Why Is It So Hard To Simplify My Life?


Sorry you haven’t heard from me last week.  It was a pretty overwhelming week, but I’m sure the details will bore you.  I have been praying for a simpler life, and yesterday the Lord heard me.   Actually, He always hears me, but yesterday, I was actually listening to Him.  He gave me a few tips.  I followed some of them.

It’s hard to admit that I could possibly be the cause of my insanity.  But the fact is, sometimes my standards are a little too high, probably even too high for God, and that is really a problem.

So yesterday morning, as I saw the day I had ahead of me and as my stomach was doing back flips that would make our US Olympic pretty jealous, I prayed for some guidance on how to survive the day.

I texted the painter during my prayer.  He was supposed to come in an hour.  (I have a tendency to text during my prayers which I’m not quite sure is kosher).  He texted me back to say he couldn’t come.  (I also have a tendency to read texts during prayers—bad, bad, bad).

That was actually a HUGE blessing.  Because I wasn’t ready for him.  I still was trying to figure out a few paint colors, and I would have to go to the paint store which was a problem since the steam cleaners were coming at 9:00 and I had a funeral to go to at 12:00. And I’m also terribly indecisive in a paint store.  I swear the paint guy has to practically be my therapist, and if you want to know the truth, paint guys aren’t very good at this sort of thing.

So yeah, the fact that I didn’t have to deal with paint that day was a miracle to say the least.

My next chance to simplify was as I was tidying up the basement for the carpet cleaners.  They were already here, ready to go which is when it donned on me that one of my dear sons had left the basement a disaster.  I was throwing things on couches and bed and ready to pull up a huge rug so that they could steam clean under it.

Then this brilliant idea came to me.  Maybe I didn’t have to haul out the rug so they could vacuum under it.  Did the carpet under the rug need it?  Yeah, but who would know?  “Hey,” I said to the carpet guys.  “If you don’t steam clean under our rugs, could you do my son’s room instead for the same price?”  And believe me, my son’s room needed it desparately.  They agreed.  So the fact that I didn’t have to haul out my very heavy rug and try to wash it (which I would have done once it was actually on the back deck) saved me a LOT of time and stress.

My next chance came as I was putting away some of the cookies we baked yesterday.  I didn’t have too many of them left, and I was putting them in my sons’ lunches.  I went down to the basement to get some tuna and I saw some store bought cookies.  They looked really gross, like the Kroger brand, and I started feeling like a food snob when I realized that we could used them for our boys’ lunches.  I took them up and asked one of my sons if he wanted the store bought cookies or the homemade ones, you know, the homemade oatmeal cinnamon cookies with cream cheese frosting on them.  He was really torn between the two, and I said, “Seriously, if you don’t know which ones you want you’re getting the store bought cookies.”

Why did this matter?  Because I was planning on making another batch of those cookies today so that our family could give them away that night for family home evening.  I realized that if we gave the boys store bought cookies for lunch, we had just enough homemade cookies to give away that I wouldn’t need to make another batch.  Yeah!  This was also pretty important since I was trying to cut back on sugar and there was not a snowball’s chance in hell I could cut back on sugar if I was making homemade oatmeal cinnamon cookies with cream cheese frosting on them.

My last opportunity to simplify came when I was straightening the kids’ toy room a little bit.  The bookcase was driving me INSANE. This little voice inside of me said, “Don’t take on the bookcase today.”  I took on the bookcase.  I have a bag full of game pieces that needed to be sorted now because my kids store their stray game pieces behind the books in our bookcase.  Yeah!  My favorite!

Well, because I listened the first few times, I actually made it to the funeral a little early.  If I had listened the last time, I could have made it to the viewing which I had really wanted to do.  Still, I’m pretty proud for listening two out of the three times.

The funeral was so sweet.  They honored a dear dear lady.  What an example of a life well lived.  I truly feel that we all need to go to more funerals.  In fact, I take it as a sacred responsibility to “mourn with those that mourn.”  Mosiah 18.  It gives us time to honor someone who has lived a good life.  It give a time to put our arms around the rest of us who are still stuck here.  My husband had cleared his busy schedule so that he could sit with me at the funeral.  I put my head on his shoulder and knew that I was exactly where I needed to be.



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