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Snapshots, Issue #001
November 27, 2008

Firstly, thank you so much for subscribing to my e-zine. This is a wonderful platform for me to be able to share my heart and ideas with you and hopefully in doing so, encourage you to create many "snapshot" moments with your children as you learn with them.

I have been so challenged since we did our study on Mary Cassatt to relook at how I do things. An artwork of hers on my refrigerator is a constant reminder to me that I need to really carve out time in this busy world to create blocks of time where we are unhindered by schedules,things to do or demands on our time. Time for fun, sponataneous moments- just doing life together and learning along the way...connecting.

For a while now our lives have seemed particularly busy and full, but I can't really tell you that we have been achieving all that much!

I read a book a few weeks ago called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.

One of the things he shared was about a doctor that took time out to go and do missionary work in Africa and found that although there were stresses, they were completely different to what he faced at home. He shares:

"In the absence of television, telephones and shopping centres, the inner life gets some long-needed attention. I often had time for a midday nap, to eat almost all meals with my family, and to enjoy having evenings and weekends relatively free as well. With a swimming hole nearby, complete with vine swing and surrounded by a gorgeous tropical rainforest we could always find fun things to do...we played table games, assembled puzzles together, read nearly thirty books aloud, and did creative things such as handcrafts and art. The leisure time also afforded the opportunity to meditate, listen to God more, and reflect on priorities and direction life should take."

That hit such a note with me!

We do lots of fun things together, but sometimes I am there physically but my mind is in another place thinking a million thoughts! There is just something about the quality of life when we are rested, relaxed and focused!

Now you may be asking what this has to do with fun learning activities, well for me at the moment, everything!

Creating memories and those "snapshot" moments with my children as I learn alongside them means that I need to spend time with them without having a load of other stuff milling through my mind and feeling overwhelmed by the busyness of life.

One of the habits that I have tried to instill with my children is a time each evening with each child reading aloud to them. My daughter and I are reading The Secret Garden together at the moment. Mary has just found her way into the secret garden after finding the buried key.

"It isn't a quite dead garden," she cried softly to herelf. "Even if the roses are dead, there are other things alive."

She did not know anything about gardening, but the grass seemed so thick in some of the places where the green points were pushing their way through that she thought they did not seem to have enough room to grow. She searched until she found a rather sharp piece of wood and knelt down and dug and weeded out the weeds and grass until she made nice little clear places around them.

"Now they look as if they could breathe," she said , after she had finished the first ones. " I am going to do ever so many more. I'll do all that I can see. If I haven't time today I can come tomorrow."

As I read these words the other night, I realised several things:

There is a lot that I know very little about, but sometimes I just need to use what I have and start somewhere- isn't that what learning is all about?

I need to take time to dig out the weeds that seem to overcrowd the things that really matter.

When I remove some of the weeds, there is space to breathe.

So if you have been wondering why the progress on my website has been a little slow of late, it is because I have been taking out time to "weed" and refocus!

I would like to encourage you to "weed out" the things that make you unnecesarily busy, that distract you from the meaningful things, and give yourself space to breathe and enjoy your children.

"Wherever you are- be all there." Jim Elliot

I would love to hear any feedback from you and how about some "snapshots" that you have taken?



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