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© 2018 Keep it Simple Susan by Susan Lawson

  • Susan Lawson

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Giving thanks for - this house, our home, and the family that God created that brings it to life in so many ways.


Outside my window - there’s a dusting of snow on this February day. I can’t believe the weather we’ve had, it’s been entirely mild for a midwest winter. But today, it’s bleak out there - no color other than multiple shades of dry browns and the above mentioned layer of white dust. I’m sure it will soon contribute to the slushy gray film on the roads. I miss the sunshine. 


Clothing myself in - good grief, I’m still in my pajamas and my favorite lightweight cardigan. I’ll have to get dressed soon because I have places to be today and will have to leave the house. Keeping house - It is easier to do the basics these days. Even with the grand-littles here more, it seems like the de-cluttering campaign continues to bless us with less work. I have decided that I would be willing to work at generating revenue with my creative projects just so I can pay someone to clean my house and run errands. I’m so over cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting - especially considering how infrequently that actually gets done… I’d really like for it to be done on a regular basis, and for it to be done by someone other than me :-)


Keeping it simple - “Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything.” This appeared to be a message God felt I really needed to hear this week. And He was right. When I didn’t read my usual daily messages a couple days ago, my husband made mention of the content, which prompted me to go and read it later in the day. It couldn’t have been more relevant. And it saved my day, and the days since. I am reminded that I have to stop worrying about tomorrow. I have to stop worrying, period. I get inside my head with thoughts and I don’t even realize that I have started to obsess and then I start the downward spiral into mass mental confusion. That leads my heart to all sorts of confusion and wrong ideas. Keep it simple, Susan. Stay in the moment. Wherever you are, be fully there. All good chants for my day.


To be fit and healthy - This morning, I listened to The Lazy Genius podcast about intuitive eating. Living without food rules. I’m intrigued. I have come upon that term a few times in the past couple of weeks. It reminds me what I used to say - just eat what God put on the earth for us to eat with as little processing as possible. But I suppose the second part of that sentence is a food rule. I joined my girls in a weight loss challenge between whenever it starts in January and the end of March. I don’t do well when I set myself up this way. I said I was going to leave the challenge and then changed my mind. I am changing my mind again. I’m going to learn more about this intuitive eating thing and embrace my body - exactly the way it is.


On that note, I want to share that this week, for the first time really, I realized something about my body. It’s healthy. It’s strong. It has done great things for me. I could go on and on with the list of the ways it has blessed me, protected me, served me and so many others, but the thing that occurred to me was this - it has done all that exactly the way it is or was. My weight has never really kept me from doing anything I wanted to do other than look a certain way. I can claim that I need to lose weight to stay healthy, and I’m not debating that, because I believe it to be true that too much weight on my frame can produce other health issues in time, but the truth is that right now the only reason I truly would be motivated to lose weight is so that I can look and feel better in my own eyes. Until health issues prompt a change in that attitude, I think it would be best for me to just admit that and move forward understanding that this is the real motivation. Pondering - the fact that although I have had conversations with my friend that our current challenges are due to the fact that we created them by the way that we parented our kids (and to be clear, they are the best sort of challenges), it’s not entirely true. God created our families. I may have given birth to five living children, but I didn’t really have complete control over that. Lots of people would love to have a big family, but don’t. We didn’t do anything to deserve a big family, God created that reality. And the way we parented was guided by what we were exposed to - the good, the bad and the ugly. We are a product of our experiences and God’s will for our lives. Our circumstances do not surprise God, he ordained them and knows exactly what he’s doing. So when he guided us in our parenting, and brought about the kind of beautiful relationships we enjoy with our kids, he knew what he was doing and he did it on purpose. So I really need to embrace my circumstances and trust that he knew what it would look like when he also called me to other things while existing inside these circumstances. All that to say that I can stop worrying about my ability to do things I feel I am called to do and trust that, when it’s time, he will equip me to do whatever he calls me to do. 


Listening to - silence right now. Actually, the clock ticking and the refrigerator humming. But more often a growing number of podcasts, and the God is Good playlist that my daughter shared with me on iTunes. She keeps adding to it and I love it so much I never have to search for other music. 


Reading - that stack hasn’t been reduced by a single title, and yet I read every day. I recently got a book recommended by a new friend, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. I’m digging into things I have long known I needed to understand better. Also, I came across a new space - The Joyful Life. When I saw their hardcopy, quarterly publication advertised online, I knew I wanted to check it out. Not cheap. But worth the money. I’ve started reading the first issue and I like it so far. I’ll let you know more as I progress in my perusing. I also resumed Blood Spell, but our new furniture and it’s comfort zone keeps beckoning me to vegetate and watch tv...


Watching - we finished Blacklist and will have to watch the rest of season 7 as it airs…blah! Ragnarok - weird, but interesting entertainment. I’m not really picky as tv shows go. There was something else but I can’t remember it right now.

Loving the moments - that turn into hours while I chat with family and friends, old and new, at our favorite local coffee shops. Time just flies by, and the conversation could go on endlessly. You know you are with good people when five or six hours go by as you share rich and meaningful conversations, and when you realize it’s time to go, you still have so much more you could talk about. We all need that kind of friend, make no mistake about it.

Planning for the week ahead - menu planning is done, but we rarely follow it. It’s still good to have it as a guide in the event your brain stops functioning and you’re glad the decision is already made… and having it helps when there are hungry little people staring at you at dinner time again.


Words worth sharing - I’m not that important. I should probably elaborate on that a little, but it will have to wait for another time. I just know that one night as we turned out the lights to go to sleep I was worrying again, and a voice whispered to me, stop worrying about what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, you really are not that important. I know it sounds like a bad message, but it was not. It was what I needed to hear at the time and necessary to help me understand more clearly - “it’s not about me”. 


Also, repeating what I said earlier... Stay in the moment. Wherever you are, be fully there.


Keep it simple.

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