We live in a world of convenience. I am the first person to put my hand up when wanting to take the easy way out – easy-to-cook meals, get-thin-fast supplements, missing the traffic and visiting places close by and receiving that instant gratification that we so crazily expect these days. But in the past few months, a new word has been jumping out at me and been sitting on my heart… Enrichment. What or who makes me feel enriched? And this has got me thinking about the internal debate I now find myself having in so many areas of life… Convenience vs Enrichment.
Schools. This is one of the toughest decisions that any parent has to face. Your child’s school is their childhood foundation and the environment they spend the most time in, for 13 years of their lives. The school, its morals and values, its teachers and teaching system and its sport, cultural and leadership offering shape your child into the adults they will one day become.
In our area, we have a great selection of very good government and private single sex and co-ed schools. You could say that we are spoilt for choice. But when looking around at our options and meeting staff and touring schools, we decided to venture out of our area too. Much to the dismay of others. The main concern – why would you travel so far each day, get stuck in traffic and spend your life in a car when you have perfectly good schools on your doorstep, and at your convenience?
It’s a good question. Why? Because we believe that the school we have chosen is the best fit for our daughter. It suits her personality, it offers her a variety of academic, sporting, cultural and leadership opportunities. The headmistress and the staff blew us away with their welcoming hearts and intentional ways of teaching and nurturing the little girls. And the vision and morals the school follows are exactly what we practice at home and hope to enrich our girls with. Yes, the school is a 25 minute drive from our home and we will have to bear our way through the morning and afternoon traffic, it’s going to take some planning and organizing and will definitely mean a lifetime of hours in the car.
BUT we truly feel that our little girl will come home from this school environment feeling enriched. Enriched with love and nurturing from her teachers, friendships and bonds with new little friends, the best academic syllabus and resources, a competitive and team comraderie through sport and a stage of cultural activities and events to suit her strengths.
Meals. Who doesn’t love a convenience meal? Something delicious and tasty that we don’t have to cook and prepare ourselves, and it’s ready in minutes. And our stores have made it so easy for us – they are well packaged, any meal we can imagine and they actually taste good too. We even have endless convenience meals for our children.
BUT after recently completing a six-week health and wellness program, I have finally realized the benefits of home cooked goodness. There is nothing more enriching than a good home made roast or pot of soup. All the vegetables, deliciously spiced protein and the satisfaction of a summer salad with all the toppings. And it doesn’t have to be a mammoth task, it just takes some planning and organization. Our family thrives on home cooked dinners around our dining room table, enriching our bodies with the most delicious, wholesome meals and enriching our lives with the quality time and good conversation together.
Friends. I love to make new friends, and I like to think I make friends easily. I have a long list of friends from school, university, my first few jobs, living in London, boyfriends friends and girlfriends, family friends, mom friends and many more… But sometimes it is easy to become friends with certain people out of convenience – and often we talk of these friends as seasonal friends. They are in our lives for a season. Think about being at school, you are pretty much forced to be friends with those in your year or class or sports team, or in your lectures at university. When you start a job, you become friends with your co-workers but mainly because you spend so much time together, and the same when you have children and you make friends with other moms in your baby classes or at your child’s school. Over the years, I have made so many of these friends and they all bless my life in some way or another.
More recently though, I have looked a little deeper into the friends that truly enrich my life. The friends that aren’t only there out of convenience, mine and theirs. But rather the friends that I walk away from their company feeling enriched and my heart warm and full. In my long list of friends (whom I love dearly), there are quite a few that truly enrich me, uplift me, genuinely support me and love me like a sister. I have amazing friends who do so much for me, care for me and my family in times of need and who truly enrich my life through message and when I am with them – it doesn’t have to be every day but my heart is full and my soul enriched when being with them. These are the friends I want to sow and bloom into deeper friendships.
Church. MC and I found our church home just after we got married. We settled into a lovely church in our area that had amazing pastors, great sermons and it was close by. As the years have come and gone and our girls have joined the kids church and we have attended our Sunday services, it has been on my heart that we needed a little more from our church, that we weren’t “home” yet. But attending any other church had never been an option for us because it was so convenient for us to get ready in time each Sunday morning and then head to our local breakfast spot afterwards.
A few weeks ago, I approached MC about this calling in my heart to explore new churches to find our new church home. He didn’t know of any others in the area so I spoke of the calling to venture a bit further out – further out of our area and our comfort zone. We found an amazing church 30 minutes away from home, we attended our first Sunday service and were blown away at how Jesus spoke to us, He shouted at us, He enriched us. We left that first service and every service since with the Holy Spirit in us, enriching our lives and our girl’s lives in a way we never could have imagined. We have found “home”.
How do you feel about Convenience vs Enrichment?