When I launched this blog in December 2017, I committed to all of my future readers and subscribers that I would write in the gaps and cracks of life.
Recently, I’ve found myself looking and even longing for some, and the space in between my blog posts is simply evidence of me coming up short.
So, here I am taking a crowbar and prying into time itself in order to create a little more writing space…
We are already 13 days into the New Year and I hope yours is off to a good start!
When a new year approaches, so does my approach to it.
I ask myself the same questions that I’m sure many of you do as well:
What will I accomplish this year? Where will I go? Who will I meet? What will I start? What will I stop? How will I change?
With life at an unprecedented pace with managing house and home, raising four children, teaching two homeschoolers, and being married to the pastor of a rapidly growing church, I decided that my approach to 2019 was going to be along the lines of “Less is more.”
Because let’s face it, there’s a timeless beauty in a simple palette with clean lines.
So allow me to take you back to a time in my life where it was definitely more of “less” for sure…
It was August of 2012 when Jeremiah and I, along with our two little boys - ages 2 and 4 months - moved to Des Moines, Iowa to serve on staff at a church as the Youth & Worship Pastor. As Jeremiah was busy learning his new role, I was busy learning mine - nursing the baby, engaging our two-year-old, and unpacking box after box in order to make our tiny parsonage of a house a home.
And my usage of the word “tiny” was no exaggeration. Although three quaint bedrooms and one bathroom served our small family of four perfectly; we soon realized that not all of our furniture we had acquired in our 5 years of marriage would clear the doors - including my custom-made bed frame and the baby’s rocking chair.
The larger pieces of furniture ended up in storage and we resorted to placing our mattress on top of the box springs on the floor. And the rocking chair that wouldn’t clear the baby’s bedroom door? Well, the only spot we could find for that was right outside the kitchen!
Now, the galley kitchen served its purpose even with its 15” of usable counter space and the random spot for the sink in between two doorways.
With no dishwasher and absolutely no room for one, I found my place at the kitchen sink. Night after night after night.
It was a season of shaping and molding for Jeremiah and I, and much of it happened for me over a sinkful of dirty dishes and hot water and soap.
I remember approaching 2013 with an extremely short list:
Every day I will do my dishes and hug and kiss my boys.
It was simple. Attainable. And intentional.
Let’s fast-forward to today so I can share my approach to 2019 with you - in hopes of encouraging you to stay the course or perhaps give yours a second look.
This year I’m going to Make, Do, and Be.
I’m going to make my bed every morning.
Because making my bed is a simple thing I can do every single day that brings me comfort and satisfaction. The house can be turned upside down, but if my bed is made…all hope is not lost. If I need to find a quiet moment, I can go into my bedroom, shut the door, and admire its simple palette with clean lines.
I’m going to do my dishes every night.
Because coming down to a clean kitchen in the quiet, early morning is a gift - a gift that I give myself every night. It sets the stage for my day. Yes, I may have tripped over a toy in the hallway or a pair of shoes by the stairs, but it doesn’t matter once I enter my clean kitchen.
Doing my dishes every night in 2013 instilled in me a discipline that the work doesn’t get done until you get the work done. Redundant, yes I know.
As the homemaker, I didn’t expect my husband to do our dishes and my two-year-old and baby were certainly not jumping up to help me wash, dry, and put away either.
Those dishes were left for me. Me.
In the process of washing cup after cup and spoon after spoon, my negative attitude of missing my dishwasher from our previous house changed. Spending a minimum of an hour over that sink every single day forged in me an awareness and an appreciation - even a joy - that I was the one who got to create an orderly and clean home. Me.
And the discipline I learned while doing my dishes in that tiny parsonage has produced years of fruit in my life that has gone well beyond clean cups and swept kitchens.
Lastly, as I enter 2019, I’m going to be intentional.
I’m praying for this to be what changes me the most this year.
Allow me to break it down…
I’m going to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
I’m going to be me and “carry my own load” - without comparing myself to anyone else. (Galatians 6:4-5)
I’m going to be gracious with my words for:
24Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
I’m going to be intentional with my husband and children - 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)
And most importantly, I’m not going to let all of my making and my doing get in the way of me simply being.
Because if we are honest with ourselves, we get it backwards all too often. While our beds get made and our dishes get done, in the process, we neglect to spend time with the Lord, try to be someone we’re not, leave patience and grace at the door, and miss opportunities with our husband and children that were ours for the taking.
So, this year I’ll be at the sink again, asking God to continue to shape and mold me. I’ll be praying to find (or forge) more gaps and cracks of life so I can continue to write. I’d love for you to pray that same prayer for me as well!
Although I’m 13 days late to the party, allow me to say I wish you a “Happy New Year,” friend. It’s gonna be great!