And it really made me realise how much fun life can be as a family when all other distractions are gone, we should do it more often! There was time for copious games of beach cricket, for trips to the park without having to get back for tea or bedtime, to laze in the sun and read a book for an hour, to bake just because I felt like it - not because I had to, to spend time jamming with my husband in the evenings. It was just lovely. even the kids were calmer (well sometimes...)
So now there are a few days left until the kids are back at school and then my 'new life' begins. That sounds rather like drawing a line in the sand, but it's like I have been waiting for this time for so long. From working mercilously long hours, getting stressed, being constantly tired, not having time to spend with my kids and really no end in sight, I have what my heart desired! I prayed for guidance with my business and in Gods grace an opportunity came along far sooner than I thought for me to have a break. I was secretly wishing for 6 months off (well not so secretly as my husband has heard it a hundred times :) ) and that's what I have, well 4 really, but it's still a good break. So as of next week I will be working just one morning a week. And I am making myself sit on my hands and not take on anything else in that time. I am a 'do-er' so not having a challenge or focus will be tough for me, but I intend to enjoy the time. My husb. has been totally supportive and keeps saying to me 'you might never have this time again, take the opportunity'.
I do intend to give myself a bit of a routine otherwise I fear I will turn into a 'lady what lunches' or at least has a lot of coffee and chat time. So I have a new notebook with some challenges to do in the time, ie: generally jobs that have been put off for years, like sorting out the endless photos that I take, which are stuck in my harddrive; or making some curtains for the landing; or cleaning out the kids toyboxes...that kind of thing.
But actually the one thing I prayed to have more time for, which I have banged on about more than anything on this blog, is having time for God. And yes I know, several of you have pointed out to me that God is everywhere and can be in anything, and I do recognise that completely, but for me, at this point in time, that's not enough. I want to seek him more. I want to know him more. I want to spend more time in his presence. I want to have time to spend in prayer for others. I want so much more of Him! So I hope that the next few months will be not just a break, but a spiritual journey (if that doesn't sound too naff..).
I am starting by reading Thomas keating's 'Open heart, Open Mind' about Centering prayer. More on that to follow... Some weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a pebble with the verse 'Be still and know that I am God' written on it. That is my guide for my life the next few months, in so many forms. Not just in spending time in his presence, but in life generally. In slowing down and not filling every second, in just being still sometimes, literally!