A year of SLOW. Does it sound as good to you as it does to me? I came upon my word of the year earlier than normal. The entire fall was busy for us here at Townsend House. There were a lot of activities, a lot of time in the car, and a lot of stress because of that. I knew that I wanted to get back to basics.
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However, what really solidified my choice in the word SLOW was reading through the book Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons. At the very end of the book, in the conclusion, Rebekah writes:
Our society is relentless. It’s a nonstop, ever-churning, production-oriented, get-stuff-done society. If we’re not careful, it can get the best of all of us. The Scriptures give us clear direction, though: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.’”Rebekah Lyons, Rhythms of Renewal
Year of Slow – Inspiration
This little section, in the conclusion, reminded me that we are not to conform to the pattern of this world. What is the pattern of this world? Busyness.
It is scheduling so much throughout our days and weeks that we don’t have a chance to slow down. Not keeping a Sabbath. It is no rest. It is finding the quickest route.
Instead, we are supposed to savor, to delight in God’s will for our lives. We need to slow down, all of us. We are so consumed with seeking the next thing, the better, the more, that we forget to savor what we have right now, what is right in front of us.
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I hadn’t ever thought of this particular verse in that light. I always read it as not being consumed by the things of the world. Not necessarily how we spend our time. But, as I considered it more, I realized how easy it is to be wrapped up in the time commitments of all.the.things.
Busy Creeps in
We have worked hard over the past several years to pare down what we commit to, and there are always seasons of more busy – especially as the kids get older. But, this past year, we fell into more busy than we particularly liked. It was areas where we should have said no, but instead said yes. Things we weren’t passionate about, but still felt obligated to participate in.
That is going to change in 2020!
We are going to work on cultivating our calendar this year. Instead of saying yes, even when we know that the answer should be no, we are going to purposefully, and intentionally, pick the activities and other things that absorb our time, wisely. You want to make sure that you are intentional in your choices. In the moment it might be easy to say yes, but to fully think about what that yes means is where we are going to park for a bit.
Cultivating our calendar will also give us the option to put family days, Sabbath days, planning days, well in advance of the rest of the year. And then the key to putting these dates on the calendar? Sticking to them. It is so easy when you put yourself on the calendar to drop that plan for an invitation to do something different. Or to think, it isn’t really a plan because it is just for you, or you aren’t planning to leave the house on a specific day.
A year of slow allows you to put yourself and your family first and will make it so you don’t feel guilty about saying no when you need to.
We are going to work on paring down things (yes, even those beloved books!). Toys will be donated to families in need – showing our kids the importance of letting go and blessing someone else. We are going to focus on a homeschool rhythm that works for everyone, especially now that we have three kids in completely different grade levels. We will let go of FOMO, and instead, focus on the Joy of Missing Out.
A year of slow is going to create a financial plan not with instant gratification, but an actual plan that will allow us to give generously and live without debt as we move into the future. It will be contentment and acknowledging the blessings that we have even when it seems so dang hard every day.
A year of slow is most definitely going to attack the meal monster – there will be better meal planning, and then actually sticking to meal plans so that we are able to have family meals together and hopefully less stressful and angst-filled evenings!
Where are the goals?
Goals, goal planning, how we are going to move ahead with this theme of slow – those are coming shortly. But, to begin, I want you to think about what it will be like at the end of 2020. What do you want your year to look like? What are you hoping to accomplish?
A lot of the goals I have planned don’t necessarily have an “end-date.” I know that is completely counter to SMART goals, but they have steps. And there are measurable changes that can be made whereas when we look back on 2020, there will be an obvious change. A move in the right direction.
There is so much possibility before us! I hope that you are as excited as I am!