The sun beams off the crystal waters and when we take our daily walks along this paradise I wonder what I did to deserve this?
|A river runs through it...|
|Trying and trying to choose the narrow path...|
|Just follow the root-lined road...|
|The morning view - peace, serenity.|
|Little "Huck" as my Mom calls him...|
|Wet bums and mucky feet - dress code for our family. :)|
Nature has a way of calming children and adults alike. The flowing waters, the chirping birds, the croak of a fat toad, the melancholy song of the Mourning Doves across the water - all God's perfects gifts for the easy, sweet surrender of the soul. It is God's music, the natural world, and it has an unexplainable power to call to us, reach out to us, and beg us to stay, basking in His creation - the way it was meant to be.
I encourage you, if you don't already, commit to getting your family deeply in nature DAILY. Every. single. day. We choose to spend at least an hour by the water every day we can. If we're not at the water, we're out at the park or biking on trails or simply enjoying our backyard. I'd say I watch the clock and ensure a good healthy 3-5 hours of outdoor time during the day, but I don't have to. I have to chase our children inside the house! Children thrive in the great outdoors. It calms them, opens their hearts to God's creation and does wonders for the pace and peace of family life. And yes, we follow Charlotte Mason's teachings on this topic.
I've also found our time in nature to have an overwhelmingly positive affect on my parenting and ability to cope with stress. When I'm looking up at blue skies and breathing in misty air beside rushing waters, I am renewed. Completely renewed. I whisper thanks for all I have - for the serenity and safety of my days and for the gift of creation, our children, our love for each other. I walk away a new person MANY days.
Some wonderful quotes about nature that inspire me to instill this love of the outdoors in our children:
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
~John Muir, 1913
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran
I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~John Muir
To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. ~Helen Keller