Monday, September 26, 2016

What Would You Do?

In Shauna Niequist’s new book, Present Over Perfect, she poses the question, “if someone gave you a blank calendar and all of the money in the world, what would you do?” 

What would I do?

If there was no school pickup, football practice or soccer games… what would I do? If I didn’t have to run errands, schedule babysitters and go to business dinners, how would I spend my time? Who would I be? How would I spend my money? 

It’s an interesting question and as I asked myself an answer immediately surfaced for me:


I would do a whole heck a lot of nothing. 

I would sleep. I would binge watch netflix until my eyes got blurry. I’d eat cheese balls and chocolate covered graham crackers from trader joe’s. I would sit in the stillness and quiet and feel the stress melt off my shoulders. 

My immediate, gut reaction answer is that I would, honestly, do nothing. 

But then I started to let that question marinate. Because the truth is that there are times that I do turn everything off and do nothing. But my stress doesn’t melt away and often I feel a bit emptier than I did before. So, as I step into the fall-season craziness out of the still wilderness season… I want to really ask myself what would I do. 

Here it is. 

I would walk. Every day, maybe. In the quiet of the morning, just as the birds started to chirp. I would listen to my footsteps quicken and talk to the Lord as He whispers back in the stillness. 

I would get ready. I would actually take a shower and attempt a life of cleanliness (even in this hot texas weather). I would put makeup on and get dressed - and not in sweatpants, leggings or workout short, but in for-real, grown up clothes.

I would bake bread and my house would smell of heaven. 

On that note, I would cook. I would spend way more time outside. I would drink my coffee with both hands. I would read. I would make play dough creatures with the kids. I would blow bubbles. I would ride a bike. I would write. I would take my kids lunch at school more often. I would take weekend adventures with my family. I would spend more time at the lake. 

None of these things are outlandish - or even unrealistic if we didn’t have anything else on our schedule, that is. 

But the fact is we do. 

The fact is that I do have carpool, football practice and gymnastics. I do have three kids, a husband who travels, campaign responsibilities, a shop to keep up, food to cook (out of necessity), grocery stores to get to, errands to run and a yard to mow. 

We have said no to everything we possibly can - and want to. Probably more than we want to. We do guard our time. We do schedule wisely. And yet I have time for none of the things that bring me joy and what do I normally do about it?


But that, my friends, is about to change. 

I am realizing that my life is full, yes, as many of your lives are full. But it’s not lived to the full. 

So here’s what I’m setting out to do: 

I’m going to go to bed earlier. And actually, that simply means (for me) to get into bed earlier. I’m going to keep the TV off and I’m going to read. I have a stack of books on my nightstand waiting to be read, and this is my week to read them. Maybe I’ll sleep better which means maybe I’ll get up earlier which means maybe I’ll actually exercise. 

I’m going to bake bread on Wednesday. I started this ritual when Jeff was traveling extensively and I’m going to bring it back, y’all… because nothing compares to homemade bread. (I’ll have to definitely make sure that I work out on that day, I guess.)

I’m going to write… and it might not be good, but I’m going to write anyway. 

I’m going to paint - and make. Just for me. Not for anyone else. I need to fall in love with making again. It fills me up, it was how I was created, it is a part of me. And I’ve lost it. That’s what happens when making becomes a business. It becomes more about the business than the making. The business has stolen the joy right out of the making… and that is no fun. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

I’m going to put pumpkins out and get a fall candle and make chili. Heck, I might even light a fire. Not because it’s cold, but because fall brings me so much joy, and it is technically fall, people. 

I’m going to stop filling up my time with aimlessness in an effort to escape the life’s busy reality and start being more purposeful with my time.

I want to live full out. Give it my all. Because I’m not promised tomorrow so I will make the most of today. Even when I’m weary, my mind is on overload and my hand can’t write my list of to dos fast enough. 

I’m not saying that I am willing to forsake my must do’s for my want to’s, but I am saying that I want to do more of them. I want to make time and space to fill my heart with the adventures and joy that were meant just for me.

And now I’m going to turn off my computer and turn my want to’s into to do’s. Won’t you join me today? Won’t you purpose to do just one thing that brings you JOY today?? 

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