Yesterday we packed up the family (minus Sally….dang rules about “NO DOGS….”  argggg) and headed a surprisingly short distance to Rancho San Antonio.  It’s an open space preserve.  I love those three words….Open.  Space.  Preserve.  Ahh……sounds like calm monk-like music.  Lavendar.  Chamomile tea.

The short 10 minute drive was a ticket to refreshment for me.  Open expanses.  Grassy, green hillsides.  Wildflowers.  Cute animals.  Family time.  A picnic in an old, abandoned barn.  YEE-haw!

One of my favorite moments was Alex’s LOUD, audible response after chugging some of his water.  It was like we’d taken him on a Mt. Everest hike or something.  He NEEDED that water.  The refreshment.

I needed it too.  Water?  yes, but more so….outside space and time with the family.  Next week is Screen Free Week.  Ugh.  Those words just about make me stop in my tracks.  Wish I was better at just saying no to tv, but sometimes, it’s a nice escape. 

But, in light of our great day yesterday, I’m going to give it a try.  I’ve got a LOT of excuses….next week is Spring Break.  AND it’s Holy Week.  AKA, Matt’s busiest week of the year and older child {I won’t mention any names….} will be home the WHOLE week.  I love him.  He’s just quite….en-er-ge-tic.  Sometimes a well placed dvd or PBS show is a survival technique.  However, is a dvd or PBS show refreshing??  Not so much.  Maybe for ME!  But, not really for my munchkin.

So, out and about we will be, next week.  Our landlord’s having the outside of our house painted too, so that’s more incentive to get our rears up and moving.  Seriously.  Who wants to be sitting around ingesting lead-paint dust that will be blowing around as they prep the house?

And on the deeper level of this all….my friend, Daren sent Matt and I this quote last night.  It slipped into my inbox just after I’d been jarringly awoken by Alex having a screaming nightmare.  I wasn’t feeling so loving and warm and fuzzy.  Thus, these words from Tim Keller, sent by Daren, were just what I needed.  A reminder that I am called to be a “refreshment agent”.

Children come into the world in a condition of complete dependence. They cannot operate as self-sufficient, independent agents unless their parents give up much of their own independence and freedom for years. If you don’t allow your children to hinder your freedom in work and play at all, and if you only get to your children when it doesn’t inconvenience you, your children will grow up physically only. In all sorts of other ways they will remain emotionally needy, troubled, and overdependent. The choice is clear. You can either sacrifice your freedom or theirs. It’s them or you. To love your children well, you must decrease that they may increase. You must be willing too enter into the dependency they have so eventually they can experience the freedom and independence you have.

There you have it.  Pretty much put me in my place.

So, take on the challenge of refreshment.  Get outdoors.  Move your legs.  Gulp lots of water.  Turn off the tv.  And if you’ve never commented before (or even if you have…), take a minute to share some ideas and tips.  Lord knows, I need them.  Especially next week!

Just don’t suggest any CRAZY adventures for us….watch out for Mt. Lions, Drew!

2 thoughts on “Refreshment

  1. I love that~ decrease so that they may increase~ so true yet difficult at the same time. What a total sacrifice on the part of us as parents. Yet, I then look to Holy Week, and the sacrifice that our Father made so that we may increase~ nothing in comparison ~ I love your outdoor adventure~ Alex is such the hiker….why not a little of that every day~ why not?

    Love you~ ❤

  2. I’m gonna make recommendations, with 2 categories (costs money and doesn’t):

    Costs $$$:
    -Happy Hallow (Pet Animals & Ride Kiddy Rides, etc.)
    -Children’s Discovery Museum
    -The Tech Museum
    -San Jose Giants Game w/ post-game fireworks (sometimes you can get free tickets at OSH)
    -SF Zoo
    -Fireworks Ceramics in Mountain View (Painting some ceramics)
    -The Jungle (Indoor play structure, like Discovery Zone)
    -The Mystery Spot (in Santa Cruz)
    -Sky High (jump house)

    Free Stuff:
    -Beach day in Santa Cruz (Also Natural Bridges Park has tide pools and migratory Monarch Butterflies near this time of the season)
    -Plant a Veggie Garden (although the painting may be an issue
    -Make and/or fly a kite
    -Sanborn-Skyline County Park (Saratoga)
    -Vasona Park (Los Gatos)
    -Play in the San Jose Fountains at Cesar Chavez Plaza Downtown
    -I may be able to talk a friend in to taking you and the lad shark fishing with him next week (he catches them for display in aquariums)
    -James Lick Observatory (Thu-Sun 12PM-5PM) and walk around Grant Ranch or Alum Rock Park after

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