How Showing My House Is Teaching Me To Take Life Easy

August 11, 2014

This summer has been all about trying to sell our house. But it's also been about staying simple and connecting as a family. There have been no camps, amusement parks, or organized activities scheduled. Perhaps one day, all of those things will be added into our summer break, but right now...in this season of our lives, it's about keeping together and keeping it simple.

We've sought to spend as much time together as possible, even though admittedly, I've had days when I would've been happy to send my boys far, far away! The most epic event of the summer was definitely our road trip to Florida, in which we experienced the hospitality of others, gathered around family tables, and explored a new coastline. It was a vacation filled with miles, sand, water, and hours and hours of talking with both one another and new friends. In some ways, it was the most extravagant trip we've ever taken, but in others, it was the most simple vacation ever.

There's something about the pressure of keeping the house perfect, that teaches you to appreciate all that flows naturally. It becomes a welcomed respite to not know what's next on the itinerary. It's enjoyable to simply make meals, messes, and prioritize relationships. You appreciate the living organism of FAMILY, and that real people make real messes. Because that's what home is -- real people, together.

But on the flip-side, this summer's intense weekly house-showing endeavor has also freed us up to enjoy one another in a way we also may not have known otherwise...


Toad woke up. “Drat,” he said. “This house is a mess. I have so much work to do.”

Frog looked through the window. “Toad, you are right,” said Frog. It is a mess.”

Toad pulled the covers over his head. “I will do it tomorrow,” said Toad. “Today I will take life easy.”

Frog came into the house. “Toad,” said Frog, “your pants and jacket are lying on the floor.”

”Tomorrow,” said Toad from under the covers.

”Your kitchen sink is filled with dirty dishes,” said Frog.

”Tomorrow,” said Toad.

”There is dust on your chairs.”

”Tomorrow,” said Toad.

”Your windows need scrubbing,” said Frog. “Your plants need watering.”

”Tomorrow!” cried Toad. “I will do it all tomorrow!”

Toad sat on the edge of his bed.

”Blah,” said Toad. “I feel down in the dumps.”

”Why?” asked Frog.

”I am thinking about tomorrow,” said Toad.

”I am thinking about all of the many things that I will have to do.”

”Yes,” said Frog, “tomorrow will be a very hard day for you.”

”But Frog,” said Toad, “if I pick up my pants and jacket right now, then I will not have to pick them up tomorrow, will I?”

”No,” said Frog. “You will not have to.” Toad picked up his clothes. He put them in the closet.

”Frog,” said Toad, “if I wash my dishes right now, then I will not have to wash them tomorrow, will I?”

”No,” said Frog. “You will not have to.”

Toad washed and dried his dishes. He put them in the cupboard.

”Frog,” said Toad, “if I dust my chairs and scrub my windows and water my plants right now, then I will not have to do it all tomorrow, will I?”

”No,” said Frog. “You will not have to do any of it.”

Toad dusted his chairs. He scrubbed his windows. He watered his plants.

”There,” said Toad. “Now I feel better. I am not in the dumps anymore.”

”Why?” asked Frog.

”Because I have done all that work,” said Toad. “Now I can save tomorrow for something that I really want to do.”

”What is that?” asked Frog.

”Tomorrow,” said Toad, “I can just take life easy.”
— Frog and Toad: "Tomorrow" by Arnold Lobel

Because there is a regular upkeep and awareness of disorder each day, our family ultimately has felt freed up to go on hikes, spend time running around town, go off shooting in the boonies, play LEGOs all afternoon, and help a friend build his house.

It has been a bit of a sweet lesson:

That discipline can make more time and the heart more free.

In the diligent practicing of tidiness and responsibility, we've actually felt less enslaved to our home than you'd think. The time spent daily in little acts of routine diligence has resulted in greater amounts of free time...time NOT cleaning. Go figure. 

When this house is sold -- I pray, sooner, than later -- we won't be quite so neurotic or pressured to keep a picked up home.

But then, again, perhaps we will...

...simply for the joy of being free. Of not stressing out and pointing fingers. Of having the time to do nothing but enjoy each other. Of high-fiving each other for a job well done.

So, here's to the unwelcomed, hard disciplines in life...

...teaching us to take life easy. 

 

Because of grace,

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