I have no idea how my kids are getting so old when clearly, I am staying so young. (That sentence was obviously not written with a straight face, but with one beginning to show several laugh lines.)
Over the Christmas holiday, we were so blessed to spend a day with some of our former college friends. As if no time had passed since 1991, we laughed and shared memories and acted like we were twenty again. Then we looked across the room at all of our kids, and wondered how it came to be that we actually have a kid going to the same college we had gone to together just a few short years ago??
Y’all. I have an adult child. My other kids will also be adults the day after tomorrow. This is not new information. But sometimes the realization knocks me over the head. How did I get here? How did this happen?
It is this realization – knowing that time flies and the years are short – that lands me in a place of wanting to get rid of everything that is not essential. If it’s not nailed down, out it goes. If it’s overwhelming, I’m off-loading. God has been calling me to simplify as never before.
I’ve been making lists of what I feel is priority. It is surprisingly short.
- Love God
- Love my husband
- Love my kids
- Love myself
- Love my neighbor
While this sounds simple in and of itself, you and I both know how much all of that involves. There are so many essentials involved with loving all the people, and we all know the food doesn’t cook itself. My days are filled with:
- Feeding my family well
- Teaching and training our boys
- Taking part in our boys’ outside activities
- Caring for several people in our community and in our church family
- Managing my home
- Maintaining this website
- Dozens of other tasks
- Take a day of rest each week
It is these priorities along with these essentials that leave me a bit in a quandary. While the lists are short, they are very involved. How to juggle? How to manage? How to remain in a state of peace and joy while keeping top priorities and managing the essentials? God gave us 24 hours each day on purpose. But even while cutting out much during the past few years and saying no more than saying yes, I’m still overwhelmed much of the time. My conclusion is that there is no way to do life perfectly and also…
I must simplify as much as possible
My family and my ministries require much of my energy – much more, even, than when my kids were little. Saying “no” to all the good things that pull at me but aren’t God’s best for me is my only solution to receiving peace, especially as I have come to realize that God has not called me to do all and be all. All He asks of me is to seek Him. This is the only way His answers for my daily life become clear.
Thus, I am excited to explore the next few months of The Year of Simple.
Simple doesn’t give way to laziness. Simple means we’ll work smarter, not harder. Simple means we’ll seek to go about our days with God’s best in mind, cutting out all that hinders and everything that keeps us from looking up to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). This will look different for each of us.
What I’m planning for a Year of Simple at Heavenly Homemakers is…
To encourage all of us care for our families in the simplest ways possible so we can keep our top priorities at the top. This will include:
- More Simple Recipes – We’ve still gotta eat. We still want healthy meals. But let’s learn more about keeping it simple. (Simple Meals is one of the best ways to simplify our kitchen lives, hands down! Everyone should take part in this!)
- Simple Kitchen and Homemaking Tips – I’ll continue to share ways of managing our homes by working smarter, not harder.
- Simple Truths – God continues to reveal His perfect and simple Truth as I study and meditate on His Word. Lies fade as Truth overpowers. As God directs, I’ll share what I’m learning.
- Simple Fun – But of course.
I don’t think it matters what season of life you are in. Whether you have no children, baby children, growing children, teenage children, adult children, a spouse, no spouse – no matter who you are and what your current time of life holds for you – we can all get so wrapped up in being so busy with all the busyness that we forget to take part in what is most important.
What if we all learn together how to let go of the non-essentials, to ask for help when we need it, and to walk in peace as we trust that God will provide everything we need?
Each time I think about how God can help me simplify, I feel great joy. I take in a deep breath. I see the lovely that is around me. Often the lovely is covered in a layer of dust and smells like sweaty socks. Lovely doesn’t mean perfect. Lovely means fully being in the moment to recognize that God’s mercies are new every morning and that He is at work in all things.
I look forward to spending 2017 with you. Join me in this Year of Simple!
What’s at least one way you seek to simplify your life this year?