My 'before' photos of the areas I'm in the process of tackling for 'Project Simplify' over at Simple Mom (Kid's stuff; Kitchen and/or pantry; Closets, countertops and drawers)
Where we eat/do homework/have cuppas/hold family meetings - basically, the centre of our family functioning
The little boy's bedroom, a place where we're constantly on a merry-go-round of tidy-up/get messy (rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat....)
This little guy has wormed his way into our hearts, and spends a lot of time doing this......or jumping around in a completely hyperactive state (much like most toddlers, really!!)
I've been unwell with a cold the last couple of days, which has basically involved a lot of tissues, fluids, and not moving far from the couch at all. I came home from work yesterday morning, and then slept for most of the afternoon until the kids came home from school. Today has involved staying in pyjamas all-round, watching re-runs of Dr Who, Instagramming and just hanging out with the kids in general. I'm certainly not complaining - sometimes it takes being slowed down by an illness (or other such event) to just stop and be a human being for a while, rather than a human doing (which is certainly what I end up being most weekends).
Taking the time to slow down, to be rather than to do has been something I've been particularly pre-occupied with lately - not something that's unfamiliar to me, but has been more prevalent in my conscience of late. I came to a point a few weeks ago where I realised I had to make a decision about how I was managing life (or more to the point, not managing), and I decided to cut back at work by a day a week. I am very blessed to work for a great company, in an office with the most wonderful colleagues (whom I call friends), and I was very supported in my decision to work a day less a week, in a bid to try and slow down and 'catch up'. I now have Wednesdays off, and so far, I am absolutely loving the time 'off'. I made a very conscious decision that this time would not be spent doing housework, or running around 'doing jobs' all day, but that I would find the balance that would enable me to find my centre again, focus on being intentional, to not feel like I'm constantly chasing my tail and getting nowhere. I'm under no illusion that I can achieve all this in one day a week, but I do believe that by honouring what I believe God has prompted me to do, to carve out time to be able to just think and breathe for a little while, whatever comes on those days will flow through the rest of the week and beyond.
I had such an experience this past Wednesday - it hasn't taken long for me to fall into a routine of dropping the kids off at school and heading to my favourite cafe to linger over a cappuccino or two, usually whilst doing my daily devotional or something the like. Last week, after consuming an adequate amount of caffeine, I headed over to our local art gallery. We have a thriving arts community in my region, and a newly refurbished gallery as part of our local council's ongoing redevelopment of the centre of our town. As I wandered through the exhibitions, I was inspired again to put my creativity into practice, to dare to live without expecting to fail, to live life as Jesus intended for us, to the full. I don't know exactly what sparked it, but seeing the results of each artist's risk, their dare to take what's in their heart and soul and to 'put it out there', encouraged me to get back to doing the same. I haven't yet, but when I've got a modicum of energy, I will be.
Refelecting on the events of my life and of those around me has also encouraged and inspired me to follow God's prompting to express the creativity He has given me, to see it for the gift that it is, and to not waste it. Four years ago yesterday, my very dear friend Steve died in a boating accident, on a day when you could scarcely believe anything could possibly go wrong. He was a man after God's own heart, newly married and completely in love with his brand new wife Kristy, and someone who lived how God directed him to. I went back to my old blog and read some posts I had written about Steve and his passing, and it was this passage that reminded me of how important it is to use the talents God blessed us with, not to bury them in a field -
'....Then Steve died, and so much of what I had taken for granted in this life was shattered, the way I saw living, and what is 'supposed' to be was changed forever. Steve dying truly showed me that we can't assume we have the rest of today, let alone tomorrow, and this is how we should live - right now, in this moment, not for what may be. His death also taught me a lesson in 'what if', how that sentiment doesn't really matter, because we can never change the past, we have to deal with 'what is', not the 'what if'. That is a constant work in progress for me, not one I have any definite answers to. But losing Steve also showed me what God's love is for us all, how He uses each and every one of His children for His purpose, even when we can't make sense of His direction. There have been so many blessings come out of this tragedy, I've seen things in people I may never have if it all hadn't happened, and I can't help but be grateful for that'
- December 21, 2008
- December 21, 2008
Without even realising it, I had written about being intentional, even back then, so it's obviously been something lingering around the edges of my psychi for quite some time. I think it's time to actually go and put that into action......
Here's to you Steve, to your always-encouraging heart, and being the inspiration to pull my finger out and just get going.