Sleepovers at Nana’s

Making cookies with Nana

Our house has been rather quiet the past two nights.  The bedrooms have been empty.  The bedtime routine has been simplified.  This weekend the kids have been taking turns having a sleepover at Nana’s house.

Two nights ago all six girls packed their sleeping bags, PJs, toothbrushes, and clean clothes and paraded around the block, excited and ready for the big sleepover.  A couple toothbrushes were forgotten, a pair of underwear was dropped in the alley, and two girls ran back home right before bedtime, having forgotten some essential items.

Last night the two little boys had their turn to sleep at Nana’s house.  Josiah loaded all his items, including several stuffed animals, into his wheelbarrow.  Kia hopped on his bike, hanging his bags from the handlebars.  With a quick hug and kiss goodbye, they both headed off for their night of fun.

Joanne (aka Nana) always plans special snacks, good movies and fun adventures for the kids.  Just last night the little boys enjoyed a special dinner date at the local Chinese restaurant!  I love the memories and relationships that are built during these sleepover weekends.  What a blessing it is for our kids to spend this time with their grandma.

I never had that chance as a kid.  Growing up in Idaho, my grandparents lived in Connecticut and New Hampshire.  While we would visit them in the summers, it was usually just for a couple weeks.  By the time we really started to get to know our grandparents, it was time to leave.  Although I certainly have special memories of my grandparents, the relationship wasn’t anything like the ones our kids are forming with their Nana.  While we may not always live in such close proximity to grandparents, we are going to enjoy this season and time as long as we are blessed with it.

"Contentment" by

To be honest, that perspective is how I try to live my entire life.  Finding contentment wherever you’re at is an amazing gift you give yourself and your loved ones.  But it is a gift that must be worked at.  Contentment, particularly in our never-satisfied society, does not come naturally or easily.  It is a decision you make, regardless and irrespective of your situation and present reality.  Contentment is not a feeling or emotion – it is a choice.

Enjoy the season you’re in at the moment.  Don’t wish away the time you have now, wanting and waiting for something else.  Life is all about seasons – some more enjoyable than others.  Some more exciting than others.  Some more endurable than others.  Strive to be content in whatever season you find yourself today.  Consciously identify the positives.  Some days the only positive you may find is the bright sunshiny color of the dandelions growing in your yard.  Don’t dismay over the noxious weed taking over your lawn, but rather enjoy the cheerful color (and then squirt some weed killer on it!).

All too often I think we miss the beauty of a moment because we’re too busy either worrying, waiting or wishing for something else.  Be present in the present.  That doesn’t mean you can’t (or don’t) plan and dream about the future.  But don’t let those plans and dreams rob you of life today.  No matter what season of life you find yourself, good or bad, know and trust that seasons change.  And for today, choose to enjoy something.  Practice the art of contentment.  Be present.

How can you practice contentment in your own life?  What joys might you be missing today as you are consumed with your plans and dreams about tomorrow?  How can you be more present today?