Small steps towards simplicity…this is the challenge of the week from Elizabeth Foss. Small is the key word for me this week. Last week I mentioned how easy it is for me, the lover of plans, to get caught up in the planning and never in the doing. So this week I just spent the week doing.
This, for me, was no small feat. It required lots of praying and lots of nudging from the Holy Spirit. In the past I’ve always felt simplicity calling me to get rid of, strip bare as Elizabeth says. And that kind of simplicity definitely has its place especially if you are feeling suffocated by the clutter of your life, material and emotional. But this week was a new kind of simplistic discipline, if you will. Whenever I thought about doing something, if it was at all feasible in the moment, I just did it…right then. No planning. No procrastinating. No excusing.
This is how my week went…
- I simply changed one small chore around. Instead of redoing the chore wall chart, instead of
fretting aboutplanning on how to go about the change, I just made it. Right then that very day.
- I simply laid the baby down when he fell asleep from nursing. Then I went right to task doing one thing, anything that came to mind (usually dinner prep or a household chore), that I couldn’t do while nursing him.
- If there was a task that came to my mind that only took one minute (like as in a literal timed minute, i.e. bagging up the trash or sweeping up a bit of crumbs or wiping down a counter) I just stopped right then and simply did it.
- I simply expected the interruptions and disappointments to come my way. And when they inevitably did I remembered that I had the Holy Spirit living inside of me and, therefore, could choose to accept and walk through instead of react.
- I simply read to the little ones without planning a reading list or making it match any sort of unit study. I just read when I thought about it or at lunch or in the morning or in the evening. Even if it was just one book. I simply read.
- I simply did one computer task (answer an email or send an encouraging note, quickly organize a few homeschooling files, update the checkbook, etc.) before playing on the computer (see blogging!).
- I simply kept my promises. If I promised to make hot tea when we got home and then was reminded later by little ones after I had already forgotten, I simply stopped what I was doing and went to keep that promise weather I felt like it or not.
…and my house was cleaner then it ever has been. Dinner arrived on the table every night on time without the melodrama of 5 p.m. meltdowns. Kids got one on one time. Buried school issues got dealt with. I did not linger too long on the computer. I felt peace, calm. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that really what it’s about?