Looking back over the past 5 years of our marriage, J and I are amazed at how busy it has been. This is the first time in our marriage where are weekends aren't full of traveling, guests, or multiple commitments. Thanks to our desire for a simpler life, our days are less consumed with stuff and plans, and filled with quality time as a family. We never thought life could feel this easy and free.
We don't have smart phones. The TV is only turned on for a few shows in the morning for Star, and the occasional show during the week for us. Our home is easier to maintain... And if it isn't perfect, we choose not to sweat it any more.
Simple living, simply living, has changed how we speak love into the lives of our girls and each other. Over the past week and a half, we have gone to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Glen Rose, fishing, and to see the bluebonnets. In the meantime we have cared for our yard, maintained our home, cleaned out the shed for a wood shop, started cleaning out the garage, made 90% of our meals at home, been involved in church, gone on some dates, shared meals with family, gone to the gym, and played with our girls outside.
And when I think about all the things we wished we could do, and yet never did, I am thankful to now live free of distractions. Free of plans and commitments. Free of the need for more. Free to just be.
Yesterday, was another day of freedom. After attending church and eating with family, we came home, put our girls down for a nap, accomplished a few of our to-dos, and decided to go see the bluebonnets. I have a picture of Star at 5 months old in the bluebonnets that I wanted to replicate with Lettie since she can wear the dress Star wore in the picture. J graciously got dressed, helped pack up the car, and as storms built in the distance we headed East. The sky was magnificent with thunderheads and golden light colliding, and the roadways were dotted with various shades of blue. In the background, Texas country music played on, as Star counted cars, moo'd at cows, and Lettie played with her toy keys. We held hands and tried to soak it in, knowing these are our sweetest days yet.
I had seen a field online, but after have trouble finding it, we settled for a beautiful park in Ennis, which ended up being even better than my original plan. The light was quickly fading, but our girls gave me the shots I wanted. J kept them laughing. Star ran free through the field, twirling her dress, exclaiming, "I pwincess Belle!". Lettie sat in the flowers, admiring the petals, while watching her sister run back and forth. And I sat back, trying to capture it all with my eyes, heart, and camera. After we finished, we made our way back home, watching the storms roll across the Texas sky, admiring God's power. We stopped for some corn dogs, shared a meal around our table, put our girls to bed, and spent some time alone before the week began.
I often wondered if life could feel this simple. And even though there are days when I feel the pressure for perfection, when J is home and time is available, those pressures fall away as we choose to give our girls and each other attention, experiences, and memories that will last forever.
My girls won't remember yesterday, but I will. And I will look back and think of my sweet husband who dropped anything he wanted to do for me to get one picture. I'll think of the way his hand enveloped mine as we drove down the road, taking in the moment. I'll think of the way my Star ran through the grass and flowers with wild abandon. I'll think of my Lettie sitting like a perfect baby doll, feeling the different textures, giving me her sweetest smiles. And I'll think back on the freedom we have now to build the foundation of quality time spent as a family.
Someday, our schedules will be full again. Our girls will be involved in various activities. We'll have places to be. And a home to continue to maintain. But I believe we will always create margin in our life to just be, to simply live and take in each moment.