She walked across the forest path—with a toddler in her arms and a pre-schooler at her heels. Her head hung low, her body tired. I could tell—it hadn’t been a great night.
But she came.
On an adventure in the forest.
To be with her kids.
To breathe fresh life.
We’ve all heard them—the mommy “survival” lines:
“Just get through this season. Hang on. You’ll survive.” or “Motherhood is a balancing act. Just keep all those balls up in the air. You can do it.”
The mommy “survival” lines are supposed to be encouraging.Yeah right.
Season. It feels like you are just waiting for it to pass—trying to survive it. Balance. It feels compartmentalized, awkward, tense—impossible.
When people see me with three kids under the age of five, many are quick say, “Wow, you’re brave!”, always with a raised eyebrow, of course! I like to give them a little shock when I say, “And I want two more.” One time, someone actually spit out her drink she was so shocked.
I’m no idiot. I gave up the idea of seeking “balance” a long time ago. I also decided early on that I refuse to live in survival mode.
I said “no, thanks” to the idea of white-knuckling my way through a “season”.
Instead, I want a life of wholeness—a life that is shaped by discernment and careful choices. That’s what I want anyway.
What if it were possible? What if we actually found that Holy Grail? What would we call it?
Coherence—the ability to have all those many life pieces melding together happily in a joyous song, melodious notes intersecting at exactly the right time: work, home, mothering, friendships, community, faith. What if it could all co-exist together, and we could find peace and joy in that coherence?
What would that look like?
What if it could all co-exist together?
My friend and I were recently discussing the difference between routine and rhythm. Together we decided that routine has to do with order that is prescribed. It’s rigid, prescriptive, inflexible.
Rhythm, on the other hand has to do with a natural flow, yet it’s never the same twice. It has movement and energy—like the tides, the sunrise, the harvest—and music.
Music shows us the beauty and necessity of rhythm. In a great piece of music there are slow notes, fast notes, rests, dissonance and resolve. The overall rhythm of a piece of music is one of the essential elements of it being great.
So it goes with adventuring. Being brave and showing our children the world with our hand in theirs does something inside of us—it moves us closer to them in a way that’s filled with energy and movement, life and possibility.
Each week of adventuring is like a song.
Made up of:
Slow notes—easy adventures that feel like bliss: nature walks, picnics, ball play in the park
High notes—exciting, extra special adventures which are made for opening little eyes and hearts to possibilities of a future life passion
Rests—the kind where we lay on our backs in the grass and dream big dreams together
Dissonance—adventures where we encourage the children to try something they may be a little shy to try
Resolve—those old favorite adventures that feel like being wrapped up in a cozy blanket on a cold day
Spending TIME with our children is LOVE. It’s song! It’s mystery and wonder.
As an ode to Africa, where Adventure Clubs began it’s adventurous journey, play the inspirational video from the Piano Guys, who never cease to inspire my children along in their love for music and adventure.