Our last free Sunday before school starts this week. As the doorbell rang, everyone sprinted to ditch their books and eagerly greet whatever distraction might be on the other side.  As they flung open the door, our adorable neighbor introduced the fun idea of making Kool-Aid slushees.

Any entrepreneurial ideas about having a lemonade stand (or Kool-Aid slushee in this case) were nixed quickly by our dad as he pointed out, “It’s 108 degrees today!” … It’s really only 103. It feels like 120.

They decided to make brownies and create the slushees purely for their own enjoyment.

Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen —

this is ripe for an Aggie joke…


Kool-Aid mix.

Just a smidgen of water.

The lovely sugar concoction.

The best part of it all?

Solving the problems of the day… together.

I’m hit yet again by a lesson we learned a few years ago when Jack entered our family.  (We have lots of great life lessons he taught us.)  This particular one has to do with keeping your schedule flexible.

Full calendars might act like they give meaning to life, but they don’t. They steal more than they give. I might feel needed, important, included with a long list of to-do’s or by belonging to countless committees or by scheduling every hour of both my and my family’s days. But the truth is, I’m spread entirely too thin if I don’t have margin.  Without margin, I’d never be able to shift and welcome an unexpected visitor who needs my attention more than my list needs completion.

As school starts to gear up, I hope that I’m aware of time stealers and consider the need for margin as I’m hit with countless opportunities to fill my schedule.

Today we had an opportunity, that, thanks to respecting our dad’s wish (more like edict) to steer clear of extra-curricular activities, allowed us to hang with one of our favorite people … our neighbor Sarah. On Friday (again thanks to margin) I had coffee with her mother only to find out they will be moving (unexpectedly) to Australia on Friday. On Friday!  I can’t believe it.

When Jack was born, we completely cleared our calendar (one of many stories I hope to share someday). I quickly realized how much I had been doing, and how un-important it all was. Opportunities that I thought would disappear are still there. Teams we declined are still our friends. Sports that we didn’t play have been learned on the playground. What I thought would be isolation and being left out or forgotten blossomed into exactly the opposite … meaningful relationships. My doorbell rang more often than before, because people that needed to talk knew I was home. I had time to know my neighbors. I had time to help. I had time to relate.

Great joy, peace and contentment came (and comes) from that. Hmmmm… relationship. Maybe that’s what we were created to do – relate.

Ooops. There’s the doorbell. Cute neighbor Rachael whose parents gave her the thumbs up to have a lemonade stand asks us if we’d like a cup of refreshment. (She’s learned the art of going door to door if no one’s stopping at her stand! It’s so hot today, no one’s ou
t.) I pass her a couple of bucks and chat for a few minutes. Glad we were home to say hi.

Thanks for walking the road with me.

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