Featured post by Jill at The Prairie Homestead
Can busyness become an addiction?
I believe it can.
Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me that God specifically commands us to
“Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10)
I absolutely think He knew that we would have an overwhelming tendency to cram as much we could into our daily lives.
I’ve always been one of those people who “had” to be busy. During my working and college years, I often put in far more than forty hours per week. I packed my weekends full of every activity and obligation that you could possibly imagine. I never, ever took the time to notice the smaller, slower things in life. I was constantly obsessed with the next big thing…
I become pregnant with our daughter. My husband and I had always planned that I would stay home to raise our children, so I quit my job and began to transition into stay-at-home mommyhood.
At first, I experienced boredom and even a little panic. I had no idea how to function without the breakneck pace of my former life.
And then something happened.
Though it didn’t occur overnight, I finally learned how to slow down. I finally began to embrace and enjoy the simple things. The small details of life that had been there all along; the things I had thoroughly ignored for years:
•The refreshing renewal of a soft, summer rain.
•The peacefulness of early morning as I walked to the barn to feed the animals.
•The blissfully cozy feeling of sipping a warm cup of tea as it blizzards and blows outside.
•Hanging laundry on the line on a lazy summer afternoon.
•Learning to appreciate quality, wholesome food and eating slowly to savor every bite.
•Ignoring the dishes for a little while so I could sit in the grass and watch my daughter explore the world around her.
As I slowly began cultivate this attitude of simple contentment, I was amazed at how much more peaceful and positive my overall outlook on life became.
Are you feeling the need to slow down? Here are my best tips to aid you in cultivating a love for the simple:
1. Weed down the schedule. Intense busyness makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate the small aspects of life. If you are constantly out of breath and racing to the next event, you begin to operate out mere “survival mode”. Choose your activities wisely and learn how to say “no” to activities or events that will push your schedule to the breaking point.
2. Don’t Compare. Constantly comparing yourself to those around you (or lifestyles you may see on TV or in magazines) can squash a spirit of contentedness in nothing flat. Remember that God placed you on your own unique journey. Embrace where YOU are. If you are continually looking at the green grass over the fence, you will completely miss the beauty on your own side of the world.
3. Stay home once in awhile. I encourage you to designate at least 1 or 2 “home days”. Personally, I find that it is much easier for me to enjoy the cooking, laundry and chores when I know I have an entire day devoted to my home, versus rushing through them so we can jump into the car.
4. Stop. Be still, and enjoy that very moment. I have a strong tendency to become so immersed in whatever my current “project” may be, that I can think of little else. Sometimes I must force myself to simply stop and be still. Take a deep breath. Look up and enjoy the beauty around me. Take a time-out to give my daughter my complete, undivided attention. It just might surprise you how quickly your stress level will drop once you begin to practice this skill.
Keep in mind that learning to embrace the simple pleasures of life doesn’t necessarily mean that you must maintain an empty, boring existence. Quite the contrary, in fact. My life is still happily “busy” and full. But it’s different than before. Rather than running all over creation, I have learned to find my purpose and fulfillment in other, more lasting ways: raising and teaching our daughter, caring for my home, cooking wholesome foods, and working on our homestead.
Cultivating a love for the simple things in life is a skill that requires constant practice. I am far from mastering it, but I look forward to working on it for the years to come. It is truly not the destination that is important, but rather the journey. Won’t you join me?
Jill writes from the homestead she shares with her husband, daughter, and an ever-changing assortment of animals. When she’s not in the kitchen preparing traditional foods, you’ll find her outside riding horses, growing vegetables, milking goats, and killing rattlesnakes. She blogs at The Prairie Homestead, where she enjoys encouraging readers to return their roots, no matter where they may live.
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