My experience with re-entry into life as normal after time in foreign country has never been easy. As Noel Yeatts puts it in her book Awake, she’s never once experienced culture shock as it is typically described entering a poor country, but she experiences the shock every time she comes back.
And three weeks post-Guatemala I’m still in that place of “culture shock.” Actually, I think a more appropriate word would be tension.
Yes, that’s it exactly. I’m straining to make life as usual here work. My emotions are stretched thin with my heart in two places, two different worlds. This time, the adjusting back to status quo is harder.
And in the midst of this attempt to readjust, this straining and stretching, I feel as though I am having a physical reaction to all. the. stuff. It’s choking me out. Everything that I love right inside our home. It feels too much. I feel like I can’t breathe.
Several months back I was given a copy of Tsh Oxenreider’s book Organized Simplicity. You may know Tsh as Simple Mom and I am always refreshed in that sweet online space. Little did I know what a true gift that little book would be. The book was sitting on our dresser and this week it’s been calling my name.
Adrian and I also just began (just like we bought the book, took the online inventory, and read the first chapter of) The Love Dare for Parents. While these two books are different in many ways, there is a common thread that clearly runs through both: purpose and intentionality.
I am a dreamer and a business-minded gal. I like thinking big picture but don’t mind a well-laid plan. If you would have asked me if I was intentional and purposeful with my time a few months ago, I would have said yes, of course. But I’m starting to come to grips with the fact that I’m really flying by the seat of my pants more than I’d care to admit.
In Organized Simplicity, Tsh writes:
One of the characteristics of a responsible adult is to recognize the difference between the important and the urgent and then to refuse to be tyrannized by the urgent…. You cannot operate solely in response to the urgent for long- you’ll go mad.
Well, I think I’ve done and gone mad. That anxiety, that tension, that suffocating feeling of all the stuff, it’ll do it to ya.
Again, ask me this a few months back and I would say of course I’m not just going through life responding to urgency. But the more I think about it, the more the Lord brings these timely tools and resources to my mind, the more I sense this anxiety/tension stuff, the more I think we’re running this house much more reactively than proactively.
So, here I am on the brink of this breakthrough, understanding what a simplified life really looks like: a life on purpose. A life with intention. A life where all the choices, the little day to day things, how I talk to my kids, what activities they’re involved in, what we eat, where we play, where we live, what we buy, all of it, is with a vision towards our family’s mission.
Here are some tools I’m using currently as we walk this journey towards mission and intentionality.
Tools for intentionality + Where to Start
– Create a family mission statement + goals
This is just the beginning. We’ll be chatting more about simple living and life on purpose soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What does living intentionally in the little day to day things mean to you?
What tools have you used to guide you towards living life on purpose?