This past Sunday, our family visited Homestead Heritage for their annual Christmas program. My sister warned me that it was amazing, but I wasn’t prepared to be wowed like I was. And honestly, I could have been wowed more had we not taken the kids.

In their defense, they had had a full day, church, family birthday celebration, playing with cousins, and no nap. Then as soon as we got in the car, they all fell asleep. No dinner. By the time we got there, an hour later, and woke them up, they were hungry and tired and cranky. They couldn’t see the musicians or the choir, just the back of a bunch of adult heads. Ben spent most of the concert out in the van, feeding the a Maxine or breaking up fights between Maxton and Maxwelle, while I sat in the concert with the other with whomever he didn’t have. Maxine kept whispering, “Mommy, let’s go home!” and was on the verge of throwing a tantrum several times. She ended up laying down on her coat, under my chair for a couple of songs. That’s when I’d had enough. I probably would have declared defeat earlier, had we not driven an hour to get to the concert. I usually don’t care too much when kids act their age in public, but I was extra irritated that  I was sitting next to a pregnant lady with 6 children (8 and under) who didn’t say a peep the entire time and didn’t need to be distracted or entertained or amused. *sigh*

But wait. That’s not what this post is about. Ironically, it’s about focus, and I need to refocus on the topic. This amazing concert taught me about focus. What would happen in my life if I would just focus on what’s important and not get distracted with….everything else.

In the culture at large, professional orchestras are made up of people with exceptional talent who work hard to hone their skills and perfect their craft. The people at Homestead are exceptional musicians because they love music and their lifestyles allow for time to develop their talent.  This was  not your average community musical production. They were excellent! They weren’t excellent because this is all they do. They all have jobs and families and community. But they do life together. There is margin in their life for life, beauty, music, good food, conversation. The kids at homestead look you in the eye when they talk to you. They’re just different because they live different.

And even though I don’t agree with the philosophy behind some of what they do, I admit that I love the results. It makes me long for a slower existence, in Puerto Viejo (with high-speed Internet).

Everything that they do at Homestead is excellent. I wonder how much mediocrity we’ve settled for because we’ve chosen our hurried and cluttered lives?  I’ve written about this before, but have you thought about what we are trading in order to be a part of the American Dream?