Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Living Life in the Slow Lane


"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:12

You'll notice some changes to this blog. I've been praying for months for God to give me a specific theme, a purpose for this goal that goes beyond film and books. I love both of those things, and I'll still share about them sometimes, but I also feel the Lord wants me to share my observations about life from my perspective. The perspective of a homeschooled young woman in her thirties who has deliberately chosen to live a slow life and not get caught in the race to achieve. I hope you'll stick with me during this transition over to something that will bring me fulfillment and I hope will encourage others to slow down, take a deep breath, and just look at the glories of God that surround us every single day. I'm going to start sharing my heart on this blog because that's what God is asking of me.

I like my life. It's good that I can actually say that with conviction and sincerity. It doesn't mean I never have periods of melancholy because I haven't reached certain heights of expectation that I've set for myself. But those are always the moments when God is able to reach me with some new truth about myself.

Do you ever fool yourself into thinking you want something, but you actually want something entirely different?

Take the concept of employment. Women have been "liberated," whatever that is even supposed to mean, and so we're able to hold down jobs and be "independent," again another word I'm not entirely sure has a viable meaning. I'm not discounting women who work. I work full time and enjoy it. I love my coworkers and I love knowing that I'm making a difference because my fingers process money and set up accounts for the Lord. That money goes to release children from poverty in Jesus' name because I work at Compassion International. That's an incredible mission and one I stand behind wholeheartedly.

On the flipside of the working woman, there are women left in the US whose almost unattainable dream nowadays is to be a stay-at-home mom and wife. That's also my dream. I love my job and the work of my hands through my God-given skills, but my dream is to hold my little ones, clean my house, cook for my husband, and craft in my very own craft room with friends and family. That is my dream, but the world in which we live now makes that dream seem . . . foolish. As if being a wife and mother isn't enough, that you're not reaching far enough, and that, because so many women fought for your equality with men, that you need to utilize it by becoming an "independent" working woman with monetary success.

My boss, a sweet, dear lady that I absolutely adore and who has such a heart for children, loves that I someday want to be a stay-at home wife and mother. She says that I have an "old soul" because I'm traditional. Once upon a time, it was normal for women to want the same thing I do. Now women, at least 90% of the ones I've met, have lofty goals of independence. It's about making money, buying a car and a house, and maybe, someday, marrying a man and maybe having one child who the nanny can raise.

My goals are to be and grow into the woman the Lord intends me to be. I don't want to become so busy, so driven, so focused on monetary goals, that I lose the part of myself that finds enjoyment in the little things . . . like braiding Swedish Coffee Bread every Christmas and thinking of my grandfather who made the same recipe every holiday season. I am traditional. And I am proud of it. I like living in the slow lane of life. Where is it written that I need social engagements every night, that I need to have an employment focused goal every year to climb that ladder of success? That isn't who the Lord has destined me to become, and I always fear that women who let this time of success become their focus really lose a part of their identity.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with living a slower, more traditional life just as there is not necessarily anything wrong with working, so long as it is for the right motivations, but more on that later. Everything today is rush, rush, rush. Go here, do that, meet that goal, climb that peak, achieve fame, and once you've retired, then make time to relax and do all the things like baking and crafting and volunteering at church that you never had time to do when you were young. That's not me. It shouldn't be anyone. I want to serve now, find my hobbies now, love my family now, not someday in the far distant future. I'm never going to be a ladder-climber at work if it means I have to sacrifice the woman I am, the ways I'm serving the Lord, and the hobbies I have. I am who God has designed me to be, a woman of tradition and faith, and in every way possible I intend to live faithful to that design.

8 comments:

  1. I look forward to watching you take this journey and walking beside you as a friend. :)

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    1. Well, we'll see how it goes. I'm sort of discovering the me that Christ wants me to be and learning how to let that reflection of Him shine out to the world. I think it'll be an interesting time of reflection and musing.

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  2. Love it, Carissa! I'm looking forward to reading more. =)

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    1. Thanks, Lizzie! I just felt strongly that it was time for a change, in myself, in how I present myself to others, in how I share things and in what I share. It's good. It'll be an interesting journey.

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  3. I love life in the slower lane too! In fact, I often try to find ways to slow our lives down more because I feel like we're getting too busy.

    I hope and pray you'll be able to fulfill your desire for a family of your own :-)

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    1. Getting too busy is a hazard of our society. Some types of business are good, healthy even. Like when I'm busy with home projects and family stuff. That's really, really good. But when I'm too busy for the things I love doing . . . well, that's when busy turns into unhealthy and I get melancholy. Never a good thing!

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  4. Ran across this (http://ultrafactsblog.com/post/133289919125/ultrafacts-elvis-was-famous-for-his-generosity) and thought of you. :)

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    1. Aww, that's very sweet, and so true of him. I knew about his tendency to give away cars to people, but not that he bought a limo for the limo driver. That's pretty cool!

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