Last week, Blythe and I were discussing making something together, a little bracelet–the smallest of things, really–but not to a seven-year-old. She turned to me and said, “but you won’t be able to help. You’re always too busy.” I turned to her stunned and saddened. You’re too busy for me. I hated hearing the disappointment in my daughter’s voice, her expectation that I would fail her, not be available for her, but what’s worse? Her words didn’t surprise me. Instead, they echoed my own growing frustrations with our life pace and my disdain for the treadmill of activity I’ve found myself on–my running at ever-increasing speed without forward progression.
I needed to breathe. I needed space to pinpoint my frustration, my impatience. I needed room to hear my heart, to hear God’s heart for me and our family. I needed to hear the answer to these always lurking questions: am I occupied with the right things? Am I doing what matters? This would require me to hit that large red button on the treadmill–EMERGENCY STOP– to get off the treadmill and onto a trail.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle, this demand to always be doing more, achieving more — especially as a mother! We want to raise children well and make career leaps and take care of ourselves and our marriages and our homes and build friendships and of course enjoy ourselves in the process! How could anyone not feel the struggle or worn thin by the pursuit?
A couple of weeks ago, I caught glimpse of this space’s tagline “enjoying simplicity” and laughed. My life is anything but simple these days, but I want to return to that place. The place in which I work through our busy days (because we have four children and work and a hundred-year-old home old house) with simple tasks and goals. The place in which we live intentionally, heeding John Wooden’s words, “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.” Busyness does not mean our life is more valuable. The next few weeks, as we continue to inventory various aspects of our life and home, I’m hoping to share here more specific ways we’re simplifying, ways we’re discovering what really matters.