The past few months I have been back on a minimalist kick. Although we usually think of minimalism in terms of tangible things, it really extends to every area of our life. I kept hearing the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less mentioned and I decided to put it on my reading list. I am glad I did, because this book really approaches minimalism from the standpoint of how you are exerting your time and energy.
If you choose to read this book, you will probably be saying no to a lot more things, but you will say Yes to the things that really matter. Reading this book will help you take time to evaluate your life and your current priority and how you can do this well. In order to do your priority or priorities (which is a plural word the author doesn’t life to use) well, you will have to say no to a lot of things.
As I evaluated my current stage of life I realized as a wife and mom I currently have two priorities; to educate my children well and to support my husband in the church plant we are starting. We are finite human beings, who require rest and regular meals in order to flourish, therefore we can not do everything. Reading this book has giving me a clear vision as to what things I should yes and no to at this season of my life. The question I have to ask myself is, “Would I like to do a lot of things poorly or the things that really matter well?”
I also have to embrace my limits and spiritual needs. For me I know this requires setting aside 8pm- 6am just for sleeping, reading, and prayer. I need all of these things in my life in order to flourish. I also realized that to educate my children well and to make sure that I can be a joyful mother during school days, I can’t schedule anything else on Tuesday- Friday. Tuesday to Friday my priority is educating my children and being peaceful and joyful while doing so and being ok if one of my children is struggling and needs extra help. I also find it a priority to have a home that is ready for hospitality, and to gear this hospitality toward our church plant. To accomplish this I want to spend Saturday mornings cleaning and filling my fridge. Saturday nights and Sunday’s I want to dedicate to hospitality and ministry. Then Monday is a day of rest, worship, and just being a family. God rested on the seventh day and enjoyed the fruit of his labor, I find it highly beneficial to follow this pattern.
After seeing what my priorities are for this season and what my needs are spiritually, physically, rationally, and emotionally, I know that there is nothing else I can really commit to. For me as a Christian I put a lot of prayer into this book, because I want God to be the one that determines the use of my time.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or controlled by other people’s expectations on your life or your own expectations for yourself; read this book! He continually shows examples of how the most fruitful and successful people are those that do less and stay on mission. They put their time and energy into the main priorities of their life and therefore can flourish in those things.