Life is just plain hard... just plain complicated. Creating a 'simple life' is actually more like swimming up stream. It requires deliberate fighting of this worlds current. It isn't easy, but it is worth it. As we have done some changes in our lifestyle over the past year I have found that change isn't easy, but rewarding.
As 2010 brings in a new decade I have to face the reality that this is my final decade as a mother with all my children at home. When this decade wraps up my oldest two will be in college and my youngest two in their last high school years. These next ten years are going to fly by... I am going to live them DELIBERATELY!!! It starts NOW!!
10 Ways to CHOOSE SIMPLICITY in 2010
(some of these may work for you, others may not... living deliberately is living in the way that is best for YOUR family)
- Live DELIBERATELY: Choose what I do, and what I don't do, based on mindful and prayerful thought and purpose rather than randomness or based on cultural expectations. Requires understanding what to keep and what to toss in our schedule, home and heart!
- Rudder hour is precious: The first hour of the day sets the tone for my remaining hours.... it steers me in the right direction! Guarding this hour and spending it wisely is key. Getting up an hour before my children so that I can shower, dress, pray and reflect in QUIETNESS and without disturbance will give me a chance to get a fresh start on the day without immediately feeling behind.
- Re-focus/ re-commit to my daily and weekly routines. Rather than thinking "I'll do that later" my mantras have to be "Do it now" and "What can I do now that will make things easier for later"! Flylady has been such an inspiration (and answer to prayer) during the last 6 years (my flying anniversary is January 2004). I have pulled out my control journal and have written up fresh routines. The CREATIVE person that I am has a hard time with feeling confined to routine, but in the end I have so much more peace when I stick to the schedule!!
- Use up or re-purpose what I already have rather than buy more. This will not only help to reduce clutter, but will save money. I will continue to focus on creating home made gifts (this allows me to tap in to my creative side). Really evaluate any and all purchases to see if there is anyway I can make due without it or create it from something I already have.
- Focus on being a CONSERVER rather than a CONSUMER. This somewhat ties into #4, but goes a step further... it is an attitude of the heart! It is about reducing that "want, want, want, need, need, need" pulse that beats so strong in our modern world. It is also about being a wise steward of the resources we have and using what we have to the fullest. (and not filling up the landfills)
- Minimize the belongings in our home. Stuff comes with such a cost... keeping it clean, organized and functioning. It also costs money to acquire, maintain and replace. So much of what we have we do not NEED. Evaluating our 'stuff' and shaving off the unnecessary extras will make daily life easier... it is so much simpler to pick up one basket of toys rather than three!
- Maintain a low level of "Screen Time" in our home. Screen time sucks the life out of developing creativity and being an active participant in this life God has given. It is SO easy to let the hours slip away in front of the tv or computer. Over Thanksgiving break we had a NO screen time week and since then have been very conservative with our screen time. The results: more creativity, more family time, more games, more music, more baking, more laughter... more LIVING!!
- CHOOSE my attitude and my actions based on walking out the fruits of the Spirit rather than following how I am feeling. Feelings are so fickle and not at all reliable. The fruit of the Spirit will never let me down. I will TELL myself how to act rather than be swept away by emotions. I will also SMILE more.... smiles are a gift we give to others that is usually returned. I am going to LAUGH as much as possible and focus on GENTLENESS!!
- Self-sufficiency Skills: Pick a few to improve on and a few to learn. The day I stop learning is the day I will stop living..... there is always something to learn and always something to teach to my children!!! I am NOT raising future children, I am raising future adults who will need life skills!!
- Take time to enjoy life each day. Slow down and enjoy moments with each of my children and my handsome husband! They are gifts from God, gifts to be cherished, nurtured and loved. Find pleasure in life, celebrate and flourish in the moments of life that make up the memories we hold dear in our hearts!
Live a DELIBERATE life, one that focuses on LIVING rather than ACQUIRING!
Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
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