"Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His Holy Name. Let all that I am praise The LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives my sins, and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”
As a stay-at-home mama to six children ranging in ages from 16 to 1 years old, I am often asking myself what my impact is. It is easy to get wrapped up in the desire to look and be like everything else around us, especially with the prevalence of social media captivating our gaze and our imaginations. If we cannot look or be like someone else we admire, whether it be in our roles as wives, mothers, homemakers or career woman, we tend to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We look at our “everyday mundane” lives and think, “What do I have to offer my children/family? I can’t cook those meals, bake that sourdough, raise those chickens, grow that garden, milk that cow, DIY that old farmhouse.” And so, in this game of comparison we can become complacent, and even, ungrateful.
I have raised my children in Alaska for the last 16 years, having spent nearly 30 years of my life there. I had what some might consider “the American dream” with a house on nearly three acres, chickens, a greenhouse and large garden, and even an AirBNB on the property. Many might have looked at my instagram feed and thought, “Wow. She really has it all. I’ll never be able to have/do those things, so why even bother?” Granted it was freezing cold fifty percent of the year, pitch black and incredibly isolating at times. We spent more time indoors than we did outdoors, even in the twenty four hours of summer daylight.
However, even in that space, I would often take for granted the simple joys my life had to offer. I was distracted by “all that glimmers” on the pages of my friends on instagram and felt like my children were missing out. My husband refers to this as “contrived scarcity,” where, in its most basic concept, a person believes they do not have what they need to thrive, when in all actuality, they do. They are rushing towards things and making rash decisions based on the fear of scarcity.
Now that we have moved from Alaska to Florida and are in the midst of one of the most humbling transitions of my adult life, I am aching for my old life of simplicity that before, seemed so scant compared to the woman I often envied. I look around at my HOA community, feeling the confines of the restrictions of living so close to our neighbors without the space or permission to grow a garden or raise chickens, and I am yet again, battling these feelings of contrived scarcity. It is the thorn that keeps me from enjoying the beautifully simple mundane moments of my everyday life.
And so, in these recent weeks, I have come to ask myself "what it might look like for me to raise our family in a home that is not only full but beautiful?", and I have come to these five simple steps towards enjoying the good things the Lord has filled my life with. One, make the little things the big things. Cook the meals and clean the house with love, care and intentionality. Two, bake cookies often. This cannot be understated! Three, mop the floor! There is something so gratifying about smooth floors on clean little feet. Four, fold laundry at night to your favorite movie. Be slow and intentional being grateful for little socks and grass stained jeans.
And finally, smile. Smile just because. Wear your “bright eyes”. This does something to your brain, I promise!
How does the Heavenly Father woo you into romanticizing the mundane? Are there five things that might help you enjoy the daily rhythms in your home? God is ready and waiting to come alongside you in celebrating the simple joys of a daily walk with Him.
“For from Him, and through Him, and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36
- Kristin Cash