In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. These are vows that are taken when two lives are joined in marriage, but living through the bad times, living with sickness and through the death of a loved one can be devastating. There is something that can make life more manageable during difficult times, it’s having time, space and boundaries built in.
I worked full time outside of our home when my dad passed away. There was nothing I wanted more than to have more time and space to work through my own grief, take care of myself, as well as love and support my mom. It was heartbreaking to give my mom my leftover time, which wasn’t much. It was also exhausting to work long hours while my body and soul needed more rest.
Things were completely different a few years later when I received a phone call from my husband, John, when he was having chest pains and was being brought to the hospital by ambulance. I was working at home at the time, focusing on taking care of my home, family and writing on the side. I had time, space and boundaries built into my life. When I received the call, I had time to prioritize John. Not just for a few hours, or a few days, but for the months of recovery that was required. I had time to walk with him every morning as he rebuilt strength. I had time to prepare meals, help him eat better, lose weight and regain his health. I was there to talk to him when we felt good and when he felt bad. Having time, space and boundaries built into our lives made our challenging times more manageable.
I have been talking more about “the simple life at home” lately. What does that mean? I define the simple life as “being intentional about setting aside time, space and establishing boundaries in order to put your family first at home”.
The lockdown we all have been experiencing over the past few months has allowed many of us to live this simple life at home. It has given us a glimpse of how good life can be at home, with those we love. Meals together as a family instead of picking up fast food. Eating healthier because we had time and energy for preparation. Activities together instead of running in different directions each night of the week. Down time that we did not know what to do with at first. Meaningful connections enhanced. The attitude of taking care of each other and working towards a greater good.
Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the simple life at home, how can you be intentional about continuing to set aside time, space and establish boundaries in order to keep that simple life a priority forever? Yes, I said forever.
It will look different for each of us and it will more than likely require a bunch of baby steps to get there, but I want you to know that it is possible if you set your mind and heart to it.
It may require some financial changes that are big and hard. One thing that has allowed John and I flexibility through the years has been the fact that we purchased a smaller home that was well under what the bank would allow us to borrow. This smaller home has kept our mortgage payment low, our utilities lower, the cost of upkeep lower and we have bought less possession because we just don’t have room for them.
Would a job change allow you to better set aside time, space and establish boundaries at home? I recently talked to a single young woman who has come to realize over the past few months that she has been working outside of her strengths in the past. She said “I did not have any energy left when I came home from work. No wonder I struggled with balancing work and life.” She is now pursuing other options for her work.
If you are already home, it might be time for a perspective change. In the past I have felt extremely guilty when I have not been working full time and bringing home a paycheck. I have seen my work at home as less important, even though deep down I knew better. The work we all do at home to prioritize our loved ones is so very important. Don’t let your mind or anyone else make you feel less important. You’ve got it right!
The simple life at home. Is it something you want to pursue? If so, what do you need to do to start moving in that direction? What are your first few baby steps?
My Daily Walk With Jesus: Pray/talk to Jesus, read His Word and Godly devotions, listen for His voice, do what He tells me too, repeat. It’s far from perfect, but it is good!Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels