When life feels rushed and full of activity, time together with ones you love is important to savor. No one needs to convince you of this. Once we can settle into the ease of relaxation, we enjoy conversations about more than coordinating events and paying bills. Ones in which we talk freely, with time and space to share as we please.
A few months ago, I read a book that spoke to the importance not only of sharing quality time with people, but also quantity time:
“Our families, including us, do not need more quality time, but more quantity time. That’s when most of the best things happen. We think that such events are spontaneous – and to a certain extent they are. But they are really the things that bubble up when people are living ordinary lives together.”
-Michael Horton, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World
The last few weeks have been filled with activity for our family. As an introvert, I get peopled out. As a homebody, I miss being at home. And as a family, we start to run low on steam. Our house gets a little messier than usual. The laundry piles up. Dishes stay dirty longer. And our family rhythm is thrown off.
I don’t see it as a circumstance to prevent; that is impossible. But, as it inevitably happens, I also want to recognize we need to pause from activity before it spins out of control.
Even though it can be hard to stop and slow life down, it is often needed at moments just like these.
Sometimes these times of quieted living come naturally. January always seems to slow down for us as the holiday buzz dies down. The summer might be slowed for you with less places to be, more leisure time. Vacations and getaways create this quiet. But other times, we have to create the space for it ourselves. To pause for a short amount of time, set firm boundaries on time and priorities to make time together the highest aim.
So, this is exactly what we are doing for a few days.
It is time for our family to slow down and remember the basic rhythm of our days at home. Even when the morning stretches on or the walls seem to be caving in or I feel out of sorts, it truly is in these days and days of quantity time that the best things happen as we live our ordinary life together.
Maybe we will share a random cup of coffee. Hopefully the house will be tidied and the laundry all folded and put away.
But more importantly, I hope for these times of slowing down and stepping away from activity outside our home to further bond us together. To remind us of the joys of being together with nowhere to be and nothing grand to plan for or anticipate.
It’s in that stillness, I hope to find rest and savor the best, ordinary things as they happen.
(These pictures are from when we were engaged. The lovely Kelli Naisang of Naisang Photography worked her magic. Though our daily life isn’t this composed and quiet, it still captures the essence of what I return to again and again after over-filled times. To focus on our marriage and relationship with Benji. To live slowly and with space to savor time together however that looks, wherever we find ourselves together.)