Thursday Simple

It’s late on Thursday afternoon and I just put chicken in the oven. Because it’s late and the kids just want to play outside, it’s not the time for fancy. But then again, when is it ever? So chicken breasts, a schmere of cream cheese and salsa. The oven is on at 350 degrees and in a little over half an hour, supper will be waiting. Which is good because I’m craving a simple routine.

I realized this week, while I was sitting on the beach at Lake Erie watching the kids play that I’d run out of scheduled posts. And I honestly had the thought that I should whip out my phone and write something. No. See I feel like everything and everyone is over connected and I’m desiring a little bit of space from the interwebs. So instead of posting about my weekly workout schedule for Mighty Mommy Monday, I went and played in the water with the kids. On the drive home, I decided that I’d be shutting my computer off during the day, deleting Facebook from my phone and take a free-day from all the connections once a week. I’m kind of drastic when I make decisions.

And then, there was a meeting Tuesday morning that gave me more copy work than I realized was coming and the reality is that my computer can’t be turned off as much as I want. Yesterday, I spent my afternoon working on our homeschool year prep. I plan to start our school days on August 18th. I’ve got about 3 weeks to get organized and of course, yesterday I started to second guess my reading program plans. So instead of letting myself go all Type-A on my calendar, I slept on it. And called my mother-in-law in the morning. Wisdom, people, wisdom.

Looking forward at my calendar, I see that it’s gonna be full for the next several weeks… well into October, actually. I officially start training for the 1/2 marathon on Monday so no more will I be able to choose laundry over running. You laugh, but it’s true. When I’m procrastinating, my laundry skills are amazing. But here I am, one foot out the door of these preschool days, and looking ahead into life with no naps, homework and lots of opportunities to be busy.

The church we go to is currently undergoing a transition to a new senior pastor. In doing so, we’ve also transitioned to a new worship pastor and are currently transitioning to a new children’s pastor. During this transition, there have been a few changes, but none that really impacted our family directly. Last Sunday, our new senior pastor interrupted his sermon to talk about some of the structural changes coming to the church’s calendar. To be quite honest, I expected the calendar to grow.

Instead, it was announced that they were going to combine events, cut out extra days of programs and in general, work toward us being more close-knit and family based. I sat there, tears welling up in my eyes, so excited for the future. Why? My parents always were heavily involved in the churches we went to. Head usher, deacon board, worship coordinator, I was even the sundar school director as a high school sophomore in one church that we attended! Very involved and as a result, bitterly burnt out. As an adult, I’m super careful about where I spend my time volunteering. At this point, I feel my plate is full. I’m content with my involvement and Matt and I don’t see the need to add more.

Except that I wanted to add the Wednesday night services for the sake of our kids. Our church has an amazing children’s ministry, but I didn’t want to add another night of volunteering, or just drop the kids off and leave. For two years, I’ve bemoaned the absence of a Wednesday night program I felt like I could really sink my teeth into. The new pastors, though… they rearranged things so that the studies I wanted to attend during the week, but couldn’t justify the time for are now on Wednesday night. And we can finally attend, at our own pace and how it works for our family.

Like I said, I have lots of opportunities to be busy. But this is also a great time for me {and Matt} to work to teach our children about healthy boundaries and embracing a simple calendar. This isn’t to say that we haven’t always worked to keep it simple around here, it’s that with this new season in our own life, we have to once again sit down and assess how to keep it simple. I realized this afternoon what a blessing it has been to have a little boy with colic who grew up to be a little boy who doesn’t handle busy very well. In learning to take care of him, I’ve learned how to take care of myself! And in doing that, I’ve really learned to embrace simple and not feel guilty when I take of myself and my family. After all, isn’t that all that really matters?

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