Everyone desires a simpler life, an easier way of doing things. In our Sunday School class we had started a book that talks about that, Simple Life by Thom and Art Rainer. While we have not completely finished the book, I highly recommend it. It gives you a lot to think about. The first few chapters were devoted to aligning your life with your priorities. Yes, we say that God and our family are first, but is our lifestyle showing that? Working so much overtime? Shuttling from here to there? Maybe we mean well when we coach our child's t-ball team or we volunteer at the church, but are we overloaded and stressed to the max because of it? It's been very enlightening as I re-evaluate my life. Am I doing things that are good, but causing me to lose focus of God and my family? Am I caught up in things because of the way others view it? Right now things are financially rocky and I'm starting to realize that I have more pride than I thought. Things that shouldn't matter really do and sadly things that SHOULD matter don't! Boy do I have things wrong! We're in the part of the book where it talks about finances and it's really stepped on my toes. Giving to God should be first- then everything else. If we believe that everything is God's then why do we stress and worry about acknowledging Him? We know that He takes care of us, yet when it comes to money (especially) we don't want to give to Him (who supplies are EVERY need).
It's my prayer here lately that I realign my focus completely to God. It's okay to say no, it's okay if I don't have the name brand phone (a hard thing for me to come to grasp with... I really like my Apple iPhone), it's okay if we don't volunteer for everything at church. The big things that matter are that I teach my children to love God, to put Him first in their lives, to love my family, and to build memories based upon our reason for living (to worship God!). Sometimes that isn't going to jive with other people. My desire to homeschool isn't because the public schools are horrible (while they aren't always the best, there are several good schools and good Christian teachers in them), but instead my desire to homeschool is for us to get one step closer to the simple life. Instilling in my children the values that *I* believe in, that *I* hold true, making sure they don't fall into temptations too early or are exposed to things that aren't true, pure, etc... While I can't shelter them, I am able to let my kids be kids for as long as they need to be. I can focus on my family and God- my priorities.