Last week was a true mountain-top experience! Our family went to Forest Home Family Camp and enjoyed hiking, kayaking, swimming, playing in the creek, horseback riding, lots of good food and hours of memorable play time away from all the distractions of life back in San Diego. Because our youngest doesn’t nap much any more, we “found” hours we didn’t have last year to explore many new places and activities. The teaching and worship times blessed me over and over as we read Scripture and shared stories with other families of God’s faithfulness in our lives since last year. I came home feeling a fresh sense of energy and purpose in my role as a mom and with renewed vision for our family as we continue through this summer and into the next school year.
Then we got home.
Determined not to lose the high of our great week, I got up early Monday and prepared breakfast for the kids before the start of my oldest’s summer school program. We read the Bible together at breakfast… punctuated by 3 time-outs for my older girls who weren’t listening, but instead were making pig noises as their little sister shoved toaster waffles in her nostrils. Undeterred, I made lunches, got the kids’ shoes on and carted them to my daughter’s school. During the ride, there was the usual bickering about whose CD to play, tattling about the youngest pouring her water on the floor instead of drinking it, and complaints from the oldest about the items in her lunch (despite her having chosen them moments earlier). Then when we got to the new school, there had been a mix up with my daughter’s medicine which meant lots of phone calls to doctors and pharmacists to sort it out. It was enough to make my head spin.
Day after day this week, we read our devotional, and I purposed to stay focused on the larger picture instead of getting sucked into the undertoe of life with three little ones. Every day was a lot like the first one, but by the end of the week, the kids were starting to ask me what we were going to read at breakfast. Once this week, Angel even reminded her sister of something we’d talked about when they were fighting later in the day. (Of course, we’re still working on the slap she delivered before the epiphany :). But the real joy is that I’m starting to see that we really can keep some of that great family time from up the mountain and have hope that we’ll grow week by week as a family in positive ways instead of just leaping forward during that one week of vacation each year. What a fun way to bring the memories home and draw on all we loved from our vacation together!