One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God…
I would love to have “Be Still” tattooed on my wrist as a daily, or rather, moment by moment reminder to be still, to pause, to reflect, enjoy, be thankful in all things. This verse has been a sort of catalyst for Jason and I to change how we do life and make sure that what we choose to do and even spend money on has a purpose that is lasting and meaningful.
Over the last several years we have been working to simplify life. Create memories that are meaningful, focus on adventures and not materialism or overabundance of things.
Quite a while back we choose to streamline Christmas and give a focus to our gift giving. Our children only receive 3 gifts each from us and they represent the gifts given to Jesus by the Wise-men.
Gold – their most wanted item
Frankincense – something to represent worship
Myrrh – a gift for their body
We also give these gifts on Christmas Eve so they are separate from all the other gifts given by family and friends. We include Jesus birth story and the significance of what the 3 gifts represent and why they were given to Jesus.
As far as birthdays we gift adventures not things.
We have limited time with our children living at home and we want to make sure that when they leave home their heads and hearts are full of memories and their cars are not full of possessions that would be a burden and collect dust. The bonus is that when they become parents they most likely will give how we gave and encourage that generation to not be consumed with materialism.
This year for Thanksgiving Jason and I decided to forgo the huge, traditional meal that takes so much time to prepare where we over eat and eventually the leftovers get thrown out because there was too much food and it eventually got tiresome to keep eating over and over. As of late it just seems so glutinous.
So we are packing up all the camping gear, the dogs and exploring together for a few nights. Just the six of us, some books and games. It will be dark around 5 or 6 pm and our only light will be a campfire. There is something about a campfire that causes you to be still, relaxed, and free to let your mind wander, open up and share things and recall memories that bring laughter. I am sure bedtime could be earlier than normal (or later) but the extended quietness we will have in the evenings will be a well-deserved and longed for rest bit for all our minds and souls, even if the children don’t know they need that or even how much they truly want it. But as parents I feel not only are these forging of memories and time together one of our most important jobs but so is enforcing the rest from the sounds, clutter, light and busyness of the world.
Only one child is not excited about this idea. She like, her mom, loves certain traditions and planning of holidays but we learned it comes down to some of her favorite foods that we only seemed to really make at Thanksgiving. That is an easy fix…. I will just change-up another tradition slightly when we return from camping. I know she will be thankful and happy for the change.
I am even pondering how we can show our thankfulness and gratitude for our blessings by giving back in a way that will truly transform someone else’s life that needs it. I am so excited about this camping trip over any others ones we have taken thus far and I love how our learning to be still is changing how we are parenting and doing life together.