Thursday, February 2, 2017

God's Gifts

Dirt. Stones. Pine cones. Leaves. Sticks. Acorns.

My kids wouldn't know how to live life without these inexpensive and found-nearly-everywhere commodities.
Sure, water boots and shovels add to the fun, but they're certainly not required.

Every vine is a swing. Every hole is a bunker. Every log is the base for a fort. And every rock is a lookout. Though I'm not sure what they're bunkering from or looking out for.
My older boys run ahead with air soft guns; my younger two follow behind with sticks that still suffice as guns or bows and arrows. And I smile at how innocent it is and how simple it is, and then I whisper a prayer that it really does stay innocent and simple and that we emerge from the woods unscathed.

Because three of my kids are boys.
There are a hundred and one things I wish were different about my home; but there are a hundred and one things I love about my home. Baking up to the woods and the creek and the lake are top reasons for never moving.

And, it's the end of January and we're walking around the woods in t-shirts for crying out loud. That is reason number one to say settled here in NC.
"Hey you guys, come here a minute," I say. They stop walking and run back to me. "What's your favorite thing about homeschooling?"

Unanimous: not sitting in a desk and getting to play outside.

Sometimes I need their reminders that they really do like the path we're on.
We walk and explore for nearly two hours. We observe heron, deer and coon tracks, and a just-out-of-hibernation copperhead.

My boys take turns flipping it and taunting it trying to get a reaction. No such luck. It was simply confused about being poked and made no effort to slither away from us.
My washing machine is no stranger to mud. My dryer is familiar with the feeling and the tune of tumbling pebbles from loose pockets. My hand vac knows its only job is to suck up dirt on my entry rugs. My half-bath sink understands that a black ring will settle on the bottom because creek grime is heavy and thick. My hand towels realize that dingy smear marks are a sign of rushed attempts to hand wash.
All of this?

A gift.

God's gift of fresh air. Of active bodies. Of interesting critters. Of unique sounds and sights everywhere.

But mostly, God's gift of time to enjoy this.

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