In the mom’s group I have been part of for the last 6 years, we are going to begin talking about simplifying our lives.  More specifically, about the book Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne.  It reminds me of another book that I have had on my shelf for awhile about simplifying, 7 an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker.  

So what does that have to do with For Real Friday Mom?  I have had one of the books for over a year. I bought it when we talked about this last year.  I’ve had the other for several months, borrowed from a friend, but I’ve yet to crack either of them open.  In fact, I have many self-help, marriage, parenting, biographies, novels, that stare at me from book piles all over my house.  Some get read, some get started, some get used as decoration or the occasional lap desk, most, don’t do any of that.  Many of these books are my favorites. Too many, I didn’t like after the first chapter, and others, like these two books about simplifying, are what I now call, osmosis coasters (say that three times fast.)  Come on, you know you all have them.  No mom corner table is complete without them!  The ones that don’t get read, whether because of anxiety, guilt, or pride, you’re not sure. Those books that you feel like, if you rest your coffee cup on them from time to time, or move them from purse, to table, to nightstand, you might absorb their all encompassing knowledge through osmosis.  Have you tried under your pillow yet? It’s a thought.


So why do I hang onto books like this Simplicity Parenting and 7, but never read them? The former, is obviously a good book!  It comes with the recommendation of one of the people I admire most in this world. And the latter? Jen Hatmaker. Nuff said.  

Why do you hang onto your osmosis coasters? Do you think you’re not good enough? Is it because it reminds you of all the things that are in your life that shouldn’t be: the 60 board games, of which your family only plays a handful? The looming pile of laundry, that is the result of your “but it’s a good deal” finds? Your unhealthy obsession with The Spot, at Target. Don’t deny it! You Spot! Where else can you find  one dollar socks (that aren’t really a good deal), organization materials you “need,” and knickknacks to give the kiddos so you can keep them quiet for all of five minutes?

For me, it’s because, deep down, I know I need those books.  Maybe, I won’t ever actually read them.  Maybe the pillow osmosis trick will work.  Does it really matter?  The coaster itself has already done some work on my heart. God sees that small change and wants to help me make it bigger.  Just seeing the title is a reminder.  So, I’m going to stop beating myself up and telling myself the lie, that if I haven’t read it, I can’t start to make a positive change.  I don’t have to do everything “by the book” (pun intended) to make a difference in my chaos.  I don’t have to read the whole thing.  If, simply by looking at the title, one drawer, one cupboard, one corner, is improved, that’s better than where I was at when I used the osmosis coaster trick!  

What is in your osmosis coaster book pile?  A diet book, a parenting book, a Christian devotional? Maybe, for you, it isn’t an actual book but a change: more exercise, less sweets, reading with your kids, your Lenten promise.  Why did you avoid it? Why did you stop?  Because the whole thing was too daunting?  Was Satan whispering in your ear telling you that the book was too long, you didn’t have enough time, you didn’t read the devotional or do the exercise after Feb 1, so you can’t start again now?  Stop listening to him and listen to Jesus.   Where is He moving your heart to make a change?   

God recently laid something on my heart. I need to stop focusing on the overwhelming task of all that needs to be done around me, and instead, simply focus on THE NEXT STEP.  I think that thought applies here. The list is not getting shorter people! Read the whole book, exercise every day, put the dishes directly into the dishwasher, quit a bad habit, stop spending more time on social media than you do with real people. Whatever your mountain is to climb, quit looking at the whole task.  Looking at it that way is immobilizing  your mind and your heart.  Instead, just ask God to help you take THE NEXT STEP. Jesus will see the yearning in your heart and He will walk with you.  Heck, maybe, just maybe, you won’t have to open your osmosis coaster book, or even move it, instead just allow HIM to move YOU.

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2



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