I love this picture for what it represents... those sweet and simple moments with those we love the most.
I recently read a very disturbing article from the Associated Press about President Obama's new ideas on educating our children. He is proposing that we extend the school day from 1-3 hours, and that we curtail summer vacation to stay competitive in the world. What?! I am so concerned about what this means for families if this passes. So where is the time for the family to be together? Where is the time for family values to be taught and exemplified? My friend had a good suggestion that to stay competitive in the world, we use the current school hours more wisely, and cut out ineffective programs and activities. I think that would be a much better solution. I fear that this proposal could pass since many leaders in the country might see this initiative as "free childcare". You better believe if this plan is implemented... that will be the day I homeschool my children.
Anyway, I am really passionate about this topic, and how the adversary would have us fill our lives with so many distractions, and so much STUFF... that we miss out on those simple moments... the most important things in life, that really aren't things. I firmly believe that children need time at home with the family, unstructured time to just be together. Here are some inspiring quotes on this subject:
"Our lives have become intensely fast paced filled with business and a frantic flitting about that was uncharacteristic of earlier ages. We pack our lives with so many activities and pursuits that many of us have lost sight of something that is of critical importance to families… time together." -Gordon B. Hinckley
"Women today are encouraged by some to have it all: money, travel, marriage, motherhood, and separate careers in the world. . . However, you cannot do all these things well at the same time. You cannot be a 100-percent wife, a 100-percent mother, a 100-percent Church worker, a 100-percent career person, and a 100-percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? I suggest that you can have it sequentially. Sequentially is a big word meaning to do things one at a time at different times. The book of Ecclesiastes says: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under … heaven.”~ James Faust
"Mothers who know... do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power." -Julie B. Beck
So go hug your little ones today and enjoy a few sweet and simple moments together. :)