I live under a cloud of oughts. Every single day there is a war going on in my brain over things I ought to do. And the list is long…perhaps yours is too?
But in the midst of such a war, the funniest concept is at play. The battle is only waged in my head–I THINK it. But nothing is really being done about it. And so it goes day in and day out.
Some of those oughts are VERY VALID–for instance, I ought to be engaged with my children when they are around and pray for them when they are not (sometimes I am praying for them, even as we are engaged!). I ought to make my home a refuge for my Chris, who works hard every single day. He should come home to a welcome and joy-filled environment. Also, I like to add in wonderful foods, smelling wonderfully, and all my work is set aside. I ought, but more OFTEN than I’d like, I don’t. So steps are needed.
Some of the oughts also come with such a blessing. Take letter writing for instance. I have been THINKING a CARD to my friend Teresa for four years now. But I have not sent one. She, however, has sent me a card at least every month to tell me she is thinking about and praying for me. Beyond the ought, I get to bless her back! –which means I need to be intentional about picking out a card (or many!) just for her, having her address in a place I can find it AND having stamps on hand. We also have our Compassion children. I know I can even write online now! But often we, as a family, miss the blessing in the midst of our busyness. So to be intentional, I need to place some paper at the table on a Friday night and give the kids a pen or crayons to write or draw a picture.
We PLAN then to succeed. And this is NOT for checking off a list, this is for intentionally engaging and caring for those God has placed in our paths.
Some of the oughts are just this–guilt trips. I can sit in any room of our home and see something I ought to do…that needs attention or dusting or something to make it better. These are things that YES, they need to be done, but NO, not all at once. Just starting today, I can take 15 minutes and make better one corner or room of our home. I can also throw and give items away that we are not using and make a clean slate of it. Clean Slate Living is such a wonderful place to be. We have clutter that overwhelms and we feel overwhelmed. It’s just that simple. My friend Amanda has a beautiful home and inside, she keeps it very simply furnished, so that there is a lot of floor space. The few knick-knacks she has add to her home. The empty spaces also lend to the simplicity. It is truly a goal of mine to have our home more like that. Though I confess, I like knick-knacks and baubles.
So part of my project this year is to take the battle out of my head and actually DO something about it. For that to happen, I need to not only create the space in my day-in, day-out life, but also I need to guard that space and be intentional about it.
So what does that intention look like on the pavement? It may look like a list that is then translated to a calendar. It may look like a timer set for fifteen minutes. It may look like a quiet morning, where I just write down everything that comes to mind and then begin a plan of action to ACT on it.
Part of my need for a social media sabbatical is that I need the space to take back our home. And in the process, I think will come with a thousand blessings beside!
By the way, thank you to those of you, who yesterday send me a text or email or comment or call. I cannot say how LOVED I felt. It is certainly a hard thing, as a stay at home and work at home mom, to give up the main places of adult conversation that I enjoyed every day. But it is good. Thank you so much!
Father, I thank YOU for the way that you remind us that do-overs and begin-agains are all in the realm of our reach. We can, each one of us, embrace a new day to be intentional and to engage in the world around us in a way that gives back. Thank you for the gift of redemption, through the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross. Thank you more than I can say, Lord. For grace and forgiveness are my very life…I need you so, Jesus. Amen