An Unword, a Don’t List, and Freedom

I’ve been having a lot of deep thoughts lately. It’s sort of annoying. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, which I would typically have attributed to this long winter and attendant issues like illness. But I haven’t been just overwhelmed and frustrated. I’ve also been unsettled. Unsettled is not a normal state of affairs for me, and it always means I had better start paying attention to what the Lord is telling me.

At the same time I was reading all these blog posts where bloggers were highlighting the word they’ve chosen to represent their year. It’s a popular practice among bloggers, but I’ve never been interested in it. Then I saw a blogger who had chosen an unword, the thing she specifically wants to stop this year. Right now that resonates with me. AndΒ then I saw another blogger who had made a “to don’t list”, and that resonates with me, too.

After much praying and pondering, I’ve come to some conclusions. It is my nature to go after things. I take action. I push forward. I’m wearing myself out. I often get asked how I do it all, and I can give you all sorts of answers, because I’ve got some good methods. But here’s the thing – I don’t want to “do it all” anymore. I don’t want to, it’s not good for my family, and the Lord is giving me all sorts of stop signals.

2014 Unword ~ Plumfield Dreams

So this year I’m going to stop striving.

And then, after I had an unword, I realized I have a plain ol’ word, too. Rest. Rest my brain. Rest my emotions. Rest physically. Rest in His sovereignty.

Rest ~ Plumfield Dreams

I’ve created a don’t list, too. You could perceive this approach as negative, and maybe for some people it would feel that way, but for me it feels freeing. I’ve written down the things that exhaust me, or can easily tip me into that striving territory. Recording them feels like a letting go. If you catch me doing these don’ts, would you call me on it, please?

To Don’t in 2014:

  • Feel guilty about what I am not doing
  • Work more than 20 hours a week
  • Train in anything
  • Feel obligated
  • Volunteer for anything that doesn’t involve the kids
  • Make excessive lists πŸ˜‰

So this year here’s to freedom from striving. Here’s to rest.

8 thoughts on “An Unword, a Don’t List, and Freedom

  1. KATY!!! I am right there with you, especially in the not volunteering thing. I’m feeling the pressure from our church to dive into things, but at this point, with four kids five and under, it’s just not gonna happen. And I will not feel guilty about it either!! I found you via twitter, and the moment I saw the name of your blog I knew we had to be kindred spirits–Little Women is my FAVORITE book of all time! Thanks for the follow!!!!

    • Oh my goodness, you made my day!! This is so exciting! You love Little Women (my favorite, too) AND Nickel Creek?! You are a woman of impeccable taste.

      There are so many worthy causes, and I would love to support all of them, but I know my time right now is supposed to be devoted to my children. I think the key for me is the inclusion of the kids – if it’s something we can really do together, I’m happy to consider it, because I want to teach them to live a life of service, but otherwise, it’s a no go. It’s so freeing to have that “rule” for myself!

  2. Hey there Katy! Found you through your comment on vaccines. I really like this post about not striving anymore. I’ve been thinking a lot on those lines lately, so it’s nice to know that other moms are trying to do LESS instead of MORE. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Kelly! I know what you mean. It’s good to have confirmation we are not alone in our thought processes, especially about something counter-cultural that makes us feel vulnerable. Or, at least, that’s what I always want. πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes: The One with Various Hospital Visits | Plumfield DreamsPlumfield Dreams

  4. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes: The One with the Fun Weekend Plans | Plumfield DreamsPlumfield Dreams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *