Finding the Rhythm

Life is full of rhythms.

Day and night.

Sun and rain.

Work and play.

Workout and rest.

Serve and recharge.

I’ve found that it’s important to embrace these rhythms rather than fight them.

It is perfectly okay to have an unproductive rest day after a busy day of go go go-ing.

My body needs it.

My kids need it.

They love rhythm, and thrive with routines.

Their natural internal clocks are spot-on everyday somehow. Even with the changing seasons they rise at 6am sharp.

Kids are especially in tune with natural rhythms.

In a way that’s how I discovered my need for it too.

We can all benefit from some quiet time in the afternoon, even if it isn’t a nap. It’s a break from the busy-ness of the day and a way to recharge for the evening happenings.

It’s okay to be alone after spending a lot of time around people. I’m an extrovert and I still need that!

It’s okay to be boring. It’s okay to not always be accomplishing something.

As long as we recognize that it’s a rhythm we won’t get stuck in a rut of doing nothing.

Instead we’ll be refreshed and ready for the next adventure.

Yesterday Josh and I were outside literally all day with both kids. We took a day trip to the country and played in a beach and a creek for hours. We swam, ate, swam, ate, swam. We played in sand. We dried in the sun. We weren’t on our phones except to snap some pictures.

It was a great day.

But it was also exhausting for our 1.5 year old, who skipped his main nap of the day.

Today he’s slept most of the morning away, and Malachi has wanted to watch movies all morning, mixed in with quiet play.

I’ve been chilling on Pinterest. We don’t have television, and books and podcasts aren’t as restful to me as browsing pretty images.

All this to say, I think our society puts too much pressure on us to always be doing something productive.

I personally put a lot of pressure on myself to always be doing something for my betterment – whether it be working out, learning something, making something, visiting someone, doing chores, or teaching my kids hands-on.

But self-care isn’t selfish.

And sometimes all we need is to turn our minds off for a moment without guilt.

To watch a movie or browse Pinterest or simply sit out in the porch watching clouds without feeling like we’re “wasting time.”

Maybe time just wants to be “wasted” every now and then.

Not all of it of course, but a portion of it. I believe there should be an ebb and flow to the crazy and the lazy.

Those rainy days in the summer give us a good excuse to stay in and watch movies as a family.

Every evening God lets the sun set as a reminder that we need sleep.

Once a week the Sabbath comes around when we’re supposed to rest from our work and recharge and reflect on God’s goodness.

The seasons are a reflection of the earth resting, sleeping and then coming alive every spring.

Yes, even God rested after he created. Not because he “needed” to but because he wanted to show us the rhythm. He was setting an example of how life was meant to flow – like the ups and downs of notes on a sheet of music.

In teaching my children, I want to embrace this rhythm rather than fight it.

Part of the beauty of homeschooling / unschooling at this age is that we can go with the flow without pressure and deadlines.

We can take those naps.

We can play in the sun.

We can read books quietly.

You might call it lazy.

But I call it balance.

I call it childhood.

I think one of the most beautiful gifts I can give my children is the gift of a simple childhood.

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One Comment

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  1. Great points and well said. I think people tend to write about productivity as a counter-balance to the distractions of modern life. Then others (or the same people) write about simple living/slowing down as a counter-balance to the productivity. And when it’s one-sided, it’s not only unbalanced and unrealistic but tends to focus only on my needs. But you’re right, we need both. Each serves the other, and it allows us to serve others without burning out.

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