Many years ago, we determined that all the days when we were snowed in would become some kind of a vacation day for us. I am still getting back to normal anyway, and was in the mood to celebrate home, and to spoil my girls for working so hard, and traveling so much the last couple of months. I believe in helping children to learn to work hard and then we always play hard--a sort of reward for work well done. I have seen so many children over the years who grow up resenting ministry or missions or their mother's careers--so I have a filter in my heart that seeks to notice when I see any burn out coming from having too much of an outreaching or public life as a family or too many activities and then I draw my family in and refresh them and also myself, before we give of ourselves to the point of total burn out or exhaustion.
Sarah, Joy and I, pajama'd and fresh from long sleep, squatted in front of the fireplace, with shawls to keep warm. Since it was closer to lunch than breakfast, I looked in the fridge to see what was available. A sweet friend had brought a meal to spoil us the night before, and I had a small bag of pasta, left, so I cut it into small pieces with scissors. It became a pasta salad--tuna, English peas, chopped onions with a small amount of ranch dressing and mayonnaise mixed. Yumm--think I will do that again. fruit salad, cherry scones, (in my heart shaped pans--acquired at a sale after Valentine's day years ago), also, (I keep a stash of Sticky Fingers in my cupboard for easy scones when I do not feel like following a recipe) apricot raspberry jam and real clotted cream from the cupboard recently acquired; egg salad sandwiches on a whole grain baguette from the afore mentioned dinner; and maple ham sandwiches on my own loaf of homemade bread.
Passionately discussing amidst munchings and "this is great, let's do it again--can I have this for my girls at our picnic next week" covered such subjects as:
*why homes, beauty, love, relationships, friendship traditions speak to unanchored, wounded who long to see the touch of God but have never felt it in their own homes--and preaching will not help until they have felt the real love and compassion of God from a real person so they can understand, by experiencing what God is really like."
*how excellence cannot be passed on to children and youth unless they have seen it and had it intentionally been trained by it over and over again from parents. How different the very souls are of those who have not tasted the reality of discipleship as a way of life.
*I hope I marry a man who wants to have a life-giving home so we can reach out to those who have never experienced this kind of life--I want to marry someone who wants to have a little land for gardens and roaming for our millions of children and places to play for hours. Me, too. Wonder where we will find such men?!"
*education, and intelligence are not really acquired unless ideas are discussed, mulled around, digested in the mind, and owned by the one hearing such ideas--that education is a way of life and being--not just a curriculum to be followed"
*we should start a cooking club
*we should have a party for all of the dancers in my section of The Thorne (Easter production) so we can reach out to some of them.
*And then, reading out loud 2 picture books that celebrate Ireland--one by each girl and all done with an Irish lilt
And all of this as I sat and quietly drank my tea, allowing the princesses to pontificate to each other and the world--saying all those "Clarkson things" that have become a part of their own souls, watching them have fun, think, build bridges to each other's hearts, and rest. I do think more education has taken place at our tea parties and dinners than through almost anything else we have done. We set the stage and the Holy Spirit and life and fun seem to show up.
Then, all princesses had to help me clean the kitchen--to loud music, of course as we danced around the kitchen singing at the top of our lungs. a good time was had by all.......