Thursday, August 8, 2013

Simplifying


So much change is on the horizon, but life feels like it is getting simpler.

This week, just 3 days ago, I embarked on a Facebook fast, inspired during a few Monday morning moments with my Bible and journal. I don't think I realized how free it would make me feel. Scarily, I am starting to wonder how I will ever go back. But for now, it is just for a month.



It's not like I've been spending hours on Facebook every day. But just this compulsion to check it, like I might be missing something. I don't even have a fancy internet phone, but the computer has been enough.



There are 2 reasons I decided to take a break, and they go pretty much hand in hand:

1) I've been feeling overwhelmed for a long time now. And some of that is just life with young kids, but some of that is pressure to be everything. And some of the pressure to be everything comes by inundating yourself with media that is constantly telling you who you are and who you are supposed to be.

And #2 goes along with that:

2)I've been struggling with contentment.
I haven't been feeling comfortable in my own skin recently. I've been wondering if I'm good enough.

And sometimes lately I've found that Facebook shouts louder than the voice of God.
Because I know the Truth about who I am. I know, more importantly, the Truth about Whose I am.
But I need to spend more time listening to that voice and less to an information overload newsfeed.

And if nothing else, I imagine that this is going to cause me to pick up the phone just a little bit more. Even if it means that the exact moment I do that is the moment that The Dude decides he has to poop, but doesn't make it to the potty in time, and then Aquaman steps in it. I need to take that risk a little bit more. I need to engage a little more. And, I need to pray more.

I so, so often want to go back to a simpler time in history.
But there are so many benefits to being right here- in this time. (Aquaman would say they are Monster Jam on xbox and Renegade Racing. I say they are hot water and air conditioning. And netflix)
And there's no reason why I can't choose now to protect my family by living more simply in time that we are in.
A friend of mine came from out of town a few years ago and visited our home. She remarked that she was impressed that we lived as "minimalists". I never really thought of myself that way. I still don't. And if you saw our grocery bill you would agree that we are not.
 I guess I've just always preferred small and simple. Less stuff means less time spent on stuff or worrying about stuff and cleaning up stuff.
But lately, I think I've found myself a little ashamed of who I am in that way. I've been finding it hard to be hospitable when we don't have many chairs or much room and our second hand couch is draped in a blanket to protect it from pee and peanut butter. Which has made it hard to initiate new friendships (it doesn't help that we also now have a very loud stranger shy dog)
But God has been showing me lately, even in these few days since I signed off Facebook: that what I really need is to embrace who I am.
But really embrace it. Not the way that people embrace the way they are while simultaneously making everyone else feel bad about who they are.
That's really just insecurity.

No, what I want to do is be ok with who I am because it's me. And be ok with who everyone else is because it's them. And not feel inferior. And not feel superior. But just feel: content.

And there are plenty of things to keep me busy at home right now.
It is a wonderful feeling to turn my brain in only direction at a time.
To make homeade purple slime and watch the boys play with it. And watch Aquaman's hands get stronger in a way that is completely nonthreatening and un-school-like.

And enjoy the way he incorporates cars and trucks into everything he does.
And wonder, what about him is going to make him feel different someday.
His "orange" hair, I suppose. His tendency to fixate on one subject at a time (currently Monster Trucks)
His sensitive nature, his overwhelming emotions. (The past several nights his only prayer request has been that he would be able to keep from screaming when something didn't go his way. Precious little guy)

He went from this:
To this:

this week. You should have seen the red curls all over the floor. And the way that The Dude was gleefully picking up piles of them and throwing them high in the air while I tried to hold Aquaman's head still for the around-the-ears part because he's terrified of the clippers.

The Dude is next. But we're trying to hold out until he's 3, partly because his curls are just too precious, and partly because I'm concerned for the hair cutter's safety coming at him with scissors.

 Although, we have had a toy train incident (stuck to his head when running), and an even more recent Purple Slime incident that resulted in some short cropped bangs.
Aquaman never got to play with markers at this age.
But these days, we do what we gotta do (and buy washable)

And scissors of the safety variety


I am inordinately excited about "home schooling" Aquaman this year, especially now that I have discovered ABCMouse.com to give me a little direction and give us something to do together, instead of my just teaching "at" him.
Yet another of the benefits of living in this day and age.


It's fun to watch him get into it, and to learn more about him by doing something difficult together. It's fun to figure out what works and what absolutely doesn't. For instance, in our house, physical education has to come BEFORE all the other subjects.

Life is good. This morning, the first morning of my weekend, started early, at 4:30 am. And it makes me feel like I almost have a handle on the day. Only 2 more 4 day weekends left. I'm going to soak them up. I'm going to be faithful in the little things.



 I'm going to watch God be faithful in the big things.

I can feel hope rising. Can feel that change is going to be good.

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