How does your family bond? What do you do with the people you love most in the world just for fun? What delights you and your people? How do you like to hang out together?
If you had the gift and the blessing of an entire afternoon to spend any way you wanted with your favorite people on the planet – what would you choose to do?
Are sports your thing? Do you look forward to tailgating before enjoying the big game together? Followed by a lengthy – in depth discussion of each and every single significant play of the game.
Perhaps your family loves movies and delights in munching on popcorn while binge watching all of the latest Hollywood hits together?
Maybe your family looks forward to family game nights or to going to the mall in pursuit of the latest fashion trends. Or is trying new restaurants together or enjoying music more your style?
I love how different families do such different things and have such intriguingly different traditions.
Our family bonds over exploring the great outdoors together. The 4 McFarlands all have pretty diverse interests and passions and hobbies – but we can all agree that nature is fun and cool. We can all come together around hanging out together outside.
On Sunday afternoon following worship – Jason and I asked William what he would like to do for the afternoon. And Will quickly responded that he would like to “go to the river to look for creatures!” So we laid in provisions and packed the backpack with supplies and headed to the river to look for “cool creatures.”
Will is both a very serious and a truly persistent creature seeker. Will spent well over 3 hours playing in the river. Some of the time he was playing with his sharks and boats – but most of the time Will was flipping rocks and peering into the water seeking river monsters.
Will’s hard work and persistence paid off. Sunday proved to be a truly excellent day for creature seeking and finding. He found creatures galore which he ever so generously shared with Jason and me!
We were impressed and delighted by all that we saw and by the creatures we met on Sunday afternoon.
We saw crawdads. We saw a tadpole with four legs – but it was moving far – far too quickly for us to capture its photo. We saw not one – not two – not three – but FOUR water snakes! (They were all cute little baby snakes.) And I was able to capture two of them for posterity!!!!
I never – ever – ever would have guessed before meeting Jack and Will McFarland how very excited I too could become about a snake sighting or that I would rush to take a snake’s picture! Seriously – Will shouted “snake! I found a snake!” and I grabbed the camera and hurried as quickly as I could to take some snake glamour shots!?!?
We also spent some time getting to know an adorable baby soft shelled turtle. We watched it for a very – very long time. I had never seen a soft shelled turtle before and neither had Will. It was very cute.
We also saw butterflies – but only Jason and I thought those were intriguing . . .
Sunday afternoon was just what we needed after a long hard week of NTI and work and crazy commuting to and from the zoo and staying safe at home and missing our friends (the boys) and missing our family (all of us) and continuing to cope with all of the changes COVID-19 has brought into our lives and well – just being a family in 2020!
Nature and creature seeking is the McFarlands’ “thing.” What is your thing? What delights your soul? What helps you cope with stressful times? What helps you keep your perspective? What gives you joy right down to your tippy toes? What helps you feel just a bit closer to your loved ones?
How can you adapt and still do it even in this wild and weird COVID-19 world we are living in?
You might not be able to do it in the exact way that you used to do it – back before COVID-19 – but I bet if you put your thinking cap on and you are willing to adapt and to be agile and maybe to compromise just a bit you will be able to come up with a wonderful way of doing what makes your heart sing for joy!
You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.
In Christ and with Love –