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10 things that 36 hours without my kids reminded me

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1. Grandpas and doughnuts are a match made in heaven.
The one thing Grandpa Hungerford, my dad’s dad, did without fail every time we got to see him was to take us out for doughnuts. My dad is continuing the tradition with my kids, and I think it’s a pretty big hit.

2. My husband is a lot of fun.
Jason is the smartest, funniest Jesus-loving man I know. He surprises me every day with his thoughtfulness, insight, and sense of adventure. Over our extended weekend together he took me fishing and shooting, out to breakfast and dinner, and to see a movie. He seems to genuinely enjoy my company and he’s not so good at mini golf as to make me feel bad about myself. We had so much fun together that we’ve decided we need to make a long day-date a monthly occurrence.

3. I don’t like having to learn through experience.
If I had it my way, I would be able to read extensively on any subject and then be able to put that knowledge into practice flawlessly the first time I attempted something new. Alas, so many things in life you learn only by doing, which almost always frustrates me to tears on my early failed attempts at a new skill. Cooking, breastfeeding, and sewing were all like that. Fishing may turn out to be like that, too.

4. I love my kids.
I am rarely at home without my children. So I ran the vacuum, because they hate it. After that, I wasn’t sure quite what to do. When we were out running around, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about the fact that Caleb and Garrett weren’t with me, but at home the silence was unnerving, empty without all the ambient noise of giggles, battery-powered toys, and footsteps up and down the hallway. As I write this, Garrett is sprawled out on my chest, and I am thinking, “It’s good to have my babies home.”

5. Technology is a gift.
Despite being away from my kids, I hardly missed a second of what they were doing thanks to pictures on Facebook and in text messages. We even got to Skype with the boys from a park bench at Branson Landing. Do we ever really stop to take in the enormity of that? I got to see my children, from 45 miles away on a tiny computer I carry in my pocket. That’s crazy awesome.

6. Superman is my favorite superhero.
Man of Steel rocked. Go see it immediately, if not sooner.

7. Living close to our family is an undeserved blessing.
Springfield is home for me and Jason both. A few years ago, when we sensed God would soon lead us to leave youth ministry at Park Crest, our hearts were torn. We would have (and still will) follow God to the very ends of the earth, no matter the cost. But we were expecting our first baby, and the thought of taking him away from all of his grandparents, and to leave the built-in support system of having our family with us was devastating. We couldn’t have imagined any possible way to leave Park Crest and stay in our hometown. And then God gave us a vision for a new church in Ozark. In his grace, he called us to plant a church right where we already were, and my boys are growing up with no shortage of time with Nanas and Papas and Grandmas and Grandpas and aunts and uncles. We are so blessed.

8. God knew what he was doing when he commanded the Sabbath.
Do anything too long without a break, and you’ll burn out. A job. Parenting. Ministry. Housekeeping. If you haven’t in a while, take a break from your everyday life to rest and enjoy the good gifts God has given you.

9. Ozark needs a bagel place.
Sands and Rosie Jo’s are great when you want a greasy breakfast, but when all a girl wants is a bagel and cream cheese, Panera and Einstein’s are sorely missed around these parts. Please somebody, do something about this soon.

10. A good night’s sleep fixes almost anything.
If you have small children, you know what I’m talking about. Jason and I got two blessed mornings of getting up on our own timetable, and I’m telling you, it felt fantastic.

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