Listening to smooth jazz seems to calm me as I write. In the fall, I cue up some Vince Guaraldi and simply breathe. For those who don't know, his music is what you hear throughout most Charlie Brown episodes. I grew up with Charlie and Snoopy and the gang. They are timeless and, as I get older and life gets more complicated (rather than simpler) I feel like they embody the simpleness of youth.
What is it that draws us to this simpleness?
I have heard it said that today's population (particularly in first-world countries) are so completely inundated with technology and to-dos, we are running on empty from the time we wake-up each day. Much like the desires of common man during the Industrial Revolution, we are yearning for the simpler times. We see it in the "simple" farmhouse styles so popular in home decor and in the plethora of material available for learning how to de-clutter and simplify life. Yet the more we purge, the more we still long.
This is where those simple, youthful reminders enter. Life when we were children just happened. It didn't need to be planned or thought out...
- Food was always on the table (even if we complained about brussel sprouts or cabbage!)
- Home was usually acclimated and we could simply enjoy
- Laundry was always cleaned and folded and put away
- Chores were easily done (even if they weren't well liked!)
- "Free time" was in abundance and usually guilt-free
We weren't the ones in charge of the bills or organization or function of all these day-to-days. We didn't feel like we needed to "earn" our free time, it came naturally. There really was no such thing as "wasting" time. We just kept on living.
Back then we didn't care about the clutter of our environments. We were simply carefree. Which begs the observation: I don't think it is too much clutter in our environments pulling us down, rather, I believe it is too much clutter in our headspace.
As I set to task this morning with book edits and formatting for our first release due out in just under a week, a lack of peace threatened to steal my joy and bring me low. I couldn't NOT tackle my to-do list. I had run out of "simplify" options. I decided to dig into desk organization because papers were literally EVERYWHERE waiting for garbage or file. I set to task and under the chaos was the water-stained bent index card I had written a memory verse on just a couple weeks ago and placed in the kitchen window above my sink for easy review. I had moved it from to share and the now warn card had made the rounds until it had migrated to my desk, buried by papers.
God's hand, I believe.
Sitting at my desk, holding the now crumpled card, Isaiah 26:3 rushed air into my lungs and fresh water for my lips. God KEEPS in perfect peace those whose minds are STAYED on Him... those who trust Him. 'I trust you Lord. Life may be crazy right now, but you are still good and you are still at the center.' I knew it wasn't a change of scenery I needed after spending 30 minutes contemplating a coffee shop for writing... it wasn't a shift in schedule as I considered swapping work and chore days... it was simply a setting of mind to be kept in perfect peace, staying on God.
And now, here I sit, hours later, with Charlie Brown music drifting through my headphones compliments of Vince Guaraldi. I didn't need the music or clean desk or progress on my project to find peace.... I just needed a simple reminder of the simple presence of God.
Do you struggle finding the simple moments inside of the chaos?
P.s.... here is where my time goes right now. It is a good time hogger though, because I just know it will be a great time-spender for readers....