One of the times we lived in Texas was during the emu and ostrich craze. I guess ostrich farming was a pretty lucrative business for awhile, and we lived not far from several ostrich farms. Farming ostriches, however, is not for the faint of heart; ostriches are known for being aggressive on occasion. In fact, my husband met a woman once who had been brutally attacked by one of her ostriches – I guess it got tired of her one day and kicked her in the back with its powerful legs, putting her in the hospital!
I’m so glad that my home is not an ostrich farm. I may get irritated sometimes, but my family deserves better than a cranky irritable mom who’s harried and tired.
My recent decision to simplify my life has been a good one. It was a decision to pull back from the normal whirl of life and spend more time in focused prayer, Bible reading, reading good books and making sure I got to bed on time. I took the time to evaluate my priorities, and began making my daily life reflect those priorities.
So far, I realize that I’ve missed out on a few things.
- I’ve missed out on being constantly tired, sometimes to the brink of exhaustion. It’s an awful feeling to start the day already tired, and to have kids, grandkids, hubby and church people needing me for some reason. When I’m exhausted, there simply isn’t enough of me to go around, and the default setting is to start barking at people. Which brings me to my next point:
- I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities to yell. Because I’ve been more rested and more at peace, I’ve not reached “the boiling point” where I snap and lose it. In fact, I’ve probably missed out on some wonderful opportunities to argue with the hubs!
- I’ve missed out on irritating arguments with the kids right before bed. This is another similar one, but I write this separately because the time right before bed, when I’m very tired and trying desperately to go to bed and no one will listen to me, is usually an extremely frustrating time for me. Since I decided to go to bed at a certain time every night, now I simply excuse myself and go to bed. No great ceremonies, no parting tears, no threatening yells.
- I’ve missed out on being harried and hurried. I heard one time that God gives us the time to do His Will – the things He wants us to do. It’s when we add all our other desires that we run like we’re being chased by zombies. Since cutting out any unnecessary activities, I actually have the time to do the things that need done. Fancy that!
- I’ve missed out on late night conversations. Now this one requires a second glance, because I love when my teens open up. But late at night? No thank you! I don’t know why it is, but some young folks wait until 11pm to bring up deep things or ask questions about things they don’t understand. I know it’s just me, but I’ve noticed that it’s very easy to get upset with them over something they say or talk about late at night, since I’m so tired. I’ve told them that, though I love taking time to talk with them, it’s much better to talk about these things when I’m rested and can think straight about the subject.
I’m certainly not perfect, nor will I ever be, but with God’s help (and the ability to say No to some things…) we’re seeing the advantages of slowing down a bit.
Are you simplifying your life too? How has it helped? If you haven’t been, what are some things you can lay aside for today, so you can get a bit of down time?