Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Keepin' It Simple

Sometimes it's hard for me to accept that I'm limited by time, resources, and energy and can't get everything done that I want to. I think most people tend to be frustrated by these constraints, whether they are the loafer types that can't get all 3 things on their daily list done or whether they are like me and can only get 20 out of 30 things done in a day. This week I've had to constantly remind myself to STEP BACK and LET GO in order to keep life simple. Some examples:

*I had great ambitions to sew a beautiful apron for a friend for Christmas and thought it would be cool to make her daughters matching aprons too. Not going to happen! I had to accept that this isn't the season to do that and the original gift I have for her, which is sitting in the gift pile ready to go, is perfectly acceptable and will be appreciated.

*I wanted to send a cousin an e-card, but it's getting late and it takes a lot of time to load cards to preview them with our dial-up internet. So, I sent her a Happy Birthday e-mail, which is just as heartfelt, but takes less time.

*I wanted to make a dainty, very fancy snack for the Toddler Gift Swap we're going to tomorrow (the kids all choose a used toy to swap among friends). Instead, with a throbbing tooth that continues to pain me, I will be grabbing the quickest thing I possibly can, like some store-bought cookies someone recently gave us.

*I wanted to have a loaf of home-baked bread made fresh and wrapped attractively for every neighbor in our building with a sweet Christmas card attached. My especially "crunchy" neighbor was going to get a loaf that was made with olive oil, all-natural flour, sunflowers, etc. I had to let this illusion go and settle for the baskets of chocolate candies. It's enough that I bake all our own bread for our meals. Sometime, maybe in January or February I will have the time to bless my neighbors with bread, but in these busy days of December, it's not possible.

*I'd love to make an apron, pair of ribbon socks, pair of leather shoes, fancy hair barrette, or flannel rag quilt for every friend and kid I know and am related to, but I have to just step back and accept that I can't. There are times when I can bless family and friends with handmade gifts and I enjoy it heartily, but I can't "do it all." This is why I share pattern links, craft ideas, and info on making these projects because if someone truly wants something, they can learn to make it, just as I have done!

*I wanted to fresh squeeze orange juice (by hand) for my husband and I every morning this week as we've had colds. I also wanted to eat fresh crushed garlic, take apple cider vinegar daily, and all my vitamins. Instead, I forgot to buy garlic, forget some of my vitamins and to take my vinegar and only managed to squeeze the yummy OJ one morning. Instead we are feeding off the delicious homemade chicken rice soup I made on Sunday to help heal our colds.

*I wanted to have 10 cloth diapers made for my single mom friend who has to use cloth due to an allergic baby. After today, I won't see her for another month and the few diapers I have made her (in the Fuzzi Bunz style) are so convenient and nice for her as she works, goes to nursing school, and deals with a very sick baby with severe health problems. I know she really needs them and appreciates them and this is my "benevalence project" for this holiday season. However, I ran out of waterproof material and am waiting on my next shipment and realize that with our upcoming trip I likely won't get to the diapers until January. I guess she'll survive for a while using old-fashioned diapers with pins like our grandmothers did!

*I wanted to have the house cleaned top to bottom and everything completely spotless for the managers who are coming this week to work on the apartments a little bit (they live in Washington, D.C. and come about twice a year.) They will be renevating our living room light which no longer works, and due to the fact that lots of workmen and our managers will be in and out of the house starting tomorrow, I would love to impress them with the cleanest apartment they've ever seen. *laugh* Like that is EVER going to happen! They will just have to realize that real people live here and toys everywhere are proof that we are blessed to have two tiny, busy ones here daily! Besides, why on earth would I want to clean everything before they go and rip out an eighth of our ceiling and make a world-class mess?

*I wanted to get a million things done today, but my jaw is so swollen that I am thankful to have gotten just several projects done and that I was able to take my kids to their friend's birthday party. It's becoming more evident as the pain continues that I will be seeing a dentist tomorrow!

There are many other things I wish I could do: caroling, buying gifts for and delivering them to the nursing home, hosting a Christmas party club to share the Gospel, planning a craft-making party for my gal friends one evening, etc. etc. etc. But alas, sometimes the GOOD things aren't the GREAT things and the GREAT things aren't the BEST things. I want Jesus to be the focus of this season and my family's health and well-being to be next! This necessitates that I learn to use the little word, "no" more often than I would like to.

What are ways that you keep things simple during this busy time of year?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I needed this reminder ~ thanks!!

I just keep adding projects to my to-do list even though the few that are getting crossed off have taken me 2-3 times what I expected they would (on that note - do you have any idea how MUCH leather it takes to make big shoes?!?)

I hope you feel better soon!

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