Back to Basics – Journey Update

Back to Basics - Update ... Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.
At the beginning of 2018 I set out on a journey to ‘go back to basics‘.
This journey was mostly inspired by the words of a friend who said, ”If only Christians could get the basics right, the world would be a different place.” Combined with feeling overwhelmed in other areas of my life.
I hoped that it would be a way to minimize the distractions and help me focus on what truly matters.
A little over half way in and I came to the same conclusion as a title on one of John C Maxwell’s books:
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
‘Going back to basics’ sounds so simple, so doable and yet I have learned that it’s almost impossible if I’m not being intentional.
My greatest struggle is to figure out what ‘basic’ looks like in this day and age. Especially when it comes to balancing ‘real life’ and spending time online.
Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to pull the plug on all things technology and social media. Then I realize that will also disconnect me from my friends and family around the world.
I’m only in the process of figuring it out, but since writing helps I thought I might share some ways I’m winning, what I’m learning and why I would encourage anyone to at least try to ‘get the basics right’.
Some practical wins:
  • I’m not a ‘list person’ by nature. I only started keeping a prayer list last October during my write 31 days prayer challenge. I really love this practice and experimenting with different ways to keep it updated.  This lead to the discovery that lists can be a great tool when applied to other aspects of life as well.
  • In combination with some daily list I’ve experimented with a weekly rhythm that works well for our family in this season. This way it doesn’t feel too repetitive, but helps to set healthy boundaries for us all.
  • I’m actually starting to enjoy cooking and I’m not sure if I can even begin to explain why. Only that there is something really comforting about he process of taking basic ingredients and turning them into a meal.
  • My hubby gets credit for the most practical win since he changed the settings on our wifi to switch off automatically at 21:00 pm and only turn back on at 7:00 am.
With all the distractions (read internet) out of the way… Conveniently at the same time the little guys are both in bed. I’m getting better quality sleep, reading more books and we actually have some uninterrupted time together. Since I get up a bit earlier than the boys (around 6:30) most days I also get to read at least a chapter of Scripture before the first ‘mommy!’. Double win!

Some practical fails learns
  • Using a hashtag to document the journey. What was my own # again?? On second thought this wasn’t the brightest idea on the topic, since I find hashtags far from basic.
I thought this might be a great way to connect with others who also liked the idea of going back to basics… Still thinking of better alternatives. Any ideas?
  • My laptop’s hard-drive crashed while I was in South Africa. Instead of replacing it I ended up with too many unpractical devices. Just keeping everything charged and organized is a mission.
  • I’m still learning to lower my expectations of myself and other people. To be grateful that I ‘get to’, instead of feeling resentful with all the time and energy it takes just to meet the ‘basic needs’ of two growing littles, while trying not to neglect my marriage or my own emotional well being.
Why I would encourage you to go ‘back to basics’ – even if your journey may look completely different.
I had no idea how far my focus shifted from real people and kingdom principles.
Intentionally going back to basics helped me wake up to the reality that I was being sucked into the ways of the world, without even noticing it. Slowly conforming from hot to lukewarm.
Re-evaluating what truly matters at the end of the day made me think twice about how I’m spending my time and energy.
Even if I still mess up or lose focus, it’s a way to ‘restart’… because it is impossible to go back to basics without evaluating the systems you have in place – or the lack thereof – when it comes to being healthy. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
I believe it is a great way to get perspective.
To make sure – even if we cannot see the full picture – that our ladders are at least up against the right walls before we start climbing.
Sticking to the basics helped me to say ‘no’ to more and bigger and to make the most of what I have instead. If nothing else it’s a budget saver I would highly recommend.
How are you doing eight months along the line? What were you excited about or hoping to change in January? Would love to hear an update on your year so far!

Image Credit: Unsplash

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