun without the work involved. But too much activity is too much stress for everyone. I hope you enjoy a slower pace and maybe some quiet once in a while to hear the voice of God.

  6. PS LOVE the picture of all the girlies in the sand!

  7. Enjoy that slow pace, Jamie Jo!! It's good to remember to inhale and exhale. Many of times I am only inhaling...(well it feels that way!) Blessings to you the rest of this week. Enjoy the peace-filled moments!

  8. Thanks for the affirmation. Sometimes I feel so boring because we don't do a lot of "stuff" and we drop everything to spend time hanging out as a family whenever we can. Our days are quiet and full of love and ordinary-ness. With Shaun's work schedule our time together is precious. Tonight when I found out he'd be home by 5pm (he's up at 4am and gone before 5 everyday... except the ones when he's out BEFORE 4am) early (usually it's more like 6/6:30 on the EARLY nights and then we just have time for dinner, maybe a walk with Daddy while I tidy up or am making dinner, and bedtime prayers, story etc...) Well, tonight we went to the beach for about an hour, which is good for the littles, and then home for bed, but it was just nice to spend a little time together doing something fun and some memory making. I feel that we need to build the time and memories within our little family FIRST before we worry about everything else. Life is more peaceful that way too.

    Glad you enjoyed the time together. Loved the pics. Your children are all so beautiful.

  9. You are way more social then me!
    Anyone who says homeschoolers are not social..think again!

    You even had girlfriends over today!
    Colette has had only two playdates this whole summer and one was for the beach the other day. but then Jonathan didnt have anyone to hang with.
    Jonah played with him a little. more like tackle.

    Jonathan hasnt had one playdate this summer. Either has Jonah. Zach goes into town to visit some of his buddies.

    I totally agree with this post. Too much running for a family is not good. a little but not too much.

  10. Really beautiful, Jamie Jo. You are a wise momma ;)

  11. So resonates we me as too much busy-ness robs our peace.

    Our 4 each have a sport and THAT keeps us busy enough. They see friends then and at Church on Sunday and the rare get-together...and they have each other. Sometimes when I see people so overbooked and chaotic, always in the car I wonder....what are they running from??

    That quote about being a human being, not a human doing has always stuck with me and I find myself more protective of our family time, to nurture it. God bless you and yours, Jamie Jo!

  12. I just wrote a post about this, but not nearly so well! I am feeling it too.

    God bless!

  13. Great post! Thanks. I totally agree. Trying to slow down a bit here too!


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