One day last week I got a knock on my door; it was a neighbor friend asking me if the kids and I wanted to come over later in the afternoon for a snack. She had hosted company the night before, and there was an abundance of dessert left over. I realize it’s no small thing to invite 5 people over to your house; it was very kind of her to ask.
Of course, I accepted, but inside I was thinking:
- “Oh, it’s not a good day for this.”
- “I’ve got so much planned, and we’ve got violin lessons today.”
- “I’ve got too much on my mind to sit and chat.”
- “The kids are acting out more than usual today, I don’t want to fill them with dessert. What if they act wild?”
- “It’s hard to talk to her anyway, her English is pretty good, but it’s not her native language.”
It’s embarrassing for me to share these thoughts. Hopefully there are other homeschooling moms out there who can understand where I was coming from. I couldn’t help them. It was a Monday, and I was falling way behind on my “list.”
We went, the kids behaved embarrassingly well – I had to be sure to tell her that they didn’t usually act that good, because I could see her thinking “My kids don’t act like this, how does she do it?!” The desserts were scrumptious – I got a new favorite recipe – and the conversation was unceasing and very enjoyable. The children were inspired by her attention to detail and beauty in the fancy table setting and abundance of sweet treats. Getting to know my neighbors is higher on my list of important things to do than the vague “be involved in my community.” I take literally the Gospel command to “love your neighbors.” He didn’t say “like” them, just “love” them. Serve them, get to know them, help them if you can. Love them where they’re at. Some are much easier to love than others. Some give you dessert instead of trouble!
Our “list” of things we think we should do each day needs to be living, not dead; flexible, not set in stone. I try to always keep in mind that His plans for my days are better than my plans, and so I try to have an open attitude about unexpected activities. I also try to schedule social events in the afternoons – mornings are for school, and I make that pretty clear to my friends. How about you, how do you fit social time into your schedule? How do you make time for friendships and personal growth and charity?