Are you too busy? Do you often feel as though your thoughts are racing ahead of your actions?
Do you awaken in the morning with an unending to-do list already scrolling through your mind?
Do you feel tired? Do you feel lonely? Do you feel like "something is missing?"

Sometimes, even though we might have the purest of intentions in raising our families and living godly lives, we can become "slaves to doing" and lose track of the things that are most important; namely: connecting with God and growing closer to Him...and sharing that experience with our families.

I think that some people are actually afraid (subliminally, perhaps) of simplicity and of approaching daily life at a slower pace so as to embrace and encourage all that is conducive to peace and contentment.

Some of us feel that if we are not organizing something, leading something, planning something, or serving somewhere, that we are "wasting time" or being "unproductive or useless". Some of us feel that if we aren't doing big things then the small things we are doing go unnoticed and don't really matter.

Of course, none of this is true. In fact, I'd say the is in the small and seemingly insignificant things, if done for love of God and with a joyful and willing heart, that we will truly find peace of mind and happiness in this life on earth.

I challenge readers today: Go counter-cultural! Step out of the rat race for a while, pale back on some of your meetings, events, committees, and services; and spend some more time with your family, friends, and with God.

True, it is possible to connect with God, to serve Him, and to feel His presence in a work day, a community project, or even in a Board meeting...but it is much easier and more likely that you will hear His voice in stillness, quiet, and simple moments.

Perhaps you’d like to:

* Eat an apple and really pay attention to it texture, taste, scent, and beauty.

* Sit outside when the sun goes down and listen to the crickets and locusts..."God's Music", my kids call this.

* Invite a few families over to your house for a game of kick ball or charades. . .nothing fancy, no big planning needed...just a pitcher of ice water, some cookies perhaps, lots of smiles, and some friendly conversation...share a few moments in prayer together and thank God for His gift of friendship in your life.

* Write something...anything: a poem, a prayer, a letter to a friend or to your spouse!

* Sit nearby and listen to children play...this has to be one of the greatest things in life...listening to the furtive imaginations of children come to life!

* Read something just for pleasure or enrichment...or study something that interests you.

* Eat a meal outside.

At first, a slower pace might bring on feelings of anxiety for some...almost as if the silence is deafening rather than golden...but in time...if you make a conscious effort to adapt to this as a new way of will come to find that the rhythm and flow of quieter, simpler days leaves you feeling more energetic, calm, engaged and more alive!

It's not always easy to choose a path that differs from the cultural norm. It's definitely not ever easy to persevere in living on a single income while raising a family in a materially-oriented-society. . . but it is worth it.

It doesn't matter if no one really knows our name.
It doesn't matter if we wear the same shoes for years. (My daughter thinks it's awesome that I've had the same turquoise blue pair of plastic flip-flops for twenty years! She said that she loves when I wear them because it evokes wonderful childhood memories and makes her feel like she's "six" again!)
It doesn't matter if the biggest thing you do in a day is make your family a delicious and nutritious meal or help a five year old learn to tie his or her  own shoe.

If "knowing, loving, and serving God" is at the center of your heart and you are willing to open yourself up for the ways in which He wants to bless you, then you will come to find that there is a respite, a reprieve, a sense of healing that will envelop you when you strive to slow down and exchange the busy-ness in your life for a quieter, simpler; more-focused-less-cluttered existence.

Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich