I've been making time to read a little bit lately. When I do it, I'm not sure, but I find little snippets of time to do something I really love to do. I suppose it's my "TV" time, as I hardly watch any TV.
I've been reading "God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos" by Keri Kent. One of the best books I've read so far. A must read for all you young moms out there. She writes from in the trenches. She has two young kids, and writes about real life, happening now. Not as an older woman "looking back" at her "raising up kids" years. There is wisdom to be gleaned from those women too, but I just appreciate a different perspective!
I so appreciate her brutal honesty. It reminds me that I'm not alone in this often so lonely time of life. It's crazy how I can be surrounded by so much noise, and yet feel like I am drowning in my own piles of laundry, dishes, to do lists, and whining children.
I LOVE MY JOB! Don't get me wrong. My children bring me such joy. They have taught me more about unconditional love than anything else. I think I have a better understanding of how much Christ truly loves us now that I have kids. There is nothing they can do that will make me love them less. Like, maybe, but love, no. :)
A chapter I read recently was on simplicity. So often I think of this as physically cleaning out the closets and bins of "stuff" that seem to accumulate. I LOVE doing this. There is something freeing about getting rid of "stuff." I think the simplicity God desires of us is much more than just "getting rid" of stuff, but the willingness to have an open hand with the things/people he has given us.
It's more about contentment than about the number of pairs of pants in my closet. He desires that I hold ALL He has given me with a grateful and open heart and hand.
There are times when He DOES ask us to give up things, or people. I believe it's much easier to do that when we have practiced the discipline of contentment. Like Paul says "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." He wrote this from prison.
Back to simplicity. I don't have a hard time simplifying my possessions. We live in a small home, drive simple cars, and I don't require a lot of expensive things. (Although I do love me a good pair of UGG boots and a North Face jackets, I won't deny!)
But it's not a hard thing for me to hold those with an "open hand."
It's much harder for my to simplify the activities that fight for the quiet places in my soul. It is the day to day busyness that creates spiritual barriers that keep me from slowing down and hearing God's voice in the chaos of life.
For me, simplicity is making less of me, so that He can increase. (John 3:30)
It's about carving out time and places in my life for that to happen.
How can I focus on God when everyone around me is jumping (literally--Kayla right now...) up and down, fighting for my attention, waving their needs in my face?
Focusing on the simple truth that Jesus is Enough. I am enough when I focus on becoming like Him. Keeping my perspective.
Everything I do, I do for Him. This makes the mundane tasks, even the ones I enjoy have purpose. Simplifying life by focusing on doing it all for His glory.
It's about slowing down for me. Stopping, turning off the mixer to do my next task. Not just putting it on the slow speed while I try to do three other things at the same time. Meanwhile, over-mixing whatever is in the bowl because I couldn't slow down enough to focus on the present task at hand. Actually turning off the beaters of the to do lists, friends to meet, appointments to keep. Focusing on what is in front of me. Becoming more deliberate of living in Jesus' presence moment by moment.
I might have more patience with my husband and kids. I might have more joy in folding laundry. I might not worry so much about my "to do" list.
I might just experience the blessings of simplicity.
When I begin to let go of living the impossible standards I place on myself, I experience God's presence in a more real and tangible way.
Isn't this what I wish for my daughters to learn? To enjoy the life that God has given us? To not let society drive the decisions we make? To become confident daughters of The King. To desire to live our lives through His filter.
To live a life of thankfulness. Of contentment. Of Joy. Of Peace.
This is my prayer. I encourage you to find whatever "simplifying" means in your life.
Focusing on Christ. Moment by Moment. This is mine.