We’ve been in our downsized home for a year now. I am STILL crawling through all of our belongings, weeding out what we no longer need, use or want. It’s about embarrassing, is what. I am so tired of the clutter, even just the eyeball and mental clutter of seeing it all and having to maintain everything. I’ve learned that just because I have space for it doesn’t mean I need to store it. And just because I like it, doesn’t mean I need to keep it. I *like* way too much stuff…which means I am not *loving* anything at all. I like the analogy I read about being in a museum, and how the artwork is surrounded by space so that you can enjoy the art itself. That’s what I want. A lifestyle that has enough margin, enough space, to enjoy the artistry of just being alive and making a life.
And, speaking of space, that goes for TIME, too. When we moved into our downsized house a year ago, I thought I’d be very generous with myself and give myself the winter off. I’d just enjoy my newborn and NOT worry about farm animals, planning a big garden (or even a small one, for that matter), or the multitude of projects and repairs that need to be done around here. I’d just park by the woodstove, nurse, lightly homeschool, and drink copious amounts of herbal teas. Well, I did those things.
So I figured that spring would show up and things would get “crazy busy” again. Like, I’d get serious about planting a garden, for starters. But the CSA showed up again and every week I have a big, gorgeous box delivered. With flowers. So I suppose my gardening endeavors are on pause, amongst other things. Pause is a good thing.
Do you ever pause? I think we hear too much of how we’re to “run the race” but not enough of “He maketh me to lie down”. Yeah, maketh. As in, I don’t wanna. I’ve got too much to do, Lord. I’m doing Your good work, Lord. Look at all the plates I’m spinning, and it’s for Your glory, Lord!
Right. And Jesus rushed from place to place, panting and thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day. Right.
Lots of activities can be fodder for pause. Like using a clothesline. I know the dryer is faster, but faster isn’t the point. The pause is the point. The time to hang out the laundry and enjoy the sunshine and the birds. And later, taking the wash down and inhaling the smell of sunshine (did you know it had a smell?) on everything. Do you have room for a clothesline?
Watching the pets gives pause. Just enjoying your kitty, or walking the dog, or (I wish!) patting down your horse. Even the animals pause and watch other things going by.
Got dishes? Try washing them by hand. Yes, I know it takes time. That is the point. Taking the time. Do you know what happens when you hand wash dishes? First, you might get irritated that it’s taking so much, well…time. But if you can just notice that feeling, give it a head nod, and keep washing…you might find yourself in a thoughtful sort of space where your heart rate can slow down a tick or two. You could watch the birdies out the window in spring or enjoy candles in the winter while you wash. You know what our moms used to say: try it, you might like it…
Besides, it’s kind of silly to think all of our rushing around is what is going to give us security. What gives us security is God’s sovereign grace. He calls us to be diligent in our work, to go to the ant…but it is He that gives the increase, it is He that provides for our needs. A brother from our church body freely delivered all of this firewood from some property he is clearing. It’s at least two winter’s worth. God is good.
Not that it always works out that way. Sometimes He provides in ways that aren’t as clean and pretty. Sometimes He brings a mess into our lives. But you know what? In the end, it is all still for our benefit, because He knows best. Because He loves us. Sometimes, it’s just more firewood, but it comes in a different manner. God is still good.
Sometimes He takes things away. My computer died. I know…boo hoo for me. It had everything on it. My blog making systems, my notes, my book project(s), etc. Thankfully, it was backed up. Thankfully, my husband took over on the production side of the book because I was so discouraged. Thankfully, it ended up being a warranty issue and it was fixed for free. But I spent more time on this rocker with an actual notebook made out of paper because of it.
And, while rocking, I got to see other things. Like this.
So, this is part of my great garden this year. The big garden spot is still fallow, but I’m looking to till it soon, and lay down some black landscape mulch over it all. I might plant some fava bean or some such for the winter. And if I can get it done, I’d love to plant some garlic this fall. But it’s one thing at a time. One step at a time. One drawer or corner of the room decluttered at a time. Little by little, in good time, at a good pace. I hope never to be “crazy busy” again, never by choice, at least.
Do you ever take the time to pause? I believe God not only allows for it, but that He practiced it for us to emulate. Isn’t it time to make that cuppa about now?