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In April of 2010 my husband, Dan, traveled to the East African country of Uganda. Dan and his friend, Michael, were traveling on the first o...
Once upon a time there was a sweet little family of four. There was a Daddy and a stay-at-home-Mommy and a little girl and a baby boy. Life ...
In order to give some context to our “Big Announcement,” let me first share a story... Years ago, Dan and I served a refugee community min...
Dan and I have intentionally not shared many of the specifics related to our adoption. Most people generally know what we did, why we did it...
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Thursday, January 13, 2011
1/13/2011 09:13:00 PM | Posted by ShellyO | Edit Post
It's been two weeks and this precious girl has melded beautifully into our family. She's a big sister to Baby Charlotte, a little sister to Madeline, a faithful friend and great playmate to Davis and Joseph and a daughter -- a real daughter!! to Dan and me.
But here's the thing -- our Hannah seems a little confused by the American way of life. While it may be perfectly normal for young American children to wake up in the morning, hang out in their jammies, eat some breakfast, eventually get dressed and then play the day away, that pattern is sort of weird to the rest of the world, even children. Hannah enjoys playing with her brothers and sisters but she's just not comfortable with the idea of simply "hanging around" all day. She's used to working and serving and spending her day in purposeful, necessary ways with perhaps a little time for play. Here in America it's the exact opposite scenario; our children play and relax and watch cartoons and entertain themselves (or have someone entertain them) with perhaps a few light "chores" here and there. There is no water to fetch, no fields or cattle to tend to, no pan of dishes to clean, no washboard for scrubbing clothes. It's just fun, fun, fun all the time.
Hannah doesn't really want fun, fun, fun all the time. When I get out the broom, she is begging to help. After dinner, she sticks by my side until the very last crumb is wiped from the table. She loves helping with laundry and dishes and jumps at any opportunity to simply be useful. She just seems to think all the free, idle time is kind of weird.
This is just an observation, I don't really know what I'm trying to say about all this -- except that I think I am inclined to agree with little Hannah. When you think about it, this is kind of a weird way to spend so much time, and I confess that it makes me wonder what I'm really teaching my children with this typical American way of life.
One of my goals for this year is to be more intentional about the way my children spend their time. I'm all for playing and laughter and kids being kids. But I'm also for having children who understand that free time and playtime is a luxury and not a God-given right for every minute of every day.