Sometimes we get so busy just trying to keep our heads above water that we don’t take to just stop and consider.
Consider a simpler way of doing things
Consider where we want to be in 5 years
I am an answers kind of girl. Nothing grates me more than being told “that’s just how things are” or “you’re a mom, you’re supposed to be tired” or better yet “you have children, your house is going to be messy”. I’ve always refused to accept being stuck in a less-than-ideal situation because of any of those excuses. Offer me some advice! Make a helpful suggestion! Tell me how you do things! Pray for me! Something! Anything!
This summer has been a very enjoyable one for me personally. I’ve been taking a good bit of time aside to read, pray and consider how things are going in my life. I’ve been journaling my thoughts and challenging my old ways of doing things.
My first revelations have come through reading the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. The book encourages us to take a closer look at all the things we fill our lives with. Not just worldly possessions (but those too!) but also the ways we fill our time, the things we say yes to. McKeown argues that we can’t do everything and give everything our full attention at one time. We can either attempt to do too many things and do them not-so-well or we can pick and choose our “greatest contribution” and do those few things exceptionally. This totally makes sense to me and has me questioning just about everything.
I am now reading through Lara Casey’s book Make It Happen. Practical title, huh? But, all joking aside, it’s what I need to learn. I need to discover how to think things through, re-evaluate, set realistic expectations for myself and then… make it happen.
Something Casey wrote about was the unhealthy aspect of going to extremes in life. While her intent was to discourage us from doing so– or at least make us aware of our tendency to be extreme– something clicked with me. I actually think I do really well if I can focus on one thing for a shorter period of time than if I try to do too many things for a long period of time. (I more struggle with consistency… but that’s for later improvement!) For instance, today, I decided to focus on laundry. I spent the entire day– in between my other motherly duties and a little work time– catching up on laundry. I used to do this but got away from it. I thought it made “more sense” to just do one load a day. But considering how I am bent and my tendency to be all or nothing, Monday as laundry day actually makes a whole lot of sense for me. And I think Casey would be okay with this sort of extreme. 😉
So, my point here being, instead of just staying stuck and saying, “I’ll never have this laundry thing figured out,” I can stop and evaluate the unique way that God made me and how I might be able to set myself up for success in this area. And, of course, other areas as well.
Though I hadn’t realize it, I am already applying similar principles in our homeschooling. When we start a subject or begin learning about a certain topic, we do best when we are all in– no interruptions! We’d rather blow through our entire History book in three months than stretch it out the entire school year. We’d rather learn all we can about the ocean than just study fish for a chapter in our Science book. This is what works for us. And when learning begins to just work and become sort of effortless, beautiful things happen.
It’s that same effortless approach that I am now trying to apply to other areas of my life. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent far too long stammering around trying to get a handle on things that are fairly simple– cooking, cleaning, laundry. I’m ready for these things to be second-nature so that I can better focus my attention on other very important things that God has called me to.
What about you? Have you taken some time to just quiet yourself, remove the distractions around you, remove the preconceived ideas in your head and consider how to better your life? Stop fighting against the tide and go with the flow. Stop making things harder on yourself than they have to be. It’s liberating and I can’t wait for you experience it!
On this journey with you,