Love Simple

This past weekend when I was mowing the lawn out front, my 3 1/2 year old daughter was cruising around in her cozy coupe in the driveway. The sun was shining, and there was a nice cool breeze that afternoon. While I was somewhat begrudgingly and definitely franticly pacing back and forth in the lawn, Penny did her thing. She raced from the garage to the crack in the driveway she isn't supposed to cross as fast as she could. Then she hopped out of the coupe and ran circles around the driveway. All the while she was waving, rather excitedly at me. Every time I turned the mower and walked towards her she would wave and say, "Hi Mommy!!!" with a huge goofy grin. Every. Single. Time.  I couldn't help but wonder to myself if really, was she that excited to see me turn around and that excited to wave and say hi? I'm pretty sure she was.

How simple.

She appeared to be having the time of her life running around in the driveway and waving to me while I was doing a chore.

While our children can be very complicated at times, God also made them pretty simple. They can find happiness in some of the easiest things. Even though this is pretty common knowledge (enter the idea of a child playing with a box instead of a toy), I seem to forget it pretty often. While scrolling through Facebook and Instagram these past few weeks of early summer, I'm met with pictures of families doing some pretty awesome things with their children. Things that require planning, packing, and coordinating. There was even a link for something along the lines of "10 Things to Do with Your Kids this Summer in Milwaukee." I'm kind of afraid to even go on Pinterest right now. Never mind the fact that my kids have been sick for a good portion of the last month. Never mind that my husband was gone for 7 straight days. Never mind that we completely (and finally) re-landscaped our backyard over the last few weekends. Never mind that I even tried to plan going to a fun amusement type park with my kids (which subsequently I cancelled due to a fever), I have been feeling guilty.

You know what? Even if I didn't have what I deem to be "good excuses," that is pretty ridiculous.

Maybe you have felt this way before?

I am not saying that planning and doing cool things with the kids is a bad thing. Just three days ago, I began talking and planning to make "Summer Bucket List" with two of my friends for this summer. My point is that in the mean time and during the busy time and during all the time really, we still need to love simple. God gave us these simple, complicated creatures so let's be sure to capture these easy memories and cherish them despite their simplicity. Instead of feeling guilty of all the experiences I could be giving my children, I need to see the ones they are already having.

love simple

So to help remind myself just this, here is a quick list of ten simple things that seem to make my children happy these days:

  1. Waving to me while mowing the lawn.
  2. Climbing a pile of dirt with each other.
  3. Eating previously discussed pile of dirt.
  4. Pointing at a plane flying by in the sky.
  5. Laying on a tiny lawn chair in the sun.
  6. Playing with a bucket full of water and measuring cups.
  7. Being tickled while being restrained within a carseat.
  8. Chasing and scaring Daddy while running through the house.
  9. Picking up sticks or rocks on a walk.
  10. Listening to the birdies chirping in the early morning.

What are simple things your children enjoy? Feel free to add to my list in the comments!

Happy simple summer!

BeckySig2

 

a simple Christmas :: thoughts for Advent

christmas simple I've collected bins and bins full of holiday decorations since my hubs and I were married 9 years ago. As I sorted through it all this week, I found myself leaving much of it packed away. A lot of it is just not me. My style has evolved and my ferocious craving for simplicity has taken over. I'm grabbing onto the saying that less truly is more and holding onto it with a whole heart. I want clean and simple, light and bright, pretty and clutter-free.

So I set out my very favorite Christmas treasures and they sing. Fresh greens clipped from the perfectly imperfect tree can hold their own as a centerpiece. I'll never again underestimate the subtle power of the pine cone. I find beauty and breath in a string of hymnal page bunting, tiny bottle brush trees, and a bowl of Shiny Brites. In a season of more more more, I'm embracing less less less and it feels good good good.

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Tonight a thousand little lights twinkle on our tree.

My little sweetie snores in his bed and my Preacher Man is at meetings. Our dinner mess is still on the table and a treadmill jog is on the agenda, but nothing seems more right in this moment than sitting here taking in this soft glow.

Christmas tunes hum from my laptop. This one and this one play. Those little lights stretch and flare as I wipe my cheeks. These songs always do this to me. Tug at my heart and fill me up until the tears spill over. Reminders that Love came down as a baby and saved the world.

I take tree decorating slow. I'm tempted to leave it just as it is with only the lights, but tomorrow we'll hang ornaments and a bit of homemade garland. I'll end up rearranging half of the ornaments because my man always wants all of his at the top middle center and our little guy piles his favorites heavily on the bottom right hand side.

Tonight, though, these lights are more than enough.

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My craving for a simple Christmas doesn't start and stop with decorations and not penciling in too much on our calendar. At the heart of it is a yearning to see my Savior more clearly, with less earthly distraction. To leave space for my thankful heart to watch and wait for Him in hope and in joy.

This is my favorite time of the year and it's not just because of the fluff and the fun. It's because of Him.

Happy Advent, dear friends.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14

 

RachelSignature