Thursday, May 24, 2012

Not eSSSential (giving up the good)

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Those days of soda, and pretzels and beer.
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. You'll wish that summer would always be here."

It is summer break here in the Hippie household. (have I mentioned that yet this week?=))
Our past two summers have been crazy busy. I have always thought that summer should be a laid back time. Sunning, swimming, playing and resting. Yet it seems like our past few summers have been anything but fun and restful. They have been a marathon of running from one activity to another. Every evening scheduled. Family from out of town visiting, one after another, for months. (family-I'm not exactly complaining, just stating facts. I love you too.=)) It isn't relaxing. And though it is fun, it is exhausting, making you long for the structure of the school year. The structure which you were so happy to give up in the spring for the fun of summer.

My online community has been stressing "giving up the good for the best." We are trying to give up something each week, and then share it to encourage each other. None of us are superwomen who can do everything.
our baby birds
Each week I am reaching Thursday and thinking up what good I gave up this week. Sometimes it is a stretch (like not ironing cloth napkins, but still using them=)). This week I went all out on the giving up.=)
I gave up three "S's".
(Bible) Study

Seriously, we were done with school. We had accomplished my goals for the year. And, let me tell you, it is amazing how much free time I have had this week. I even got my cleaning done on their scheduled days. Which hasn't happened in months.=)
I have not really given up Bible study-just the formal study that I attend throughout the school year. It actually finished up this week. No more lesson, or homiletics or phone calls, or two meetings a week. Sigh.=) More free time. I do have things I am studying for the summer as Mr. Hippie and I are running 4 VBS's. But, my study time is much less structured.
No, the biggie is the schedule. I am purposefully living a schedule-free summer this year. I am not packing my days or nights with activities. I am not getting the kids up at a certain time for breakfast at a certain time. We are going to make our days more rhythmic. And we are going to enjoy the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
Meres and I. She is growing up too fast. linkup

I have read a lot recently about "core competencies." These are the things that you, and only you, can do. This summer I am giving up the not core stuff, and I am focusing on the core. Also, good time management dictates that you should spend your best hours doing your core competencies. I am a morning person. I love the crispness and quietness of a new day. And my mornings are going to be spent on what is important to me. This would be...
Devotions-my personal time with my Lord and Savior. I have made a pact with myself to not touch the computer until AFTER I have taken time to read the Bible and pray. To learn from God, and to speak to God. To feed my soul. To feed this relationship of utmost importance. My goal on this blog is to help you renew, wait, run and walk. But if I am not taking the time to do the same, things are not rightly aligned.
Blogging-I am writing my posts next thing each day. When I am fresh, and my mind is fresh. I get the kids fed, and then they are reading or playing. I am making this a priority because I feel God wants me to invest time into it. I can hear the naysayers, "you blog?" Yes. After this time, I try to shelve the computer for most of the remainder of the day. I am not doing quite so well with this part of it, but I am trying.=)
Reading- We have started literary lunches.=) Doesn't that sound important? I love reading, and my kids love reading. But I don't read that much to my kids. Well, I decided that I have to rectify that. This is the summer of Harry Potter. (if you hate HP, I hope that this news hasn't lowered me in your opinion.=)) The HP books are some of my favorite ever. They are well written, and I am excited to be sharing them with my kids. They are really getting into them. End of chapter three, shelve it to tomorrow, but no, "who's knocking?" Please read another chapter.=) Oh, and not only am I reading to the Hippie kids, but they are doing lots of reading themselves. And so am I. I am alternating fluff and stuff with life changers. I am very excited to be reading again. Reading is one of my first loves. And I have neglected it too much lately. But not this summer. Library-watch out!
Literary Lunches
Mr. Hippie-we have been running together, after drinking our first coffee of the day together. I love having this time to connect. But we are also restructuring our late afternoons too. Jesse wrote on Tuesday about "porch time" and I was struck with what a great idea this is. My goal is to have dinner started, but when Mr. Hippie arrives home from work, to spend 20-30 minutes just reconnecting with him. We can drink iced tea or coffee, and chat. Then he can take a shower and I can finish dinner. It has been great-the past two days.=)
"Porch" time, though we aren't sitting on our porch
These are my core kids, my husband, my Lord, my ministry, my friends. These things are my primary responsibilities, and my first loves. They deserve my best time. I am sure other things will try to fill my time, but these are what I am purposefully focusing on this summer. I will work to keep my schedule unscheduled so we can enjoy the summer. I am giving up running from one activity to another. I am giving up trying to make everyone happy. I am focusing on making this the best summer ever. Not because we are doing big things, but because we are together.

That is the BEST!