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Finding Joy in a Little {the art of not keeping up}

It took my awhile.

I wish I had learned sooner. Practiced it more often. Not worried so much. And just stood still.

Looking back–I see a frazzled mom trying to flip through magazines to catch up with what color would be cool for the next season…as if it mattered and staying up late monogramming tees. I confess I am Southern and in my 2nd year of parenting got an embroidery machine for convenient monogramming for Christmas. (Ten years later–that machine is collecting dust. Because there is nothing wrong with monograms–but we just don’t need them so much anymore.)

Wearing the new color of the season (for fall by the way it’s a cool minty green)…or having the kids in the right sports or schools or neighborhoods…(the list goes on)…are things that I have let go of. Roll your eyes all you want if you never have quietly or not so quietly wanted for these things…but 10 years into this mommy thing–I am finally finding joy in a little. The simple.

The new stress of school work...the goat eating your pencil.

The funny part is…when you begin to find joy in the little–you begin to see the gaps. You see the things that matter of the heart. The things that need more tending that you have missed, and had you not slowed down…they might have been missed forever.

And it’s the heart that matters most.

But. But will they be okay not having this things we ask? Will you be?

And I think about my upbringing. How I rarely share…the joy that was found in the little.

My parents got married at 18. My dad joined the army and shortly to follow my sister was born. I came 14 months later. My little sister would follow in just a few years. Neither of my parents had college diplomas. My mom would return to school later many times taking us and our coloring books with her. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I could have a friend spend the night because if it rained in my elementary years–20 buckets came out to catch the water. By high school we had come far because of the hard work and determination of both my father and mother….and I had learned the gift of simplicity, learning to make something with what you already have and finding joy in a little. Not having or needing what others have…but this was probably more by circumstances than choice.

But out of the choosing. The choosing to stay in the simple…the joy seems even sweeter there.

No matter what you have or don’t have–you will struggle with keeping up with the world…until–you don’t.

You decide one day–that the keeping up with the world just isn’t worth your heart, strength, time…but living deeply and being real is…and you can’t possibly do both.

I’ve chosen to laugh more. Not fret about the small stuff. And if I want to change things up–an $8 highlight from the grocery is a whole lot of fun–and it’s…just hair. And for a mom…a girl who used to care…there is freedom in that as silly as that may sound. If the thought of a $8 box of hair dye sounds like a risk to you…um–then we might have a ways to go;). ┬áThis was my entertainment for last week…

Now that’s vulnerability in my $8 kit gone bad;).

I’m learning there’s waste in comparing–energy, soul and heart. And moving out to the country–there isn’t a thing we miss. We haven’t been to our bigger church in 5 months and only 4 out of 2,000 have noticed and checked in…and we have made some pretty sweet friends at this small church of 200 and jumped right in with Rich teaching the 4th graders and me welcoming in the mornings. Life is happening in new, real, deep ways and we are thankful.

There is truly freedom in learning to find joy in the the little…and not needing things or being a part of things to make us feel like we are somebody. Learning over here to just slow down and rest…right where I am…He is enough…in Him I am enough…and I just need to be still.

I’m learning to slow down in new ways…and truly–learning to love and live with no regrets, retrieve or reserve. We have but one life…I want to live deeply and fully. You in?

Here are a few pictures of us lately…

Date night...our favorite night
Aaron staying with us from Africa
Homeschool Project: baby barn
Rise and shine: morning goat feeding
Mommy and Laney craft fun: a fall table
A sweet front porch view
Practicing with Laney with calligraphy

Not sure if this blog makes a lick of rambling sense! But if it encourages one…the rambling is worth it! And it will help me remember these sweet days later–because I’m quite sure my mommy brain will forget!