More. Too much. Not enough. Want. Need. Now. These are the words I often find myself speaking over life when I am forcing too much. I am now in a season called for less. Motherhood, marriage, discipling, learning, and growing has called me for a quietness of life, mind, and soul. And it has been a process and a journey that I am still traveling on.
The last month or two have proven this to be true. I was spreading myself thin, saying yes to so much (all good things, but still too much), feeling like I need to do more, and wanting to have more. This is a cycle that is easy to get trapped into. But the truth is, I am doing it to myself. I am choosing to overfill my days with tasks, schedules, stresses, things that are taking my energy, and then I feel like I need more of it. And then there is nothing left for the things that I cannot choose that are put into my life. Also, I have less to give to the things that matter most: my husband, my children, and my God. When I step back and really examine it, it seems silly that I would do this to myself over and over. But the reality is, God will lead me to do what is right for my life at that time if I seek Him and listen to Him. His ways are present to me in the Word, through prayer, through worship. I need to stop and reach out more constantly, daily. It is so difficult to do this when I am distracted by all the things that I feel I need to do, think about, and have.
So I stop. I reach out. I listen. And I hear Him telling me to let go. Let go of some commitments that can wait for another time in my life, let go of possessions, let go of want for more. I keep coming back to the words that a very wise woman speaks often, “I can do everything, just not all at the same time.” And this is where I find myself. He is telling me to wait, to listen, and to just be.
Since I have been dwindling down my list of things I need to do, to have, to think about, I have seen more of Him and His call on my life. I have been more present with my children, being able to truly disciple them from my heart where God leads me. I have been able to connect more with my husband and friends. I have been seeking God more in the everyday moments. I have been able to take care of myself and my soul to better serve others and God. And it is sweet. I am not near perfect, but I am thankful for the freedom to rebuild, to try again, to have grace in those moments where I fail to live out the order of my priorities.
Simplicity brings a certain kind of freedom; freedom to be present, to be content, to be thankful, to hold space, to be intentional. I have found a great peace in my soul during this time of simplicity. I feel that the Lord is teaching me to let go so He can grow me. I am learning to be a more present mother, wife, friend, and servant. When there is less clouding my mind and life, there is space for more to enter. More of what really matters- what Kingdom matters. I am forced to examine myself and ask “What am I worshipping?” Where is my time and energy going? And I have to face the answer. And I have the ability to change, to accept grace, and to start afresh.
We are inevitably beings bound by time, and we cannot escape it. But we get to choose how we spend it. In our culture, it seems that we are being pushed to and flooded with things that will only cloud us. Be here, do this, buy that, and you will be happy. But that is not so. The more I long for goodness, joy, happiness, the more I find that “things” do not provide that for me. It is a constant rollercoaster of learning this lesson over and over; one of my life’s biggest struggles. Coming from a person raised in a “now, more, and fast” culture, I often lose sight of what I truly value in my heart of hearts. When things are stripped away, I encounter this again and again. Intentionality, peace, joy, loving, teaching, learning, serving, listening, and worshipping. Thankfully, there is grace for the times that I do not pursue this. He is also pursuing me, and I need to take a breath and look for Him, as well.
And now, when I am stripping away unnecessary things from my life, my mind, my soul, I see more of Him. I hear Him speak to me. And so, I believe that He is louder when I have less to quiet Him.
Less, enough, intentional, joyful, filled, thankful, peace.