“Life is hardly simple. In fact, it’s often quite complicated.” -Emily Ley
There’s nothing that can ruin the thought of spring more for me than the word “cleaning.” After spending months inside, nursing sick children, cleaning is the absolute last thing I want to do when spring arrives. That’s why I did the majority of my big cleaning during the months of January and February.
But more than the physical act of cleaning our house, there is also an opportunity to re-evaluate our families lives. Spring is like a re-birth for the earth. Plants and flowers grow back, cherry trees blossom, grass becomes green again. We have an opportunity to take notes from this “Re-birth” of the earth and apply it to our own lives.
Minimalism is such a hot topic these days. But often our lives are simply not conducive to getting rid of everything but the necessities in our house. What I do think is important and also attainable is living intentionally. So often as mothers we get lost in all the craziness. The endless diapers, tantrums, school sports and activities, and our never-ending to-do list. When we don’t often stop and evaluate our lives, it’s easy to lose our purpose, our goals, and ourselves. I know this because I live this.
I’m not a naturally organized person. I’m a creative person who often gets lost in my mind and likes to stay there for a little while. The downside to this is I can often forget or ignore everyday chores that need to get done. Since I often get lost in my mind, in hard seasons this can cause me to spiral into dark places emotionally and spiritually.
There are many tools and lists out there that you can utilize to practice living intentionally. I want to give you two overarching tips to help you on your journey of living intentionally.
Ask Hard Questions and Be Willing to Make Changes
Living intentionally is all about asking hard questions and being willing to make changes to you and your families lives. These questions can be different depending on your family lifestyle but it’s always good to start with a broad question of how is each member of our family doing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Are we always tired? Do our children have tantrums often? Am I just surviving the day or finding joy in my day? Questions like these can lead you to find patterns in your life that are causing physical and emotional problems.
Once you ask these questions, find solutions. Simple practices like implementing rest times, staycations can help with overtiredness. Or maybe it’s time to re-evaluate tv time. Whatever it is, make
Make Margins in Your Life
I met with a counselor before I got married and the number one thing he told me to do was to make margins in my life. He said I will be prone to never say no and therefore create chaos and no breathing room in my life. Five years and many breakdowns and arguments later, I see how right he was. I didn’t fully understand this until I had a baby and was still trying to maintain a lot of my responsibilities and commitments.
We had to implement a few family rules like “we won’t have commitments more than two nights in a row.” While we weren’t legalistic about this rule, it’s helped me tremendously in planning my schedule for the week and knowing when to say no.
There are so many opportunities for us these days that we often have to say no to good things. But saying no will help you and your family not experience burn out.
Like Emily Ley’s quote says, life is complicated. It’s almost impossible to narrow down ways to get our lives together simply through a list or a few “how to’s.” Our lives are constantly revolving and just when you think you’ve found the perfect system to make your life simpler, something changes. But we must remember that our goal is not a perfectly clean house or a perfect life, because perfection is impossible. It’s about finding systems in our lives that work and help us focus on the things in life that are important.