It is SO easy to get caught up in the not-so-simple ways of the world. I fall victim to it, myself. I’ve only had a “smart phone” for maybe a year and a half. It’s been life-changing. In good and bad ways. I can easily and quickly snap pictures of my beautiful children that my previous phones would not allow me to do (so easily). But I can also find myself with my nose in my phone, missing out on the very moments for which I should be emotionally (not just physically) present. I vow to change this. I want my boys to remember me present. And I WANT to be with them.
Although it should be a “no, duh!!” (I’m a 90’s kid, what!), I’d love to make it a priority to have fibers from The Simple Life woven into every day. We have a very busy life, but if I can find a way to slow down, even if for a minute, and show my boys the simple pleasures in life, I feel we can live so much more of an enriched life.
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ” – John Burroughs
A bike ride, playing on the playground, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making muffins with Mommy, scavenger hunts, gardening with Daddy (Mommy has a brown thumb), trips to the library. I need to slow down. For my kids’ sake.
The other night, we went to our neighbor’s house to chat. We adore these neighbors. They were our first friends in this neighborhood and have remained our best of the bunch. They are older than us (which we love) and treat us like family. And the boys adore them. As do we. They have a beautiful and magical yard (they spend lots of time outside and cultivating their it). And they have grapefruit trees and herbs. It’s awesome. The boys enjoy learning about all of those things.
Smalls is holding a grapefruit and running in this picture.
Here is Bigs picking a grapefruit.
I love living in a neighborhood where citrus trees grow rampant.
The boys love going in their bushes and planters.
Look at these fantastic herbs they have. Aren’t they lush and gorgeous?
I only wish my own backyard looked like this!
In addition to taking home grapefruits, I took home a bundle of fresh “neighbor” herbs: two kinds of mint, chives, parsley, rosemary, and dill. Just lovely.
Ahhh, the simple things.
25 “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” – Jeremiah 2:25 (The Message)
Speaking of which, since it IS the weekend, I made a simple dessert for you (for me).
Chocolate Devil Bars
Makes 16 bars (or less, depending on how much you eat in one sitting)
- 1 C peanut butter (or 3/4 C peanut butter + 1/4 C Biscoff, as I did)
- 1/2 C butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
- 1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 13ish oz can of dulce de leche
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.
- Press half of the mix in a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Layer the chocolate chips, followed by the dulce de leche (I put spoonfuls down).
- Pat down the remaining cake mix.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Once cooled, cut into squares. It came out gooey for me. Which I love.
It was tasty. And quite rich.
I froze some to give to my Mom and Dad and also sent some across the street to our lovely neighbors.
I hope YOU enjoy them if you make them! As you can see (if you click the link to the original recipe), I made changes to almost every main ingredient, so this recipe is quite customizable to both your tastes and what you have on hand (as it turned out for me).
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The grass certainly isn’t always greener on the other side. Enjoying what God’s given us and opening our eyes to what we actually have is life-changing. In the best way.
Here’s a great post (Daily Hope) by Rick Warren about the Bible’s take on slowing down and enjoying life.
Here’s to doing just that – slowing down, putting technology aside (for the moments that count, the moments WITH our children), and enjoying this beautiful life God’s gifted us.