Last April I mentioned four words that are providing focus for who I want to become. This journey of seven months has already taken surprising twists and turns. Here’s a benchmark of where I started, where I’m walking, and where I’m heading. These ideas of living a present, simple, inspired, and intentional life not unique to me. I would love to hear about your own experiences, journeys, and suggestions!
Where I Started
Present. I turned off the phone and computer when the kids are awake. Worked on making eye contact when talking with them and others. Deleted facebook off of all handheld devices so there is no mindless scrolling or escaping there.
Simple. I learned and applied lots of minimalist principles. Went through our entire home (5% remaining!) and purged what we aren’t using/don’t want/don’t need.
Inspired. I’ve made morning scripture study a priority and habit. I turn off radio/music/podcasts/shows while doing housework so that I have time to pray, ponder, and listen for inspiration.
Intentional. I evaluate how I’m spending my time and how our days go as a family. We’ve been making course corrections. This area also drives the other three.
Where I’m Walking
Present. With my phone off and computer closed, my mind still wanders. I have things I want to do or should do weighing on my mind. I’m thinking about what I can be doing next. Or I shut my brain down and enjoy the moment and miss obligations or drop other responsibilities.
Simple. Even with owning only what we really want and use, I feel like our house can quickly become messier than I can handle.
Inspired. I desire greater devotion to truly knowing God and Christ. I desire to know the scriptures to draw on stories, examples, teachings, experiences, for myself and to teach others, especially my children. I yearn for a increasingly firm foundation in Christ and to receive daily answers and strength from his word.
Intentional. I want to feel confident I’m doing the right thing at the right moment each day. I’ve got my priorities and values set and I’m living my life in accordance with those.
Where I’m Heading
Present. I’ve discovered Getting Things Done which is an organization methodology to get everything out of your mind so you don’t have to keep thinking about it. I’m reading his book and beginning to apply his methods. With practice I’m hoping my mind will be freed to be present.
Simple. We need routines and schedules for the entire family to help us maintain the household, the who, what, and when of daily life. I’ve had some ideas and tried them out, but I’m going to look at the Flylady book to see what she recommends for routines as a starting place and adapt or discard from there.
Inspired. I am focusing this year on the scriptures – learning from them, applying them, and teaching them. This is a no shortcuts, nothing glamorous, put-in-the-time kind of study. I’m utilizing the new seminary manuals, following the small seed monthly study guide, helping to create a forum for discussing scriptures topics among friends, memorizing scriptures by myself and with the kids, and using mealtimes and other moments during the day to share and discuss what I’m learning with the kids. I’m also trying to just read the scriptures – a lot.
Intentional. I want to rely both on an organizational system as well as the spirit through lots of daily prayer to feel confident I’m living each day in a way that is pleasing to myself and the Lord (everything goes together!). I want to be an agent unto myself and doing good as I see it, but also allowing and asking God to step in and direct me to be an instrument in his hand.