On being still, and my choice in February to “Reduce”

In 2014 I am intentionally making choices.  January was about being still.

Here is the thing.  I have two tiny humans, that are not.ever.still.  This means that my mind is very rarely still.

So.very.this…

mymind

I have come to realize that when you put something out into the ether, like…”I am going to choose stillness”, the world/tiny minions/Satan/calendar events/illnesses all conspire against you.  With all that I had, I began baby steps to choose stillness.  Some days, all I was allowed was the 3 minutes of blank staring at the dinner table.  Those few minutes were pure glory.

Most mornings, I sat with my coffee and read a devotional, or completed my bible study.  Other mornings, when it was WAY too dark for anyone to be awake, I put on a show for the littles, and crawled back into bed for 10 minutes.  No shame or judgement.

I am not sure one can learn a discipline of stillness in one short month.  It is something I STARTED in January, but did not perfect.  Work in progress people.

Readings I am working my way through related to stillness:

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Ehman, Karen

In February, I am choosing to reduce.  Reduce stress, reduce our spending, reduce our trash, reduce judgement.  REDUCE!!!

I am going to really try to reduce judging myself.  Not sure why I think I can do it all.  Lies.  Guess what…you have two toddlers?!?!  Life will be hard for a bit longer.  It just will.  Your house will be dirty, and you will forget to reply to emails/text/voicemails.  Settle in to the chaos already.

This mama neeeeeeeeds to reduce screen time.  Not sure I can join the hands free revolution just yet, but something needs to give for sure.

Reducing the hoarder-status in the garage is on the agenda this month as well.  Simmer on the calls to TLC.  There is an almost-unobscured walking lane all the way through.  Sheesh.

Also, we were introduced to a very cool diaper composting service.  We get to reduce our landfill contribution (and possibly our garbage can size)!  YAY!

Bottom line…How will my relationships, parenting, work/business life, budget change if I choose to reduce?

Learning to make the small choices that add up to big change.  It is a journey!

Advertisements

Reflections on 2013, and the choices of 2014

I started my blog in January of 2013 as a way to journal about my personal struggles to determine my value.  Value as a woman, wife, mom, employee, friend…you get the picture.  These particular struggles stem from old tapes that play in my head that try to tell me that my value is limited.  I have to continually remind myself that these lies do not define me.

As I mentioned last year, I do not typically make resolutions, though it worked really well in 2013 for me to have a “theme”.   I closed my very first blog entry with the following statement:  “So 2013, be good and gentle with me and my family, and may I be met with constant reminders of my declaration to return.”  I cannot tell you how many times throughout the year I was reminded that I declared to return.    Here is very brief summary of how well I did in my return to these areas in 2013.

Sanity:  Depends on how much I sleep, and what I eat, but the fog continues to lift.

Sensibility:  We are acutely aware of our chemical burden.  This continues to be an area of passion and research for me.  We made a huge change in April of 2013 to cut processed food from our diet, and switch to what is considered “Real Food”.  Still a battle to eat wisely each day.  Budget…continues to be a struggle.  More to come on this in 2014.

Service:  In early 2013, I began serving on the board of a large local mother’s club.  I am coordinating a program which organizes meals and other service-related tasks for moms that welcome new babies.  Food, and new mamas.  Perfect fit.

My God:  I wander.  Therefore, I am not sure that God will ever stop calling me to return.  It is something that I hope to be a life-long pursuit.  Both Him calling me back, and me chasing hard after His goodness, love and scandalous grace.

This new year, I plan to pursue more perspective in the things that really matter in my life.  Often, it takes a great sacrifice or tragedy to put life into perspective, but I am not waiting.  I am choosing over the next 12 months to sacrifice selfishness in search of character development.  I will not always get to control my circumstances, or the outcome of my trials, but  I do have a choice about my attitude, and response.  This will be my 2014 theme.  The ability to choose.

I plan to begin 2014 in January by choosing stillness.  This will initially mean developing a discipline of giving the first portion of my day to God in quiet and prayer.  I LOVE sleep, so when I tell you that this is a sacrifice, please believe me.

Honestly though, this is about SO much more than morning quiet time or prayer.  How will my relationships, parenting, work/business life, budget change if I choose to be still?  Can I be a better listener, think/pray before making a decision or purchase, pause before speaking, consider others before acting?  Will the manufactured hustle that I create in my life subside?  What will I learn about myself in the silence?  What will God speak to me in the quiet?

Looking forward to January’s journey and the insight.

~S