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Change the Cycle

January 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV) 

Today has been the day for us to get back into our usual routine after the holidays. We have either had family in town or was out-of-town ourselves. It has been a great time spending Christmas and the New Year with family, Eli even took his first steps while we were visiting Chase’s grandparents! Today while Eli took his nap I took down the Christmas decorations. Is it just me or does the house seem really empty when the tree gets put up for another year? It’s like there is a giant empty spot now in my living room that is usually there unless its December and the tree is up. As I look at that empty space I am trying to figure out what to fill it with but I know I will do what I always do… nothing and eventually it will look like normal until it is time for the tree to go up again. It’s a never-ending cycle that I am sure I am not alone in. While I am sitting here writing, something came to me about this cycle, it’s a lot like life. How so? Well if your like me there are some days where you feel like you don’t have enough minutes in the day. (I know I was that way Christmas Eve… trying to clean, wrap gifts, do laundry etc.) Then there are other days where you might find yourself with a few extra minutes. What do we do with those minutes? Turn on the tv, play on the computer, read, call someone or probably any number of other things and so we fill up that extra space of time until we are full and can move on with our day and then the cycle continues again. Today while I was thinking about all this I decided how great it would be to break that cycle! What if instead of filling up our every minute of every day we take those extra precious moments and praise God, read his word, listen to Him and even just rest… yes I said rest, sometimes resting is what we need too. It doesn’t have to take long to say a prayer or even listen to a favorite worship song. What can we teach our kids when we live our lives in a way that shows that we don’t constantly have to be entertained by something but yet using the time given to us wisely and in praise of our God!?!

Photo Credit: Leland Francisco

“A place for everything, everything in its place.” Benjamin Franklin 

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin

I am sitting next to a pile of clean clothes that are just waiting to be folded and put away. There are days where I wish the laundry would just do itself, along with the house cleaning too. I know I am not alone in this thinking. Here ‘s a funny fact about me you may not know. When my husband and I first got married I was obsessed with cleaning and having everything in its place. I have always been like that, but I think the reason it was so magnified was that we lived in a 500 square foot apartment. A place that small only takes one thing out-of-place to feel like a mess. I also loved cleaning, probably the most when we lived there because it took a total of 45 minutes to clean, and that was a deep clean too. Gradually as we have moved to bigger places things have changed. I still love a clean home, I still believe everything has a place and it should be in that place. But, the intensity of it has changed. Having a child who is at the age that he is crawling around and wanting to explore also makes it hard to have everything in its place all day long. Now I keep things picked up as we go and put away the big toys at nap time and bedtime. I think it is safe to say that my husband would tell you its a good balance now. Before I used to get flustered over the clutter, which would make me go in my crazy cleaning mode often because I couldn’t relax. That perfectionist in me just couldn’t relax if our home wasn’t just right. Now, we have a clean home, things get put up as they go and I am able to sit back and enjoy family time instead of stressing over the things still needed to be put away. We all learn these lessons as we go. I learned over the years that life is too short to be stressed and obsessed over the imperfections. Its more important to enjoy the blessings of each day.

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”  J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

As I have gotten older and had a child of my own keepsakes have become more important to me. I am not just talking about things of my sons that I want to hold on to, which there are plenty of things. I am also talking about other family members, ones that have passed away. I was in the 8th grade when my gran-gone (grandma) died and a freshman in college when my aunt died. I loved them both very much and was close to both of them. As I have gotten older the things that I have been given of theirs have become close to my heart. When I was first given a few pieces of their jewelry it was special and I loved it. Now, as the years go on and I raise my child those things I have of my gran-gone and aunt mean more. They both left an impression on my life. Who I am has to do with the family that surrounds me, and since they are no longer here it is their memories, lessons and traditions that live on. When I make nachos I always think of my aunt… that was the signature meal we had when she babysat us! Peanut butter cookies and homemade chex mix always take me back to my gran-gone, not to mention that everyone in my family says that I have her eyes! And now, when I look down at my finger and see one of their rings on my hand I will always think of them. The legacy of my family lives on in me and in my children and as my children grow up the cycle continues. I hope that I will have a few keepsake items for my children that they will want to have that will remind them of their childhood and our family. I have a vision of the legacy I want to leave behind. What is your vision?