Taking the Reins to Live Intentionally and Simply
When I was a little girl I dreamed about being a mother and a wife. I was like most little girls and clung to the role of mommy with my baby dolls. As I got older, I dreamt about my role as a wife one day too and started to crave that home full of feet running around and bacon frying on the weekends.
Modern day lifestyles are vastly different than the past decades. Our time in this world goes by quicker and our lives are filled with so much stuff, so many obligations and so much static and noise. Sometimes it can feel as if all of the noise takes us away from the simple joys of things like mothering, homemaking, front porch sittin’ and so on.
I know of so many people who say they’d love to live back in a simpler time, back in the good ole’ days. I tend to be one of those people sometimes as well too; but like so many others, I’m also grateful for so many modern day things.
Here’s the thing though. As I’ve grown as a mother and a homemaker over the past year, I’ve discovered such a joy for carving out an intentionally simple life for my family. Creating a simple, peaceful home and lifestyle doesn’t have to mean that we jump into a time machine and head back to the June Cleaver days, it just means that we take initiative of our lives and the speed of them.
We take control of our schedules, of the stuff accumulating around us and we find joy in the mundane. Something as simple as a crisp fall day with the windows open and a soup simmering on the stove is something to be joyful about. It’s something to stop and take in for a second. While the task of cleaning the home may seem so exhausting, it’s something to be grateful for. A home. And while for the homemaker or stay at home, cleaning may seem so exhausting and tedious - it’s our “work." It’s the home that you make for your family whether you work in it or away from it.
If we want our lives to slow down, it’s up to us to make it happen. It’s up to us to let go of obligations and to turn down some invitations. It’s up to us to do less of what we don’t enjoy so we can do more of what we do enjoy. It’s up to us as parents, as mothers and fathers, to determine how many nights a week we eat together as a family or how many Sunday mornings we sit in church together.
Weaving Christ throughout your life, throughout your day, your marriage and throughout your mothering, makes things more peaceful. That feeling of being together in church on Sunday where you’re meant to be, is the best. That moment of a Sunday nap or a Sunday on the front porch is where life can shine. Where you can feel the joy of His grace because you are resting and being intentional with those around you.
I’m all for the extra curricular and the date nights. I’m all for the trips to the zoo and the library and for the occasional night out on the town with your friends. But the key to creating a simple, peaceful life that you long for, is all found within your hands and the hands of the Lord above.
Don’t look at housework as a burden, it’s your way to serve those around you that you love. Involve your little ones in the tasks if you want and absolutely do the tasks together with your spouse if he’s the kind to chip in, but don’t relish on the burdens of it all when it’s part of what makes your life and the lives of those you love function so beautifully.
Find joy in your tasks, no matter how repetitive they may be. Pull out the mixer and bake something from scratch with your children. Take afternoon snacks to the porch or take the kids outside for star gazing at night before bed. And find time to steal those few minutes for just YOU. Find ways to do more of what you love no matter how hard that may be. And always, always find more time to be together to enjoy the simple moments.
Some things to consider to make your life and moments more intentional:
Eat meals together with no distractions as often as you can
Limit extra curricular to where you’re not on the go each night
Let kids be kids
Cook for your family, it’s rewarding for you!
Serve your family with a peaceful, joyful heart rather than with the burdens of having to “do it all”
Ask for help when you need it, because life sometimes requires it ;)
Find your grace in the messy moments
Remember that even the most perfect moms have bad days
Have a power clean hour
Pick your home up throughout the day or before you leave each time
Carve out a few minutes of the day for yourself (mine is the mornings and nap time)
Play outside as a family
If you’re a stay at home mom, limit your daytime errands and activities so you can be at peace within your home
Color with your little ones
Take up gardening/plants! (seriously!)
Stop to find the beauty of your day and relish in that moment
If you work away from home, find the support you need to enjoy the moments that you have when you get home (also let go of any guilt you have for this - you’re an awesome mama!)
Limit your weekend activities and obligations - it’s okay to say NO
Read and pray over the Proverbs 31 woman - the noble wife
Pray (for real!)
Life is a story. It’s a steady picture reel going on day by day. It’s up to us to determine how to write that story and it’s up to us to determine how those pictures will look. It may not always look as planned sometimes and other times the paths of life may change and we won’t understand them as we experience heavy burdens and pains, but somehow we have the ability to continue on and to create a simple, peaceful life of joy through it all.
Don’t look at the reels of someone else’s life and wish yours looked like that - make it happen. Find your peace, your joy and your God. He’ll shine the light on your days and somehow, he may even slow down the time as it passes so you can linger in the beauty of his grace.
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