Slowing Down to Fill Up Your Love Tank

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

This past weekend and yesterday, I had such a beautiful realization…

I have been slowing down, and I feel full…

More rested.

Happier.

Content.

Surprised by joyous moments and unexpected joy.

Over the weekend we made the decision to take away our kids’ technology.  My husband had threatened recently in the garage, “IF you two boys do not listen when we ask you do something I will take away your tablets for MONTHS!”  Butts in gear.  Kids listen when you throw down a consequence (most of the time).  However, they really pushed some boundaries with respecting me last Friday.  They did not listen time and time again.  I shared with my husband our sons’ behavior, and he carried through with that threat aforementioned.  Discipline is hard.

But, we are having a parenting win folks!  Without the kids on computers or tablets they have been playing together more, reading books, playing cards (what???)!  Their tablets have been taken away, locked in our family safe until spring break…that is a month a half away.

With time away from technology, they are slowing down and filling up their love tanks.  They are doing their chores without us asking.  They are listening better (not perfectly).  They are filling up our love tanks as we watch.

On Sunday we went to early church, a family yoga class, and then had a blissful afternoon playing in the backyard.  My husband and boys raked leaves.  Then they burned leaves.  I spent time laying in the hammock, and just being…slowing down.  I shot photos with the good camera, and observed the kids are our glorious nature scene.

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We haven’t raked a pile of leaves for our kids since our days in Kansas.  So nearly three years ago was the last time!  Remarkably while some of my readers have snow, we in Florida have green grass and fall maple leaves.  It is a wide world we live in!  Thankful for these days with our family together.  Note in the bottom right my phone is out with me on that orange chair, but I’m not using it!

Using technology seems to speed us up, but it can be a source for happiness do not get me wrong!  Our eight year old lying in the grass is likely dreaming of Minecraft and his pile of notifications building from the You Tubers he follows on that subject.  Our youngest is still blissfully unaware or uninterested in technology for the most part.  Spending time with his brother is nice but sometimes annoying as you see on the top right.  Addison and Bryan were fighting over whose turn it was to disrupt the leaves.  They did figure it out…how to take turns…how to share.

I figured out a beautiful lesson in slowing again yesterday when I had a tennis and tea time with a new friend, Yvette.  She and I met at our local yoga studio a few months ago through our children.  You know those mom moments we have in taking our kids to activities and stumbling upon a sweet soul that we know is going to be a friend of some sort?  These moments are rare, but they do happen.  My mom promised me they would.  Her best friends even today are the women she met through us…her children.

Our children take a kid yoga class together weekly, and we met one day by the fountain out front.  As Yvette and I  chatted we found we shared some common background…we have both lived in Kansas for a time, and we knew what it was like to move.  We quickly exchanged cell numbers, texted, Facebook friended etc.  Now we know: we both like yoga, we both blog, and we both played tennis when we were younger.  Now…insert yesterday.  We planned a meet up for tennis and tea at her place after to discuss our blogs.  We played a “brilliant” tennis match, and then she welcomed my stinky sweaty self into her home for blog talk and tea.  She served me a bottle of chilled Kambucha tea.  I had only sampled it once at our yoga studio, and it was very strong…reminding me of DIY home natural remedies I have tried when sick.  Have you ever taken a shot of apple cider vinegar?  It tastes like that.

I tasted my beautiful bottle of specialty kambucha tea, and it was strong yet again.  Not sure I could muster the politeness of drinking much, I surprisingly enjoyed it the more I drank it and we chatted.  Truly, I am used to my American Bigelow tea or a Brittish tea bag (from Home Goods) with a big dollup of local honey…

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This is what greeted me this morning.  I had to photograph it!  In slowing down I see in my mind’s eye the irony…at home I drink Brittish tea today.  Yesterday, with my Brittish friend, I learned to sip and enjoy a bottled Kambucha tea produced in California!

Slowing down for four hours with Yvette yesterday filled my love tank for last night and into today.  Yvette is new to blogging but not to writing.  Her blog, The Brightside of Life, is a blog about happiness. It is truly lovely!  Please take a moment to visit Yvette’s blog, and thank you for slowing down to read my blog today.

Dear God,

You did not rush in creating me.

My parents waited years to conceive me, their first child.

Forgive me when I get too rushed.  Help me to slow in order to see and feel your grace and love more…

Though family and friends I see and feel joy.

Help us to get outside of our usual routines so that we can fill up our love tanks in new ways. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Slowing Down to Fill Up Your Love Tank

  1. I’m beaming from ear to ear, Sweet Jennifer, and laughing about the tea thing. What a warm hug of a post. Thank you! It is quite something how much we have in common. You write beautifully, and I just adore the expression, ‘filling up your love tank.’ I can also totally relate to taking away the iPad. We have to often remove that privilege from wee Alex’s hands. They have an addictive quality, in fact, one morning I awoke to see that Alex had hunkered down beneath his duvet and played on it all night! In the long-run I think our children will be grateful for us taking a stand. Thanks again for your gorgeous post, love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette-
      Hebrews 12:11 (from biblegatway.com)
      No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
      This is the reminder we need for ourselves and for our kids…sometimes we need discipline to be reminded of what is good, true, and right.
      Thank you for your kind comments!
      Jennifer

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  2. This was beautiful! I feel that the Holy Spirit has been pressing this message to each of us who would listen. Slow down. Pay attention to your children instead of your computer screen (handheld or not). That affirmation, feeling of being wanted? Our children are thriving when we’re intentionally WITH them.
    So good. Thank you! 🙂
    ~Tammy

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  3. Tammy-Thank you for your affirmation in the decision to parent this way! We ALL need these reminders. We have to spend time WITH people…Jesus would. I hope you have a lovely week! THANK YOU! 🙂 Jenn

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  4. Yes, Jennifer! Slow down for sure…there is soooooo much out there for us to experience and always looking down at a piece of technoloty keeps us from focusing on those things! I see my daughters and the older grandchildren doing the same thing!

    Just browsing your blog posts before I write a “note” to you from FMF Snail Mail!!! (I say “note” because I think I am one who doesn’t do “a short note”…it is what I do; no pressure to do the same!!

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully worded post! I also love the “filling up your love tank”!

    Like

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