Have you felt lately like you are rushing around, spending all of your time getting kids from one event to the other, cleaning up the clutter in the house, and just feeling overwhelmed with all that’s on your to-do list? Consider this – you don’t have to do it all.
Now pause. I understand. I know there is a balance… between the experiences your kids have, and the alternative – family time. There is a balance… between getting in a workout, and the alternative – cleaning up the house.
Every day we have to make choices. I love this quote “the more choices we make, the less willpower we have.” Let that sink in for a moment. Reread it, I’ll wait.
So if our day is filled to the brim with choices, and commitments, and cleaning, and decluttering, we will certainly find ourselves wiped out. UNFULFILLED, when we are striving to BE FULFILLED. We are actually losing the exact thing we are seeking.
Part 1: How can simplifying our lives impact our happiness?
When you decide to remove the excess “stuff” in our homes, we can spend less time cleaning, and organizing, and more time with the people we love.
When you decide to eliminate commitments (sports, enrichment classes, etc), we can spend more time being “present” with those we love.
There is something to be said about Simplifying…
Simplifying defends us
against rushed conversations,
against hasty dinners,
against hurried parenting,
against having to clean as much (yes, think about it),
against having countless bills to pay (again, seriously, think about it)
SIMPLIFYING can be so FREEING!
Lets view this idea from another vantage point…
I heard an awesome sermon once, from Pastor David Ashcraft, LCBC. He shared that relationships are a series of deposits. When we aren’t stopping to put daily deposits (of our time and energy and love) with those we love, when those we love need something – they will feel empty, they might feel like the “bank” is empty.
I can recall as a little girl loving dance, sports, music, and school. But as a family, we were too busy to stop and have a talk; when my brother and I fought, it was more “stop fighting” we would hear, and not “lets sit down and get to the heart of the matter.” Think about it – going to school all day, then straight to dance or music, getting home at 6pm in time to rush through dinner so I could get to my homework. It was a miracle I received enough sleep! (most of us aren’t getting enough sleep, but we will save THAT convo for another day).
So were those experiences meaningful? Sure! I went on to be a collegiate athlete, danced in our college showcase, and played piano in front of a world-known composer.
But what suffered? For me, it was understanding how to communicate.
Understanding how to be a Mary, not a Martha (don’t know the story? read it here).
So, when I simplify my life, I have time to stop when someone needs to vent, or ask for advice. I have time to honestly LISTEN without having to cram in a heartfelt convo before heading off to my next commitment. And I now have relationships that are healthy, I actually have learned how to resolve conflict in healthy ways (BIG GROWTH). I have learned how to love. I have learned that others need me to pay attention, for longer than I sometimes feel like it. But the depth of my relationships now, compared to “my busy life” is astounding. Let me tell you – you don’t know what you’re missing if you feel crazy rushed and busy all the time! Life, Work and Relationships are worth considering how to simplify your life!
Part 2: Here are some of my favorite REASONS to simplify, declutter, or de-own:
I want to
– spend less of my month paying bills
– schedule thats less hectic
– be available to help my friends
– be free to coach my child’s sports team
– spend evenings with my family instead of straightening up the house
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 ESV
Part 3: Above all, balance for every family looks different. Does it mean you need to lean into minimalism as far as material things? or scheduled events? or take appreciation in “normalcy” (the mental shift)?
Simplifying defends us against
- rushed conversations,
- hasty dinners,
- hurried parenting,
- having to clean as much (yes, think about it),
- having countless bills to pay (again, seriously, think about it)
SIMPLIFYING can be so FREEING!
In closing: What do you WANT? What can you begin to REMOVE? and What are some helpful first steps?
I love this book: The life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. By Marie Kondo*
*I highly recommend the audio book; the content is awesome, but a bit dry. So I put my earbuds in while listening to this book, and I was able to accomplish so much around the house!
I really liked this 14-day devotional by Joshua Becker because it has great perspectives, applications, and ideas: The More of Less: a guide to less stuff and more joy.
Also the Youversion devotional: The More of Less: a guide to less stuff and more joy. By Joshua Becker
If you’re ready to dig deep, this is a great springboard: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. By Jen Hatmaker.
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