When simple living is anything but. It’s in the starting again, day after day, that we learn to live with more focus—and more grace. For others and for ourselves.
The truth is, sometimes I watch my children with envy.
They eat popsicles on sunny days and drink hot cocoa on cold ones. They explore muddy orchards after rainstorms and build Roxaboxen-style homes while they keep one eye out for Indians.
Their biggest problems are remembering to flush the toilet so Mom doesn’t bust them and finding all the darts they lost in the yard.
(There they are, staking out the neighbor kids, dart guns in hand.)
As their mom, I get to do all of it with them, and I’m so grateful for that.
Not long ago, I stood with my kids on the edge of the ocean, barking at sea lions until the big things got so curious they swam over to see what all the noise was about. Last week, I lost a shoe in the sleeper mud pit right alongside my son. (RIP, purple Nikes.) Just yesterday, I got to hear them squeal and see them streak across the grass when their daddy surprised us by coming home early. (I may have squealed too.)
But there’s one impossible-to-miss differentiator between them and me: My mind is racing at any given point, while their minds are still.
Even though I know what I want to go big on in life (family, creativity, and faith) and I believe deeply that knowing your why helps you tune out noise, sometimes…
Sometimes living simply is anything but.
In a world that moves quicker than we can blink, the concept of simple living might just be a myth. An alluring apparition that hardly anyone really catches.
Is it ever simple when signup sheets are flying, when no one has stepped up to be the room parent for the year, or when good, better and best are as confused as your toddler when he’s awoken from a nap?
It is ever simple when your brain screams “say yes!” while your heart whispers (all too quietly) “say no.”
Is it ever simple when you realize you’ve overextended yourself but for really, really good reasons, you can’t set any of the balls you juggle down?
It’s money, it’s friendship, it’s our reputations—sometimes it’s even our self-worth—on the line.
Simple living isn’t simple.
But it’s the tension that helps us know our core.
We may not get it right half the time. Tension is uncomfortable, and the answers aren’t always clear. At the end of the day, we may long to hole ourselves up in the bedroom with a plate of lemon bars and an episode of Downtown. (Now that sounds simple, right?)
But it’s in the starting again, day after day, that we learn to live with more focus—and more grace. For others and for ourselves.
Which makes me think… Maybe we’re catching the vision after all.
Goosebumps! Actual goosebumps, I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for sending this post out at precisely the right time, you have a knack for doing that 🙂
Erica Layne says
Thanks so much, Stacy! I’m so thankful to have you in my life as my champion! 🙂 I hope you had a fantastic trip!
I was just thinking this yesterday, how I envy that my kids’ problems is so “petty” (to us, of course). It’s one of those times when I wish I was carefree and didn’t have half the responsibilities I do. But like you said, restart 🙂
Lisa at Mabey She Made It says
I need to be better at listening to my heart and saying no more often. I’ve been feeling the urge to purge all the “stuff” in my life, but sometimes the “stuff” that needs to go most is extra commitments. Thanks for the reminder, Erica.
Tove Maren says
I love your point that even when we enjoy the simple things with them our minds are racing and theirs is still… I long for a still mind! Thank you for making me feel normal!
what a beautiful post. Thank you for bringing me into your simplicity.