Last weekend, I attended a seminar on simplicity, taught by Cynthia Heald. As a mother with elementary aged children, I have days when I yearn for a simpler life. I’m convinced this season of child-raising is just B-U-S-Y. Much of what Cynthia shared challenged me to refine and rethink my understanding of simplicity. For better or for worse, I’ll be sharing some thoughts, today and in future posts.
I try to keep margin in our family’s schedule. I don’t want to be a stressed-out mom toting kids to activities every night, a yell only one smart-alecky remark away. I’ve accepted without question the idea that busy-ness is a part of life.
This is a glimpse of our spring so far: Hubby and I are involved in a marriage ministry at church, and we’re leading some people through a financial stewardship Bible study. I attended a five day writer’s retreat in February. My husband trained for his black belt test in karate, which took twelve hours out of each of the five weeks he trained. The boys attend karate twice a week and AWANA every Sunday. I help with worship at a weekly ladies’ Bible study, which also requires a practice one morning a week. I work in the kids’ classrooms one afternoon a week. We’ve had parent-teacher conferences and nightly homework with two boys. Oh, add to that house work (which, um, doesn’t happen often) and planning and preparing meals. And, I try to write one-two hours per day. Let’s see, am I forgetting anything?
Busy happens. I thrive on it. But it tends to eat me up when I forget to take a step back and just . . . breathe. We may have “too many good things to do,” as Cynthia Heald shared. I’m thinking about knowing the good things and discovering the best things God has designed for me to do.
Busy-ness isn’t always bad. When I’m overcommitted, though, I become stressed. When I’m stressed, I become not-so-nice for my family to be around. And, I miss quiet moments with the boys, with my husband. Hubby and I have begun discussing our commitments and praying over what is good and what is best for our family. Some of the good will probably have to go.
When I simplify my schedule, it’s easier to focus on what God has for me each day. I want to simply sit when one of my boys crawls onto my lap for a hug and a chat, or a tickle fest, for a few moments to connect. I don’t want to miss out on that.
I’m sure I’ll have to re-visit this concept of simplicity to find the balance. Again. That’s okay. Simplicity needs to have more sway in the choices I make. When simplicity is the standard for my calendar decisions, a peaceful spirit is the result.
Your Turn: How do you define simplicity? How do you work through the busy seasons in your life?