My heart desires to travel. Daniel and I have talked about our plans to slow travel as a family on our blog before. I can not wait until we get to start officially making plans for our first long trip. The reality is that before slow traveling can happen we have to focus on paying off our debt, purchasing hearing aids, building an emergency fund, making some repairs to our home, and possibly upgrading our family car.
Because of our current focus, we can not in good conscious make any sort of family trip that requires paying for an overnight stay this year. That reality really bums me out sometimes. Especially during moments when I feel like we aren’t making any traction toward our goals. So I have been thinking about what it means to be content to be home and mentally making a list of things that I am looking forward to this Summer.
The Apostle Paul talks about contentment when he is writing to the Philippians.
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:11-13
This picture of being content and being completely satisfied with all that I have sounds fabulous. I asked God if contentment was something that simply came from Him as a gift through prayer or is it something that I have to work at. He said it is both. In the scripture above, Paul had to LEARN to be content. So I am learning to be content, but God has also promised that He will give me strength to learn contentment through my prayer time with Him (see verse 13 above.)
I have seasons where I feel happy and content, but staying at home during the summer usually challenges my contentment.
What I am Looking Forward to This Summer
One way I am learning to be content at home this summer is by listing out all the fun things I am looking forward to over the next few months. Here are a few (in no particular order):
- The Texas Folklife Festival in June. Daniel and I bought a Groupon that allows our entire family to go for ten bucks. This will be the first time the kids have gone and I know that they are going to love it.
- Movies. Specifically “Brave” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” Brave looks stunning. I have seen all of Wes Anderson’s films, but I have never actually seen one in the theater. “To Rome With Love” looks interesting, but I don’t have high hopes that it will be as good as “Midnight in Paris.” “The Artist” and “The Lorax” come out on DVD. They are two movies that I simply never made it to the theater to see.
- Seeing our nieces. Our 11 and 10 year old nieces, Aubrey and Kaela, are out of school for the Summer. I see sleepovers, picnics, and lots of laughter with these two around. It is also a bonus that they super helpful with their cousins. Our oldest niece, Samantha, will be heading off to Texas Tech in the Fall and we want to spend some time with her as well before she heads to college.
- My friend, Dawn, moving to San Antonio. Not only is she moving to San Antonio, she is moving to my side of town. I love how our friendship has grown over the long distance and I can’t wait to have her near me. She is a night owl like myself, so I see us getting together after the kids are down for the night.
- The Olympics. The SUMMER OLYMPICS! IN LONDON! The kid cartoons are going on hiatus. Maybe I’ll decorate the house in U.S.A. banners and have an English themed dinner. Our living room will be turned into a gymnasium. Not really, but I know Annabelle will be doing a lot of flips while watching the gymnastic teams compete.
- Books. It sounds lame to travel only through books, but my stack of books to read is a mile long. I’m keeping up my pace to read at least 36 books this year. I also purchased the first four books of Harry Potter at a garage sale a few weeks ago and I think I may get to finally reading Harry Potter this Summer. We’ll see.
- Parks. Last Summer we went to Landa Park and Canyon Lake. Both were super fun. We will definitely be heading back to Landa Park for a train ride, ice cream, and maybe a swim.
- Playdates. I’m really looking forward to scheduling playdates with my friends and their kids.
- Preparing the playroom for homeschool. The plans are to rearrange a little bit, put in a table, clean the current art pieces off the walls, and organize school supplies.
- Cleaning the house. For real. For the last few years I feel like I have been in a “just getting by” mode with the house. I am actually looking forward to cleaning out closets, some deep cleaning, and organizing the children’s clothes. I also hope to do some small fix-it repairs that won’t cost a lot of money.
Making this list has instantly made me feel better and inspired about the next few months. I do have a full and fun Summer ahead. Our extra money won’t be going towards a lot of big and fun items or events this Summer, but we are investing in an exciting future. Hopefully, a future where we can take our kids to go see the Summer Olympics in person.
What are you looking forward to this Summer? Are you in a season of contentment?