I have made an abundance of work for myself in these first couple weeks of the year. We’ve changed banks and accountants, both of which have been the same for over twenty years, and I’m in the process of navigating a new accounting method for our business and personal finances that challenges my love of learning.
I like change but I may have gone a little headlong into this new year and bitten off more than I can reasonably chew, especially since I enjoy paperwork about as much as paying taxes. I also don’t like managing finances. I wanted to make a fresh start, but as with decluttering or deep cleaning the house, the mess and chaos is usually doubled before it’s halved.
I also decided to move my blog from Wordpress to Squarespace, which “they” tell you is simple and here are 5 easy steps and we’ll walk you through it but really, I think they all have a degree in computer science and love that kind of stuff. I don’t love it.
All of these changes had two goals: simplify and save money.
This space here may not look a whole lot different to you—big, sweeping change wasn’t my goal. Squarespace offers me an easier way to customize and change things without having to know coding, plus the hosting is cheaper for me and I’ve always loved the look of Squarespace blogs. I’m not exactly a designer and there are a few things left to do (fix a bazillion broken links, for example), but I’m settling in and sprucing things up a bit.
(Also, did you know I’m slightly colorblind? Picking the exact shade of green that I want for the blog title and links has been difficult, so let me know your thoughts. I’m going for an evergreen-type shade.)
I brought all this work upon myself, wanting to change things up and hoping to simplify. I long for beautiful spaces and simple routines, in everything from our finances to my blog to our home and school, and I’m just enduring growing pains right now while we do the work on the front end that will, hopefully, pay off in beauty and simplicity on the other end.
As Edith Schaeffer says, “—a Christian, above all, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively.” We all have work to do and spaces to live in, and being created in the image of God gives us the freedom to bring His inspiration into every aspect of our lives, even the mundane stuff of reorganizing our finances.
Several of you reached out and shared a word you were focusing on for the coming year after my last post and it was encouraging to read your reasons. I’ve settled on stewardship. If you’ve never chosen a word of the year it might sound silly, but I am surprised how often God brings this word to mind. He knows all my inner workings and short-comings when it comes to stewarding things.
I’ve been frustrated this week by the flu and the paperwork and all the things I’m behind on since getting sick, and I’m tempted to feel the way we all feel when we’re unproductive: worthless. Worth less than we are at our full potential. Worth less than the person being busy. Worth less than our spouse or our children deserve. Why do we use productivity as a measuring stick? The thing I’ve had to steward this week has been my mind.
To that end, I’ve lit candles, disinfected surfaces, put my favorite oils in the diffuser (eucalyptus + orange, currently) and managed to wash all our bedding yesterday so my sweet husband could sleep in a germ-free bed and not on the couch. Stewarding my thoughts and reigning them in from the deluge of accusations about my worth is closely linked with beauty.
If you’re under a mountain of laundry or schoolwork or bills or a big project, may you find a way to live in it artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. It's not always easy but it makes all the difference.