Families are like purses: It doesn’t matter how big or how small–they are always full. It doesn’t matter how many or how few are in your family, family–and everything that goes with it–fills your life.
I have yet to meet a parent who finds out that I have seven children and then stands back and says, “I only have one and we have so much time. We go to the park every day and sit and wonder what we are going to do tomorrow. How do you fill the time?” I think every time people have learned about the number of children I have, they have said something along the lines of, “Seven?! How on earth do you have time for everything with seven?!” My usual answer is, “You are just as busy as me, families always take all your time.”
I don’t think I have ever seen a parent carrying an empty purse or backpack. If asked what was filling those bags, most parents would probably answer with a list of “parenting necessities”. However, you probably sat down at one time or another, decided to clean out the bag and found all sorts of items that would definitely not fit on the necessity list. In fact, sometimes a good portion of the bag is taken with items that have no value and are just filling space. So too with your family life, you may wonder what it is that takes all the time…why is it that we are always rushing here and there? When thinking generally about your family life, it probably seems that most items in the schedule fit into the needs column. Have you taken the time recently to do some inventory? Are there any items in your “bag” that are not the true demand that you once thought, or have no value other than to take up time?
We all have the same amount of time, it’s really just a matter of how we want to use it. Sometimes things that seem worthwhile, can in the end just be taking up space. As we fill our lives with activities, and use the space in our time bags, it’s so important to be intentional about the value of a particular commitment. If it isn’t moving you and your family in the direction you want to go, take the time to throw it out. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to live with a life that is full of meaning, rather than a life that is full with meaningless time takers.
What fills your family’s bag?
Questions or comments for Lisa? Comment here or email her at Lisa@thecharlottemoms.com