Before I get too involved in joining reading challenges and posting things that interest me, I thought I might go into what a quiet life means to me.
I am a busy working mom of three - two teens and a tween. We are very active in our church and with our local scouting organization. And, we always seem to have something that either needs done or we need to go do.
A year ago I went back to work after having been a stay at home mom for 14 years. This season of our life has been a challenge. I've had to figure out how to get everyone where they need to be, keep the house clean (haven't figured this one out yet!), get meals on the table, spend time with everyone, make sure homework gets done and the list goes on. I spent many days lamenting the fact that I was not more organized when I stayed home all day! The frenzied pace of the last year left me burnt out, disorganized and wondering where to turn next.
So, I turned where I thought best - I opened my Bible, drank in His word and prayed. I read how Jesus lived a simple life - he owned nothing but the clothes on his back and didn't worry about food, shelter or stuff. I read that it is better for us to store up treasures in heaven and not here on earth. I learned that, as Christians, we are supposed to live like Jesus. So, I began praying for ways to create simplicity in our life, for ways to alleviate the pressure I felt to be perfect in everything I was doing, for ways to give more - of myself and my earthly "treasures". And, slowly, in His time, the Lord answered my prayers. I have been able to delegate much of my scouting responsibilities to many other willing volunteers, my kids willingly stepped up to help with household chores (this was a huge answer to prayer in itself) and I let go of some of the "some day" projects that were never going to happen.
The next thing I did was start getting rid of stuff! How much stuff does one family need? We were holding onto things that we weren't using. My motto has become "let our useless stuff become someone else's useful blessing". I hope someone has been blessed by all the clothes I've taken to the GoodWill! This process is never ending and I'm far from having the house completely cleaned out but it's getting there. I'm hoping for a minimalist lifestyle but the movement has not taken root yet with the under 18 crowd in the house!
Then I tackled our calendar. I stopped filling in every square on the monthly grid. Do they all really need to have something written in them? I suppose it gives us a sense of purpose to have all of our days filled with something. I longed for blank boxes. So, I started scheduling regular Friday night family times - sad when you have to be sure to schedule time with your family! My sweet hubby and I have date night the first Friday of the month and the remaining Friday's are for all of us to be together. We enjoy making popcorn and watching a movie or playing board games. Now I'd like to say that the other six days are empty but that wouldn't be keeping it real. Some weeks are crazy and we're out every night. Some weeks we are home most evenings. This is a work in progress.
The quiet part? Well, when you live in a three bedroom rancher with three kids, a dog and a cat how quiet can it be? I'm trying! One day those three kids will be out on their own and maybe I'll long for the noise and chaos again, I'm not sure. For now, I want to enjoy them while they are home. After all, my ambition is to lead a quiet life...