Having Kids Forces You to Like Nature

I really love scenic views of all types, but to be honest, I don't love to sweat, I hate mosquitoes, and sometimes I'm just not as adventurous as I'd like to be. Most of the time, I let the responsibilities of life get in the way of taking time relax outdoors. I have all these big dreams of hiking the parks of Washington, visiting glaciers of Alaska, and shuffling through the colorful fall leaves in Maine. But really, I have such an amazing scene to be grateful for right in my backyard. 

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Our yard used to be a hay field before we made it home. The only trees are the short ones my husband planted since we've been here. It's really hot in the summer and windy in the winter. But those kids of mine absolutely love being outside, even if it's just on the back porch. They love trudging through the mud to get to Rosie's pen and picking wildflowers when its been a while since the grass was cut. They need constant supervision so guess who gets to be outside, too? So I have learned to make the best of it by putting on my workout clothes and mosquito spray to bare the sweaty evenings. Just yesterday we attended a birthday party where I chased them and sweated the entire time. They are so curious about nature, and they love that feeling of freedom that only nature can give them. It really is a blessing that they make me enjoy that feeling, too. Through my littles, I'm learning to let go of those things that really don't matter, and learning to embrace the things that make you feel good -- like being outside, no matter how hot or cold the weather may be. 

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We are so lucky to have so much open space and fresh air available to us. A lot of people around the world probably pray for what we have. Owen loves to "race" lately. I'm no runner, but there's something about stretching out your legs and powering your whole body through the grass that makes you wake up. It feels great, even if it hurts a little. 

Cassie likes to hold my hand to walk around, something Owen never did. Holding her hand means I have to slow down and look closely at my surroundings rather than rushing by, unaware. After a while, the impatience fades and I actually enjoy the pace. I'm sure many mothers can relate. 

All of these tendencies that trying to keep up with the world has caused me to adopt are not the ones that make me feel good, nor are they what God wants for me. My kids are helping me to slow down, look around at the blessings in our surroundings, and let go of the discomfort to enjoy the nature that is part of our everyday life. It's where they (and I) play and learn. I've learned to watch where the light hits just right at different times of the day in our yard. Watching that light everyday helps me to try new techniques or styles of shooting so I can learn, too. 

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I still hope to enjoy traveling to different scenic locations, but until then, I'll just try to be thankful for what I have right here in my back yard.

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