Today marks the first day of school for our 3rd grader who has spent his summer swimming, playing with friends, helping around the house, learning to bake, working on the roof, time with cousins, caring for his animals, VBS, bike riding, visiting the neighbors, playing with the neighbor church kids, and growing tall. He has caught fish and twirled sparklers and built sand castles and nurtured a garden and baked brownies. His days have been filled as he has been blessed to enjoy a leisury summer as an 8 year old boy. He was fully ready for today and my heart was at peace knowing he was prepared to begin a new year. A fresh start.
In the world of parenting I continue to keep up with how fast the seasons change. God created our world in 6 days and I suppose it was his intentions from the beginning for things to change, to see new seasons and for things to not just stay the same. He moved quick and with perfection. But He was focused and purposeful. I am slowly accepting that life changes at rapid speeds. It's not so much the change that gets me at times, but the pace. The pace at what I live it. My son enjoyed a rather slow paced summer and on the day that it was time to shift seasons, he was prepared. I have found myself in a place that has me still, nurturing my heart, my mind, my body after a too-fast paced stage that left me worn out and weary.
I recently had almost an entire day to myself. This is a rare, rare treat. A whole day to myself, in my home, all by myself. I love my family and my animals, but sometimes I just want everybody to get out :) I spent the day finishing up some projects, listening to my favorite music, totally gutting and cleaning out closets, counters, and drawers, eating chocolate for lunch, and drinking Arnold Palmers all day. It was beautiful. I accomplished so much outwardly, but inwardly I found good clarity too. The past year my home had become a cluttered mess...my rather fussy non-sleeping baby with repeat ear infections, new jobs for both my hubs and me, a rough year for my 2nd grader, and a pace that had me in survival mode had created a very cluttered home. It honestly overwhelms me to have such chaos around me and when my outside atmosphere is that way, my inside feels about the same. So it was no question that a whole day to myself in my home may have been the best day ever...okay, that is slightly exaggerated...but it.was.awesome!
As I worked quietly in my home I thought about the time, energy, and planning it took to run a smooth home for a family of five who would enjoy spending their time here and want to end their day in this place. A place where they truly felt like home was "home, sweet home". As I purposely filled those hours, I also thought about what living a clutter-free life looked like too. Clutter sometimes goes unrecognized because it can often be good clutter. I have spent the last 6 weeks clearing my daily calenders from most things outside my home to create an empty slate for my heart, body, and mind. I have really purposely focused my energy on the immediate needs of our family and tried to make a clear path for whats next. I've had to say no to many things and its been hard. Really hard. Friends have had babies, gotten married, had hard things happen, church has called for volunteering, school has sent out PTA cards, dinner parties have happened, and park play-dates been set-up... but I have had to say no to most of it. I wasn't sure which way I was going most days, so in order to find the starting place so I could carefully go forward again, I stopped almost everything. I did not feel ready for the first day of anything, unlike my son, ready to walk his new journey confidant in where he was.
Today my home feels a little more comfortable and a lot less cluttered. My heart is feeling similar. I am not jumping into anything yet, as I need to stay in this place of de-cluttering while my heart finds the starting line again. I am finding that these days I spend doing just what is required of me in the role as mom and wife that I am leaving space to truly see and hear. See the things that went by so foggy for so long, hear the things that came muffled to me during a cluttered life stage. In this place of de-cluttering my heart feels thankfulness in a new way and sees beauty as God created it. Seeing is believing and hearing is truth. Truth is pressed upon my heart today as I send my boy off to school and feel His peace upon my heart. A fresh start for more then one here, in this less cluttered home these days.