Simplicity (final value – #10!)
As I went over the list of values I had previously brainstormed that I (and my husband) want to foster in our family, I realized that I could be constantly thinking, changing things, and substituting certain values for other values – I think reevaluating them periodically will be something I seek to do as time goes on. I did decide that I wouldn’t blog on the value of “kindness,” and that, while important in its own right, I would instead (for now) lump it in with the value of “loving others.’ That leaves me with one final value to write on – simplicity.
I’ll be honest. I have been avoiding writing about simplicity. While it sounded nice that I want my life and our family’s life to be one of simplicity, it turns out that I really couldn’t hammer anything concrete out in my mind regarding what that would entail. Or – I could think of so many ways I could take the discussion that I gave up, not knowing which one to follow in my writing. Basically, I allowed my thinking on simplicity to get … complicated??! Oh, Dawn (sigh). As a result … I avoided the topic. But, hey – let’s face it … avoiding tough things that must be dealt with is never really the best solution, is it? (shoot!)
But, the value ‘simplicity’ was not to be put off forever – and today is the day I stop avoiding it. (wish me luck!)
Simplicity = not complicated, not complex, easy to understand or deal with. (source)
In what ways do I tend to make our family’s life more complicated than it needs to be? Well, I can easily jam too many things into our schedule, I can think we need a bunch of “stuff” to be better parents or to raise Godly, healthy, well-adjusted kids, and I can think too hard about everything I “should” be doing with my kids each day so that they’re growing and learning. I can major on the minors. I can get sucked into comparing what other families are doing and decide that what they’re doing is also best for us. Need I go on? I think I’m making it pretty clear that I can easily complicate my own life as well as our family’s, so I think I’ll stop there. 🙂
Doing the above usually ends up in me becoming frazzled, continuously living life in a hurried fashion, and overall not investing in the right things and people. Instead, I really want to remember the 2 things I believe our lives are to be about, anyway … loving God and loving people. I realize those can be unpacked in so many ways and that stating those 2 life goals is not where things end. But … it is where things begin. Knowing those are the 2 things I want to guide my life is crucial – you have to know where you’re beginning, because otherwise, how do you start making the right decisions for your family? I realize this is just the beginning of such a discussion, but I think this is a good start. We’ll leave it here for now … however, I challenge you as well as myself to keep thinking about it!
A few practical ways/thoughts to incorporate this value in my family’s life:
- Think well about and pray about what activities our family is to take part of. Don’t over-schedule our week and overwhelm us all in the process.
- Learn from what other families are doing, but don’t compare. Rest in how God has led our family and the things we feel are right for us.
- Focus on my kids and not get sucked into worrying about all of the things I should be doing in order to help them learn and develop properly. Relax! I definitely want to teach my kids and encourage them toward learning about the world around them, but sometimes I need to chill out and … just enjoy them.
And thus ends the formal discussion on values … for now. I know this discussion will continue to come up in the future, but for now, it’s time to move on …
Thanks for the ways you’ve added your input! And in that vein, do you have any thoughts on leading a simple life?