“Just slow down. Slow down your speech. Slow down your breathing. Slow down your walking. Slow down your eating. And let this slower, steadier, pace perfume your mind. Just slow down.” ~Doko

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Perfume your mind? What beautiful and thought provoking words those are! Every parent has found themselves at times using the words “Hurry up, walk faster, move quickly” when communicating with our children. And while we mean to have good intentions, I often wonder how that leaves our children feeling. In this day and age life is about being better, quicker, faster, and stronger. Yet life doesn’t slow down, it keeps going. And while life is moving on by we are losing out on the simplest pleasures with our children. A warm hand to hold, a walk through the woods, something delicious to eat, a good book by the christmas tree, and so on.

Since moving to Alabama this past year, our lives have changed…..a lot. Life has been much slower. Things have not been tightly scheduled. From that there is this freedom to explore and just “be” that has brought so much peace to our little family. Peace that has awakened creativity and passions, as well as time to explore our day with all five senses. Lately, Aaron and I have really been intentional about taking a “non-hurried” approach with our daughter. Making sure she doesn’t feel rushed through her days and providing extra time in our schedule so that she may walk a little slower, notice all the leaves on the ground, or just simply go down the slide 20 times, without the reminder that we need to “go” soon.

Although some days we find ourselves struggling with this we are always reminded to come back to patience. Back to the peace that fills our home when we stop rushing each other and take time to feel the world from the inside out. This is what I want and dream about for my family. I desire for my children to find contentment in a book, peace in nature, peace in quietness, and a great love for the outdoors. I desire for our world to look different than some may see it.

When I look at my daughter, I see a wild spirit that doesn’t like to be tied down. She is eager to finish a job herself even if it takes a long time. She is creative, smart, and strong willed. Life is really exciting to her and she absolutely loves who she is. I know that someday soon she will acquire a passion for something, whether that be dance, sports, music, yoga, education, etc. And while we all secretly have expectations of who or what our children will do, we are not in control of that. How freeing is that!? Everyday I get to see a little bit more of who she is. I get to be a part of cultivating her passions and dreams without hindering her. I write this to say..whatever her passions turn into I will always want her to feel life at a slower pace. I never want her to feel over-scheduled with no time to use her imagination. I want her to chase her dreams, but I also want her to find contentment in the littlest pleasures of life.

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Our Creator  is the perfect example of gentleness and peace. His peace is like a river, it keeps moving and flowing, but it’s not hindered by nature and storms. No matter what the water always reaches where it’s trying to go. I think we all can learn great value in being like a “river” and instilling these great values in our children. We can be a river, a river that is not moved by current circumstances or moved by what paths our children choose for themselves. Rather we flow with it, we adapt to our current situations. Rather than worrying and filling our hearts with anxiousness, we see that life is always moving, always progressing, and we address the situations out of a place of peace rather than frustration.

How amazing would it be for our children to see peace in our eyes rather than fear when hard times roll our way? Showing them that life is something we can tackle and doesn’t have to leave us feeling defeated. Life teaches us and inspires us with growth and makes room for  adaptability if we let it. It’s our chance to surrender fear and worry and to become that river, ready for whatever comes our way.

These are the values we want to instill in our daughter. Values based off of peace which means a slower pace, time to breathe, “unhurried schedules,” room for deep conversation, and meaningful get togethers. Life is meant to be lived. And by living it to the fullest, it requires stepping back and seeing what areas are crowded, in need of some TLC, and where we can gain more peace.

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Here are few of my own personal tips for a slower paced life for you and your children:

-Give yourself permission to  say “No” if your life/schedule is feeling crowded.

-Take a day to observe how many times you use the words, “hurry, quickly, faster”. Be intentional about taking a step back and slowing down the pace by being present even if it requires walking slower, being at the grocery store an extra fifteen minutes, etc.

-Find contentment in a book or baking something special with your child.

-Be an observer of nature. Nature can teach us so many beautiful lessons in life.

-Take a mindful walk, notice something new today, try hearing yourself breathe, and be at peace with the present.

So today my sweet mommas and friends, I leave you with a few words from one of my favorite hymns. ” When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, IT IS WELL, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.” 🙂

Love from one Momma to another!

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