Making Space for What Matters

fullsizerender-24I spent the greater part of the evening Sunday “cleaning” (I use this word loosely) our office/craft room/reading room/music room/writing room/homeschool room/anything goes room.  It is a different room for different people.  For Analise, it is her art studio.  For Kara, it is a computer lab.  For Judson, it is a demolition room, so we try and keep him out of it, though he always seems to find his way back in.  For Travis, it is “what is this room for again?” room.  His “antique” desk (a fancy word for ugly) is now Analise’s art table.  For me, it is a library, workspace, writing studio, and music room.  I keep my guitars on the wall within reach at any given moment.  I let my kids play on them, because I think kids should be touching, playing, and listening to instruments.  There is a plastic, Sterlite 3-drawer cabinet that sits next to my desk stuffed to the brim with medical records, tax info., expired coupons, stationary, and old pictures.  It came with us like this when we moved and like everyone else I make grand resolutions in the new year like, “eat clean,” “read more,” “exercise more,” when what I really need to do is clean out my poor excuse for a filing cabinet.  Sometimes it is the little things that require more attention than the big things.

So this room is now a bit more tidy, a bit more orderly.  I give it about a day, maybe two before it is used well.  And this is how I see this space.  It is a well-used space.  Creativity flows here.  Life happens here.  And when my little people toddle in, making art, reading stories, playing games, listening to “The Wheels on the Bus” or “The Ants Go Marching,” or making up their own song, I have to stop and remind myself that this is the good stuff.  This is learning.  I’m a big believer that learning by doing- listening, reading, creating, building- all of it- expresses what impacts the heart, especially when the heart is transformed by truth, goodness, and beauty.  And what is true, good, and beautiful is always transformative when we make space for it.

Some ways I am beginning to make space for true, good, and beautiful things are:

  • Accepting the imperfect.  Nothing is ever perfect, or complete.  Learning to accept what doesn’t really matter in the end allows me to embrace what really does matter.
  • Slow the busy.  There are a million and one tasks that feel important and necessary to accomplish, but not every one of them are immediate or life-altering if not checked off the list at the end of the day.  I can slow the busy of any given day when I decide if what I hustle over is more valuable than reading to my kids, listening to a made up story from an imaginative 5-year-old, or asking my husband how his day went.
  • Dwell in the moment.  I will blink and everyone will not be as they are now.  The kids will be rushing from one activity to another, my husband and I will be empty-nesters figuring out life as “just us” again, and the house will be tidy and quiet.  The seasons ahead of me will have their own worth- every one of them does including the one I am in now.  I just have to stop and realize this season’s worth and not imagine life without diapers, early wake ups, argument break ups, or sippy cups with missing valves.

I am filling this season with lighted candles, music playing in the background at dinnertime, reading aloud, baked treats, Scripture, cuddles, and simple traditions.  None of it except God’s true Word is perfect, or complete, and it gets loud around here, but I believe it is the simple things- the non-planned, in the moment “just because” things that serve as the backdrop to life.  The sounds, sights, smells, and feels of home frame the day-to-day action and form the stories of what our family will remember home as we knew it.  So I will pick up the office/craft room/reading room/music room/writing room/homeschool room/anything goes room again and again remembering that this well used space is a part of us all where we can just be us working, playing, dreaming, creating, and inviting each other to live the life we were given together.

“By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all pleasant and precious riches.”  Proverbs 24:4

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