Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Taking it All In.

So we've started this new thing at our house. Actually, it's only been two weeks, so I'm not sure I can technically call it a thing, but I want it to be one. Maybe you've heard of it?

Sunday Night Dinner.

Yup, I just capitalized it all... as if it is it's own restaurant or something. Because it is... at my house on Sunday night. Mondays tend to hit us all hard and after much discussion between Jeff and I, we decided we needed a better transition. Maybe it's me who needs a transition, but either way, it's good for everyone when momma is relaxed, am I right?

So Sunday Night Dinner it is.

Last night was our second night. We had flank steak tacos, bacon wrapped dates and a cucumber + tomato salad along with chips and our favorite salsa. We set the table outside to enjoy the fruits of our labor from our weekend work. I love to cook, so it is important to me that the smells, sounds and warmth of the kitchen be a part of the whole thing.

Cooking dinner with three kids running down isn't the easiest. It's not the easiest with ONE running around. I have little eyes and noses trying to check out what I'm making to make sure it's to their liking. There are constant questions happening as to when it will be ready, what's in the salad and what can they have to drink. Is dessert going to be available if they eat well? Can they have a snack? I mean, come on y'all... let me cook dinner!

So last night, I put on my cooking playlist and made a plate of snacks for those who were waiting patiently. I had hummus, carrots, salami and almonds out.... so I didn't think they'd eat much to be honest... they were more for Jeff and I.

I noticed something by doing this, y'all... everyone ended up in the kitchen. No t.v. was on, just the music and all of our voices breaking through the chopping and sizzling that was happening. Jeff sat down and chatted with me as he snacked on the food and the kids came in and out grabbing stuff off of the plate.

I was standing at the stove checking my steak and almost tripped over a plastic tupperware that Landry had gotten out. I hastily kicked it to the side - most likely annoyed that I have to pick it up yet again. And then God whispered to me, "Soak it in, Becky. The noises, the toys, the hustle, the laughter... just take it all in, My daughter. It's not like this for long." This was not one of the almost-audible voices, but a very gentle nudging in my soul that came from nowhere... from God.

Soak it all in. 

It's a birthday week in our house so I'm a little more sentimental than normal. I have F I V E more years until I have a smelly teenage boy running through this house. That means I have exactly TWO seconds until he starts to hate us and be embarrassed of us, right? That is not long.

It's so cliche, and I hate it when grandmothers at the grocery store tell me this, but it really does go by fast. I tend to not be super sentimental, because I want to be deeply present in today. The hustle and bustle of the week - and even the weekend - tries to take me away from being attentive to today. The busy tries to steal my moments one by one and throw them into eternity, never to be seen again. But this week I will be intentional about being present in my moments.

That means setting my phone down often. That means turning the news off when I'm done watching it... it doesn't need to be my background noise. That means looking at my kids in the eyes and telling them how much I love them and letting that soak down into their little souls. That means kissing my husband - for real - before He goes to work.

It means letting the little mess ups and petty arguments do nothing to me, but moving on and taking it in stride. It means letting my kids be little, make a mess and teach them to clean it up. (I'm not crazy, y'all). It means noticing the little things in my moments... the sights, the smells, the sounds. The things that will stick in my mind years to come.

And that's why Sunday Night Dinner.

It's a marker that we are a family and God has placed us all together today. I hope that it serves as a reminder that this is where our loyalty lies... this is where our home is set. Together. Not in our house, not in our friends, not even in our dear community. But in each other, deeply rooted in our faith. I picture heavy discussions happening here. I picture family arguments happening here, tears being shed and burdens being carried. I picture laughter, hand holding and prayer happening here. I picture our family being strengthened, lessons being learned and people feeling known here.

My hope for Sunday Night Dinner is that it's something we look forward to more than not. That it's something done with intention and helps to solidify our family of five. A time in the week that grounds us and roots us together in Him.

No matter what happens during the week, or what is going to happen during the next week, my hope is to make a place for us all to take a deep breath, settle our souls and gear up for battle together.

The days are long, but the years are short. We only have this life once... and we only have our kids at home for such a little while. No matter how hard today is... and I know it can be H A R D... let's soak it all in for what it is...


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