It’s been a doozy of a year, even though it’s been one of our best. Changes, lessons learned, kids growing up, slight job shifts… Life constantly moves, doesn’t it? 2012 has whooshed by, but when I think of January to now, I’m in awe of all I’ve learned, as a writer, as a wife, and as a mother.
I actually thrive on change, which is both good and bad. I tend to roll with the punches, but if things remain stagnant for a bit, I get restless. The longest we’ve ever lived in one home was three years, and that was overseas, which is full of crazy upheaval just by nature of geography.
But I don’t thrive on busyness. It sucks me dry, and I get lost in the liturgy of life when my focus shifts from being a person with intentional purpose to a checker of to-do lists. When my daily goals become efficiency and productivity instead of reflection and contentment.
I bet being busy sucks the life out of you, too. I believe that’s because we aren’t inherently made to be busy.
There’s a lot I miss about living overseas, but probably the thing I miss the most is a slower pace of life. It drove me crazy, this snail’s pace, when we first lived as expats—getting one thing done was a major accomplishment, and that’s enough to wad up the pants on any red-blooded American. But eventually (as in, several years) into our life, and I grew to savor a slower rhythm.
Most of you have gathered that I’m working on my third book. Well, I’m thrilled that I’m finally free to tell you about it, for reals.
I’ve partnered with Thomas Nelson for my next two books, and my next installment is called Intention: Notes on the Quest to Savor Life, Enjoy the Kids, and Say No to Living Fast. You can just call it Intention, for short.
It explores whether we can live in our western cultures the same way those people can in more relationship-based cultures. But it’s not an anthropological study. It essentially asks the question, “Can a family live slowly in a fast-paced culture?” And it draws mostly on our own family’s experience of return to our home culture here in the States.
If you’ve read my first book, I can tell you this—it’s vastly different. This book is still practical because you can translate it into your own story, but it’s not a how-to book. It’s a book of stories. Stories of my family, with a few stories of others.
I’ve grown to love the words on these pages I’ve been scratching late into the night and early in the morning, and I so hope you will, too. I hope they’ll inspire and encourage you to think outside the box about all the little everyday choices you make as a family. To question our culture’s norm. To live with intention.
Which is why the book is called Intention.
And I’m completely thrilled about the book to follow, which will chronicle our family’s journey around the world sometime down the road. We’ll interact with other families in different countries, and discover how we all do family life and what we can learn from each other—hospitality, education, living in community, and all those lovely things that make up life. And you read right—all five of us will be going on this journey together. Our passports have been itching for some more stamps, so we’re already counting down the months. The trip isn’t anytime soon, but we’ll fill you in on plans as the time draws closer.
Thank you, Simple Mom readers, for allowing me to do what I do—for giving our family this gift of an online space. I’m writing Intention for you, and I’m writing it for me. I need reminders like these in the book, regularly. It’s been good for my soul, so I hope it’ll be good for your soul when you’re finally able to crack open the cover.