For Christmas my family tends to get practical things in their stockings as well as an orange and a candy or two. Fairly predictable. More often than not, this means that Christmas time is a time to restock on socks. And, boy, did we need socks! It seems that we are constantly rifling through the clean laundry looking for a pair of socks for the day. How nice to feel like we are restocked and spoilt again in the New Year.
But here is the catch, as I sat trying to catch up on the laundry this past week, reveling in how nice it is to be healthy again (after sharing all together in being dragged down by a horrible cold/flu virus all through the holidays), I realized that maybe I had erred in the sock purchases over the holidays. You see, I sat for a quite moment – probably a good half hour – and sorted out half a dozen piles of “what belongs to who” and then proceeded to start the pairing… I paired up Hubby’s socks and tucked them away, then I folded mine. 32 pairs of socks. No, not his and mine. I folded 32 pairs of my socks. Really? Do I really have 32 pairs of socks…. And that would also imply that it’s been a month since I last folded socks… And that it will also likely be another month before I am sufficiently motivated to fold socks again. Sigh!
How often is my life like this? I invest time, or energy, space, or money in something that is meant to help or simplify life and yet makes no difference or a negative one. I was thinking this when I considered other things in my little world too. How often have we “needed” a new book or curriculum that only seemed to make us busier but not smarter? How often have I stuck with an old activity while adding a new one on to our already busy schedule and hoped to be able to fit it all in?
I know that New Years is a time for resolutions and reflections but I don’t tend to like to follow the crowd and don’t want to make these grand commitments to change just because everyone else is. I do however want to continually be striving to be all that God created me – and my family – to be so New Years is as good a time as any to strengthen my resolve.
So I am strengthening my resolve to strive for the purpose and simplicity that we set out for so long ago in our family life. I want to constantly question why we do things and how we could do them better. In our school this year, that has meant lightening some of our work load to be able to focus on other things. Namely, we chose to take a break from reading and writing curriculums so that we could spend more time just reading and writing. Sounds simple, I know, but it has been revolutionary. The kids and I are so enjoying just reading a lot together. It’s been fun to take the time to make cards, write letters, to teach them to blog and to write out their thoughts on the things that they are learning, to listen to a beautiful poem or Bible verse or saying and to set it aside for later to be copied and kept.
Now, as I try to jam my 32 pairs of socks into a too-small drawer, I am reflecting on other ways to keep it simple in areas that I tend to invite the complicated, ways to redeem wasted moments that could be used more wisely. I think that one thing we will do is to read our Bible more, to simply enjoy it as literature with our other readings rather than parsing the meanings to death. Teaching my children to view the world through a biblical lens can only be enhanced by reading the Bible more and discussing all of life in light of the living word of scripture. It seems to me like a spectacular way to continue to “throw off everything that hinders” so that we can “run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us” knowing that to “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1,2) will only bring us closer to that ideal that we strive for.
Blessings, Friends, as you strive to be all that you were created to be in 2013!
Happy New Year,