A Lesson in Running

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Intentionally setting aside time to hang out with your kids is quite a challenge, no? Especially for those of us who are stuck in our ways! But, it is extremely rewarding, I assure you. And truth be told? I didn’t need to do much “planning”. I just had to make myself available when my children wanted me to read or play or help with a craft, or simply listen. The most it required of me was my time.

Most of what my children wanted me to do was read to them. Read Dr. Seuss. We have many books by him and we all enjoy them.

This is my favorite part of “Green Eggs and Ham”. The look on his face is priceless! He didn’t know how good it was until he tried it. There are so many life lessons that can be learned from this truth alone! The whole book he was running from something he ended up loving in the end.

Are we running the race in the right direction? Are we aimed for the prize God offered us? Or are we chasing the wind?

Do you have times when you are playing with your children and you begin to fall for that lie that you’re not being productive? We get overly wrapped up in doing those things which are seen–those things that can be measured with the eye, and open for all to see. We fail to realize the real value lies within doing those things which are unseen–that what will count for eternity.

By seen and unseen, I mean that others would see if/when they walked through your front door at the end of the day. Would they know you’ve been productive? Do you spend the entirety of your days cleaning and barking at the children to not make messes so they’re afraid to bring anything out?

Or, do you spend your days reading to you children? Teaching them about having godly character? Doing sums and writing stories. Playing games and tying heartstrings.

Our children need us to be there for them more than they need an immaculate house. A great resource that has really challenged me with this is called “Keeping Our Children’s Hearts” by Teri Maxwell. In today’s world, some of these ideas may seem radical. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we can see how difficult it is to keep our children’s hearts focused on God with everything else pulling for them.

Jamie over at Simple Homeschool shares how she handles her deep cleaning–once a month. You don’t need to be a homeschooling mom to adapt this schedule. But it is certainly something to think about.

I school year round and take Friday’s off. So Friday’s are the days I “catch up” on house work and deep clean one area of the house. The point is to have a set time so you don’t have to think about it. You can stay focused on meeting the needs of your children without feeling overwhelmed by all the cleaning “to do’s”. Obviously daily maintenance is a given. (Clean as you go).

Don’t let the days go by with your mind set solely on the wrong things.

How did you do this week? If you really struggled to meet this challenge, would you consider writing a post anyways and sharing your struggle with us? Perhaps we can offer insights and be of encouragement?

The linky is at the bottom, so don’t forget to link up!


Tomorrow I am putting a “sign up linky” for those of you who want to participate in the “31 Days to Clean” challenge. So be sure to come back if you’re interested in that. You can subscribe so you don’t miss out on anything.

I will also be announcing TWO winners to Sarah Mae’s e-book, 31 Days to Clean AND the winner of the ListPlan It Print Membership. So be sure to enter those if you haven’t yet.

We will not be having a Homemakers Challenge this week. We will be gearing up for 31 Days to Clean, but I’m also going to give you some things to think about over the week.

Have a great day everyone! Don’t forget to link up your post below!


  1. We love Dr Seuss! My middle child would only read his books when learning how to read, she loved the silly artwork and sing song style of his words. These books are treasured in our memories.

  2. Dr. Suess is a fave at our house, too. Anything silly is popular here.

    “Don’t let your days go by with your mind set solely on the wrong things.”

    This is a huge encouragement to me this morning. Thanks so much for these awesome words.

  3. We love Suess. I failed major with the challenge, I spent the week helping a friend with her crumbling marriage, and then helping her move out. She has tried so hard to keep it together, but the latest affair was the last straw.
    I did let the kids camp out all week in the LR, and we are getting a puppy and trampoline today. Does that count? No post…:(

    • Oh Sam, no worries my friend. I’m so sorry for your friend. :( I had a friend go through a similar situation over a year ago. So horrible. :(

      A puppy and trampoline, eh? Sounds like fun!! Teaching your children how to care for a puppy/dog will certainly be time well spent! :)

      We’re taking a break from challenges this week to prepare for the 31 Days to Clean, so relax and gear up for that! :) I am really hoping for some great things!

      Joy In Him,

  4. I didn’t link because I haven’t typed up what we’ve done each day — it kind of felt like cheating since this week we had family in from out of town and have played every day, pretty much all day. However, I had written a post right before you gave the challenge about what God had shared with me about playing and I wanted to pass it on, even though it didn’t fit the link up deets to a tee: http://gracefulabandon.blogspot.com/2011/04/can-you-come-out-and-play.html

    • Lisa,
      That’s OK. We are not all uptight around here. :) I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped. I gave my children the week off school and they pretty much did their own thing.

      Right now they are playing “store” and each child has their own store: shoe store, toy store, pet store. They’re making signs, etc. So fun! :) I’m there for support. ;)

      Joy In Him,

    • I also want to clarify, the challenge is simply if you struggle with getting this time in. If you naturally were able to play and have fun with the children, that still counts! Link it up! It gives other ideas on things we can do with our children in the future. :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    We are just starting to get into Dr Suess – so far Sophie has been all about Thomas the Train books, Bob the Builder books, Clifford, Biscuit, and Marley books. Seeing a pattern here?!?

    I have no idea how you juggle everything in your family life and find time to set up the challenges – thanks so much :)

  6. I didn’t link up because I’m not sure today’s post fits exactly…but I love love LOVE this homemaker’s challenge…just the reminder and the intentionality of it.
    Thank you so much!
    I want to be a “yes mama”…not always stuck in the rut of clinging to only what is “practical”

  7. I struggled with getting positive time in this week with my little one that is difficult. I did blog about that, but it’s not quite a fit for this challenge. It’s been quite the week here!

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