Simplifications…

Lately I have been pressed with the need to rest.  Not only rest in the physical realm (although there has been a lot of that going on), but rest in the spiritual realm.  Before kids when I had unlimited free time (or so it seemed) it was not so much of an issue for me.  I could spend my free time doing life-giving and non-life-giving activities.  I had time for both. 

I find that if I spend my free time doing activities that build me up instead of tear me down I’m much nicer to everyone around me, less stressed, more fulfilled.  That netflix movie stays on the counter a few more days than it used to.  Favorite TV shows are watched online and only if I have time.  It takes me longer to finish a good mystery novel.  And yes, as you can tell, I blog surf and blog less.  It’s not that any of these things are bad in and of themselves, just lower on my list of priorities.  I hesitate to call blogging “non-life-giving” because I firmly believe that writing is one of the best ways to spend free time.  All these things move lower and lower on my to do list as time goes on.  Things that move up on my list are spending time in the Word, going on walks with my family, spending time with Paul and Eli, and making Paul’s life easier whenever possible.

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What have we been doing?  We’ve been VERY busy with the stuff of life.  Enjoying each other and God.  As we move into the holiday months I look forward to thanking God for our blessings and celebrating Jesus’ birth.  Our little school is putting on a production of The Nutcracker.  The kids just buzz with excitement all day.  I live day to day with the challenge of teaching 4 grades in one classroom.  It’s a good challenge.  It’s not traditional in any sense and continues to stretch me beyond my comfort zone.  Nothing that I paid 21,000 dollars to get a teaching degree prepared me for it. 

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Eli continues to grow up and amazes us continually.  We took him for his 18 month checkup this week.  He had a little reaction to the immunizations, a small fever, but otherwise he is fine.  He is so tall!  He is such a good and obediant boy.  He loves music.  He is starting to really like church and the nursery.  Here is is playing in grammy’s creek. 

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Paul continues with his photography, doing odd jobs for people, AWANA, and managing our household.  You will not find a better advocate for say at home parents anywhere on this earth.  As with everything he does, he does it with his whole heart.  He made German pancakes this morning.  He is God’s gift to pancakes.

We are leaving the harvest season and heading on to cold days with warm fires in the wood stove.  I bundled up on the couch with Eli the other day when he was down with the fever.  This is, unfortunately, the only time he cuddles.  It was sweet.  As we head into the holiday season Paul and I want to experience as many of those moments as possible, making it the least stressful and most worshipful possible.  How do you do it?  I really think that gift-giving and consumerism takes so much away from the real celebration.  How can I (or should I) protect my family from this?  I suspect this is an age old question.  I’ll let you know when I solve it.

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3 responses to “Simplifications…

  1. I sure wish I knew how to surround my family with only life-giving things. We are currently recovering from Emma’s 4th birthday party — no friends, just family, and we are still swimming in new gifts and a completely overwhelmed little girl who has NO idea how to be thankful. This will be a constant struggle.

    It was good to read your update. I hope we can see you guys soon.

  2. annie, your blog post excites me to want to do the same thing. i am constantly thinking and wondering how do i simplify and only do life giving things. i am constantly consumed with doing things for others out of guilt or not appreciating my life enough and just living it. i can so get caught up in the “what’s next stage”. i have this picture of falling into the arms of jesus and letting him guide my steps, set m yattitude and fill me up way more than any “thing” or “experience”. why is it so hard to do that though… things to think about and ponder… thanks for reminding me of the importance of the simple things in life and what truly is important. abby

  3. Enjoyed your post.

    It reminds me in part of what the Lord has been working on with me–learning to practice Phil 4:4-9 daily. I’ve known the concept and passage for many years. But remembering to commit everything to Him rather than being anxious about it on a daily basis is something I’m still learning. And then the things Paul says to think on. I actually need to memorize that part and then practice it daily.

    And I think that part relates to your point. It is so easy to fill our minds with things that aren’t wrong in and of themselves, but that are not causing us to grow in Him.

    And I’m being challenged to spend less time on the newspaper or news websites which mostly have bad news or things that can get me in a less than positive attitude.

    And of course we are constantly bombarded by things of the world around us that for the most part do not build us up.

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