Spontaneous.

Those who know me well know that I am a planner. Big time. I like to have my calendar organized well ahead of time. I needed to know the sex of my babies as soon as possible. Life works better when I have meals planned for the week.

Being spontaneous sounds fun…and don’t get me wrong, we do things spur-of-the-moment sometimes…but I just like knowing what’s going on. Spontaneity that works best for me is something like, “Oh hey, Saturday afternoon is open. Let’s do something fun that day!” as opposed to waking up on Saturday morning, realizing you have nothing going on, and deciding to take a day trip. And I fully realize that planned spontaneity, as I described in the first part of that last sentence, isn’t really spontaneity at all.

I swear I’m fun, you guys. It’s just that I’m a mom with a lot going on, just like most of you taking the time to read this right now. And being spontaneous fell off my list of important things a long time ago, replaced by things like “feed the children multiple times a day” and “holy crap there is nonstop laundry to be done” and “volunteer hours” and “oh my gosh, you’re hungry again?”.

(Frankly, it’s possible it was never ON the list of important things. I’m a firstborn. But I digress.)

On Friday, my brother Jake sent me a link to this great, short post by Tony Dungy. Here’s an excerpt:

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. I don’t know what important stuff you have in front of you. I don’t know what, or who, is bothering you or trying to set your schedule for tomorrow or the days ahead. But I wonder if we all need to do a better job of listening to that gentle whisper from a God who daily reminds us to enjoy the sacred moments with those we love—with our dear friends, with those who need us, and especially with our precious children. They are moments we will look back on with either regret or a smile.

Yes, Tony, I DO need to do a better job of hearing that whisper.

So on Friday after school, even though it wasn’t in our plans, we went straight to the park after the boys’ running practice. I realized that I almost never take them to the park anymore…yes, they’re getting older, but they still enjoy it when they’re all together, and that isn’t going to be the case for long. I also realize that going to the park isn’t as memorable as me jumping in the pool with my clothes on (um, seriously. I’m never doing that.), and that this might not even be something they remember in the years to come.

But there are 3 important things to note: 1. I didn’t die because it wasn’t in my plans. 2. The boys loved it. 3. We had a great time together, and for the first time, Jack Henry totally left his trepidation behind and climbed up on all of the high stuff.

And I got to be there and do that with them. It was awesome to see him conquer his fear and hear his brothers cheer him on.

We played until the sun had almost gone down, and then headed on to accomplish our initial task at hand, which was shopping for what we needed to fill our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boys had a budget on which to shop, and they did an awesome job picking things for their boxes. We followed that up with dinner at our friends’ new Chick-fil-a in Sunset Hills.

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It was a great afternoon and evening, which is a good reminder tonight, as all of my children are in bed early, apparently possessed by some day-after-the-full-moon demon that’s been around the past 2 months.

Sigh. Such is parenthood, right?

6 responses to “Spontaneous.

  1. So glad you made impromptu trip to the park–and WTG, Jack Henry!! I’m positive most of us need to be better listeners for that “whisper from God”! It’s sad to think of all the “sacred moments” we miss in the unplanned or everyday times of our lives.

  2. Preachin to the choir Nicole! Glad you had fun!!…and what an awesome lookin’ park, which one?

  3. Great reminder, I could have written this one!!

  4. Loved reading about this spontaneous park trip and how it turned out. And the quote that Jake sent — “whisper of God” — something that we experience, too when we take the time to listen. Keep it up–you are doing great!

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