I can't believe that it is November already. I know that I probably say that about every month, but it really is hard to believe that winter will soon be here. Although, all I had to do was go outside this morning to believe that it's coming! It is soo cold out!
This time of year makes me want to start a fire in the fireplace, cuddle up under a quilt with a good book, and a cup of hot chocolate! One of the nice things about the weather getting colder is that we stay inside much more and (hopefully) things start a slower pace in our life. That is the plan anyway!
One of the areas of our life that my family struggles is with time. We have 5 children and there always seems to be something going on. One of our children has special needs and has quite a few appointments each month. Another of our children has a medical condition (which has finally been sorted out-Praise God!) and we were sorting through that. One of our children likes sports. We have piano lessons, and soon guitar lessons. We are busy with church activities like small group and youth group. Then there are the school obligations as well. Our calendar fills up very quickly!
My husband and I have been trying to figure out what we could leave behind, and what is truely important to our family. I heard someone say "Think if it will be important in 5 or 10 years from now. If you think it will, keep it....if it isn't important, it can be let go." So we've been trying to think things through. One of the things we kept coming to was our daughters basketball schedule. She just got done with volleyball. She loves volleyball. She is good at volleyball. She plans to play all through high school. It is a joy to go to her volleyball games and see the progress she has made, and the joy that the game brings her. It is different with basketball. She doesn't truely enjoy the game. She doesn't completely understand the plays. She is just not that good at it. She rarely plays during the games. Her heart isn't completely into the game. But she likes the socialization of it, and she likes being a part of something almost every other girl in her class is a part of.
Basketball runs from November through February. Between practices and games, it consumes 4-5 days of her week. Of OUR week. When we look at our calendar, it makes me cringe. Especially during the holidays. Last year we could hardly find time in the week to do our annual drive to look at Christmas lights. We certainly didn't do much reflection on the meaning of Christmas as a family. This was NOT OK with me. I was very distressed about that last year, and told my husband that we needed to do something different for this year. He agreed and after much discussion, thought and prayer, we decided that basketball must go. We discussed it with our daughter and although she wasn't happy about it, we didn't have any fighting about it.
This was a hard decision for us. We didn't want to have to tell one child that she can't do something she wants to. None of our other children play sports. But adding to the difficulty of this decision is that sports is a big deal in our school. Seriously, when we've told different parents that we decided not to have our daughter participate in this sport, we've gotten a lot of hurtful responses. It is sometimes hard not to go along with what the world says is important.
But we are looking forward to the next few months. Basketball practice starts tonight, and our daughter just mentioned it to us in a conversation. Just a casual mention. She is past the decision, has accepted it and moved on. It was great validation that we made the right choice. We are looking forward to the cold winter nights where our entire family is at home together. We are looking forward to celebrating the holidays uninterupted. To have the flexibility to choose what we want to do with our children and when we want to do it. It is going to be a great winter!
Have a great day!