May 15, 2013

Late Night Thoughts

You know what I've been thinking about lately? Things. Our furniture. Our clothes. Our bed sets and sheets. Our media devices. Our plates and utensils. Our collections of books and toys. Our artwork. Our possessions. In a lot of ways, this collection of stuff seems to be the sum total of our lives because it is a reflection of how we live and what we value. Lately though, I've felt a pull on my heart saying, But, is it?
I have always loved HGTV. I love House Hunters, Property Brothers, Extreme Homes, you name it. In my spare time (haha), I have put together idea books with collections of colors, furniture and other neat things from Real Simple and Better Homes and Gardens, and others. Not to mention all of my Pinterest boards devoted to all things home-related.

But, lately, I haven't really been able to stomach these TV shows. And, whenever I get another magazine in the mail, I throw it away without even reading it. I have slowly whittled down my idea books from four 3-ring binders, to one and a half 3-ring binders. I don't even spend that much time on Pinterest anymore. It is beginning to seem pointless.

Perhaps I have just been so inundated with making our fixer house absolutely perfect that I'm tired of searching for perfection. Or, maybe I've begun to realize that it takes time to decide what is really going to work best for you. Most likely though, I've realized how much time (and money) I have wasted on things that don't matter, like curtains that match the new bed spread I had to buy. And, frankly, I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to keep up, or to create my "dream" home.

Being on "bed rest" has given me a lot of time to think (that's a post for another day, ha). And, I've realized that so many of my actions are fruitless. They simply waste time. Part of this realization has been fueled by two books I have been reading lately -- Louder Than Words, by Matthew Leonard and Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider. Both of these are wonderful.

In Louder Than Words, Leonard gives a beautiful explanation of our faith, what it means to be Catholic, and how that alone should transform how we live our lives. (I will write another post on this once I actually finish the book.) I haven't even gotten to the crux of his argument yet, but I am already moved. I feel uncomfortable about how I have accepted parts of our relativistic culture as par for the course. After reading his book, I feel like I've been living in a middle ground; I am not on fire. But, I want to be. I want to live differently. Very good book if you're looking for something to read!

I started reading Organized Simplicity a while ago, when I first started thinking about moving 1,100 miles back to the Midwest. You see, when you have a 3400 square foot house, you end up accumulating a lot of stuff. It isn't just your stuff either. Family and friends just assume that since you have all that space, you can use/store their stuff too. It's kind of... annoying.

I have followed Tsh's website, The Art of Simple, for a couple of years and I really love her focus on simple living, what it means, and what it looks like for different families. Since we got married, our lives have been anything but simple. We took on so much responsibility right away, it's no wonder I'm just over it all.
I have a new vision, an insatiable desire to learn from our mistakes and missteps and do things differently from here on out. I was telling Hubby the other night that when I look into the future, I want to situate our lives in such a way that the kids always feel like they are number one. I want to be in a place where I can get help when I need it, but I also have the ability to be on my own, to create our own family dynamic and mission.

The other part of this realization comes from the fact that our house has been on the market for almost a month now, and we haven't had any showings. The only word I can use to describe my feelings about this is angry. I'm upset with our realtor because I don't feel like she is doing everything she can to sell it. I'm wondering if we made the wrong choices with some of the things we've done. I'm worried that we're never going to be done with this... We're never going to be able to move on. And, this list just goes on and on...
Part of this is just my personality. I'm a "worst case scenario" kind of person. I figure if I can stomach the worst outcome I can come up with, then whatever does happen, I can deal with. I can make a plan, and put it into action.

But, I really believe that God is challenging us right now. He's using this situation to pose those age old questions of: "Do you love me? Do you trust me?"

I'm tired of wasting time. I'm tired of focusing so much on creating something beautiful that I miss the beauty right in front of me. If I have gained anything from being on bed rest, it's been a new appreciation for the people in my life.

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