I read a little while back in Shauna Niequist's "Bittersweet" about how she has made a list of what she does and what she doesn't do. To quote the book, "It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What's hard...is figuring out what you're willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about."
In this season of settling, of wanting to say yes to what Jesus is really asking of me, I realize that there are many things I must say no to. Some are big and feel quite sacrificial, and some are small and silly. And all of these "no's" free me up to dive in and actually enjoy what the Lord HAS called me to do.
So I thought I'd share a few of my "don'ts." These are a few things that I've given up, in order to do what I really want to do. And I'm definitely still forming this list, and asking God to prune the good and the bad, so that I can bear the most fruit for His kingdom.
None of the things I've listed below are bad, AT ALL. I'm not knocking anyone who does their hair or cooks like Julia Childs (see below). These are just things that I'm learning to let go in order to choose God's best for me right here, right now.
In this season of my life, I don't:
- "Do" my hair more than two or three times a month. Ain't nobody (who likes sleep and has two tiny children) got time for blow-drying and flat-ironing everyday. We got mousse for scrunching towel dried hair and hats that hopefully I can pull off ok. Saves me time and sanity and cuts down on how much TV I occupy Nicholas with. :)
- Set rigid times that I work/do emails/am on social media. Maybe I will when my kids are older and their schedule is more set? But I'm just not going to worry about this one right now. If Nicholas is playing happily and Rainier's asleep, I have no problem sending an email for Thrive Moms or making a graphic for our church plant. I make sure to not be "connected" all the time, and I definitely have to watch myself at times. But I think it's ok if my kids see me working or connecting with people throughout the day. It's a part of family's life, and I think that's ok.
- Cook new recipes for my family every night. We've got some great staples that my family loves, and that don't take too much of my brain power, so we rotate those a lot. We spruce up leftovers and call it good. And we've got NO shame in a frozen pizza a few times a month. I love trying new recipes once or twice a week, but I don't pressure myself to "mix it up" all the time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Which is maybe why we are eating two different kinds of chili for dinner every night this week...
- Drive everywhere. This is a very new part of our lives, and one we are really enjoying. It feels really important to us to get to know our neighborhood, so logging miles on our stroller has been a great way to do that. This is quite different than other places we've lived, and honestly it's given me a greater love for my city as we pound the pavement, and the kids really enjoy it.
There are probably more things on this list that I haven't thought of. And some things are kinda boring like how I don't shower very often (eep!) or clean my house from top to bottom....like ever. Except if company is coming.
But so that I can settle more into who God has made me and what He's asking of me at this time of my life, I want to feel more comfortable with the don'ts. I want to cheer on other women who do lots of different things than I do, and own what my piece of this puzzle is. So here it is world, some things I don't do :)
What do you not do, in order to do what God has called you to do?
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To read each post in this 31 Day series, Settling Down and Looking Up, click HERE or find me on my Instagram and search the hashtag, #SettlingDownLookingUp.