Two weekends ago, my husband and I were able to get away to the mountains for a wonderful, relaxing time celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary. It was glorious! We took drives, walks, sat outside listening to the birds, sipped tea and coffee, read (my reading was for pleasure, his for work, so for him it sounds way better than it actually was). We watched movies, visited Beaver Creek Village, rode the ski lift, climbed the ski slopes, enjoying amazing views. We played a little bocce ball, soaked in the hot tub, listened to some live music, enjoyed local food. Just to be away with each other with no distractions, no responsibilities. So. Good.
Yet somewhere in the midst of all that good, free, lovely time, we remembered we did have a responsibility. One that involved our family. One that involved our time.
Many times a year, our small group from church gathers to fellowship, worship, eat, pray and play. On two of those occasions, we have to bring our calendars to sync up and plan our get-togethers. We don’t always look forward to these calendar sessions — with four different families (18 kids), it’s not always easy to find dates that work for everyone. But, we know how important it is.
So, when Brian asked me to bring my calendar to our weekend getaway so the two of us could have a “calendar session”, I groaned. How is it that we have to sync up our calendars???
If you have children who are involved in any activity outside of school hours, then you know.
We did it. We met. We had our little calendar session. Fall is my favorite season. But, this year? It’s a little tricky. B’s coaching, Aaron and Ben are in theater, Drew and Jake are playing soccer. It didn’t take long to figure out that three nights a week family supper would have to be around 8pm. Two nights are whoever-shows-up-will-eat nights. Early into this calendar session, B tossed his pen down and said, “That’s it. I’m quitting my job!”
That sounded enticing. At first. Then we realized that wasn’t possible. Nor was it what the Lord was moving us toward.
What we realized is this — there are seasons in a family’s life when even greater intentionality are required. There are seasons in a family’s life when creative planning are necessary. I put B’s games on the calendar, marking the dates that Drew and Jake would miss soccer practice in order to continue watching Valor soccer and cheering Daddy on. We planned for those late supper times (I’m not a fan of late-eating, but sometimes you just have to “take one for the team”). We chose a One Year Bible devo book to enjoy (hopefully) together at night.
When all was said and done, I was proud of my husband. If you know him, then you know he loathes the ‘p’ word. That word is rarely uttered from his mouth, and when it is, he stumbles over it like a stuttering school boy telling a cute girl how he feels. P…P…P…P…l…an. I can say it just fine. Plan. Brian? That word is his arch nemesis.
As I think back to my own childhood, I remember similar seasons. Due to work schedules and sports’ practices, our family meal became breakfast — we’d read the Word together, laugh, take time to connect. We found other ways to do this, too, but it looked differently, more than it ever had before. And that was OK.
I wish we could all just throw away our calendars, because if we’re honest with one another, we’ve become a people who are enslaved to them. But, I know that’s not possible. There’s no wisdom in that. But, what we can do is live with GREAT intentionality and be creative with our time.
May we be a people who make time with our families a priority. May we be a people who intentionally spend time together, connecting, listening and loving each other. May we be a people who creatively figure out how to be together. May we not be afraid to have calendar sessions. 🙂