In the good old days life was simpler. There weren’t as many distractions or expectations or outside demands on people’s time. A woman could focus on her home and on her family and on what truly mattered. Or so we tell ourselves.
Get this through your head: these are your good old days.
It isn’t the century or the circumstances that make a simple life. It is you. Your mindset, your priorities, your attitude.
Yes, society has expectations of you, but so what! So what if your children aren’t in little league and dance and swimming and debate and choir. So what if they’re not hosting slumber parties and going to summer camp and learning three languages and having a birthday party for all the kids at the roller rink. (Did I just date myself with that roller rink remark?)
Society’s expectations do not need to be your expectations. Change your mindset to what is best for your family at your stage in life.
Prioritize. Let your family be your true focus.
I think of a mother not unlike you and me. She lived over two thousand years ago. All I know of her is that she packed her boy a lunch. Five loaves of bread and two fish. Read about it in John 6:1-14. (If you don’t have a Bible, contact me. I’ll send you one. No, I can’t afford it, but neither can you afford to not have a Bible.) How huge, how utterly enormous was the eternal impact of that one mother’s seemingly small, loving action. And all she did was take the time to feed her boy.
You can never know the depth of the impact of your simple actions, sharing a smile, listening to a story, packing a lunch.
Be there to pack the lunch.
Don’t just pack it because it’s your job. Pack it because you care, because you can, because you want to.
Nothing is more painful for the one being served than knowing that the servant serves out of duty rather than joy.
You know that long, rambling, seemingly pointless story your teenage daughter wants to share with you just as the baby slipped off to sleep and you were about to sneak your first shower in three days? That daughter is a gift. Love her by listening with joy, and slather on a little extra deodorant.
You know that book your new reader wants to read to you over and over and over (repeat ad infinitum) in that halting, loud, hey-I-just-learned-to-read-and-have-to-shout-every-word voice? Love the simple joy of the moment.
Live in the joy of this moment, this simple, beautiful, unembellished moment.
These are the good old days.