In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Monday, January 9, 2017

Seeking slow and simple.....


When I was a kid, I hated the post-holiday season.  It was as if there was all of this hype that led up to one special day, December 25, and just like that it was gone as soon as my head hit the pillow Christmas night.   Like a needle pinning a balloon, the day quickly disappeared, and with it the excitement and nostalgia of the season.

Truth be told, I probably hated this time of year as a child, because I hated winter.  I hated January.  It always seemed painfully slow, bitterly cold, sadly dark and dreary.  And after the fast-paced excitement of whimsical wonder that November and December bring, it always felt like January would never end!

Indiana winters are long and rather unpleasant, filled with overcast skies and barren trees and fields.  Even now as a grownup, I still dislike our winters.  But unlike when I was a child, there is something about January that my adult-self now looks forward to.  More than just a fresh start and newfound resolutions, January seems to grow on me with each passing year, simply because it is the SLOWEST month of the year.  The very thing that I despised about this month as a child, has now become a breath of fresh air to me as an adult.  The thing about adulting is that it has led me to not only crave slow on occasion, but to genuinely NEED a time for slow.

And so this January, I’m reveling in the slow.  I’m seeking out the simple and sublime.  Because the past few months, I have felt a little tattered and worn.  More than just the usual tired from holiday festivities and events, but tired and worn from life events. 

As 2016 came to a close, I was feeling beat down, and I knew that every part of me, mind-body-soul, needed to take a step back for a time of rest and reflection.  Not the easiest thing to do for a mama of three little ones, but a necessary thing for me to do to be the best mama I can be for my babies.

Can I tell you that it has only been nine days, but I’m already feeling better.  Feeling a little more energized.  Feeling a little more joyful.  Because on occasion, simple brings joy. Choosing slow and simple allows my mind to focus on what is important, and my body to do what is important. 

This week I have said no to running errands  with the kids, and yes to pajama days with the kids.  I have said not now to household chores, and yes to play time with my boys.  I have said no to cooking big meals all week, and yes to eating simple, healthy meals.  I have said no to some social outings, and yes to alone time.  I have said no to my group Bible studies, and yes to solo studies.

Is there anything wrong with the above list?  Nope.  In fact, I don’t really recommend never leaving the house, staying in pajamas and becoming a hermit.  That’s actually a great way to become depressed.  We were designed to need people and to need a sense of community.  However, the introverted part of me needed a recharge, and I find that January is a perfect time to recharge.

January will come and go, and my calendar and commitments will fill up.  But I hope in 2017, I don’t allow myself to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day living, that I overlook the joy found in the simple.

This year, I want to DO less each day.

I want to read more, write more and play more.

To enjoy more.  To enjoy my kids more! 

To live in the moment more.

To stop and see gratitude in the little things.

While slow-paced is not who I am, this year I want to slow down enough to see the joy in the simple moments, without having to seek those moments out.

This year, I want slow and simple.  How about you?

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