I Choose Slow

tulip

This is what slow really looks like in our home because we have a to do list that is 12 acres long, I have a book getting ready to hit the shelves and slow is my word of the year.

Slow looks like stairs with unfinished treads lined with BlueTape for six months.

It looks like smooth ceiling crazily butting up to popcorn ceiling in the 10 foot opening between the kitchen and the dining area.

It looks like a laundry room with its insulation showing.

It looks like a bathroom with a stained yellow tub, half peeling wall paper and no storage.

office porch

Slow looks like rotting wood on the office porch. And a hot water heater in the yard.

pond

Slow means sitting and noticing where our house is in relation to the pond.

It means relaxing and watching a movie in the midst of the undone.

It means delicious salmon on the grill even though the kitchen isn’t ‘finished’. Do you know we’ve had dozens of wonderful meals in a kitchen that isn’t technically, perfectly finished?!

It means taking joy in the little wins, like finally taking an hour to paint that hallway.

It means allowing myself to be okay with all the stuff that is halfway, or untouched ugly or at the bottom of the list.

Slow is a choice. You choose to be okay with the imperfection now because you trust things will change in the future. Choosing slow isn’t giving up or backing down, it’s usually not being lazy, maybe intentionally slowing down is an act of hope, rest and trust.

the sawmill

My house and life aren’t perfect. They never have been and they never will be, it’s more obvious now than ever. I get to choose what I do with that. I can drive myself insane frantically trying to hide and fix the imperfections. Or I can take my time and enjoy the processes.

choose slow today

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Comments

  1. Best post ever!!!

  2. My word for the year is Abide, and reading this convicted me that abiding can’t be done quickly. Good thoughts – thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful post…choosing slow is about reveling in the blessings and finding all those beautiful moments throughout the day. Otherwise the undone can make us come undone.

  4. I’m so with you on this and your words were affirming and encouraging! Slow is my fridge needing replacing and having it sitting in the middle of the kitchen until I find the right price and funds, my guest bath being 1/2 done but still putting curtains in the windows and a new shower curtain up…..on and on. Taking time to breath and watch a movie and have a conversation about the deep stuff. A realization that this life isn’t a race, it’s a gift. I like slow :)

  5. Slow and steady wins the race! Sometimes the slow pace of turning my house into a home can get the best of me. This is a great reminder to step back and just appreciate the process. It’s life’s imperfections that make it interesting.

  6. I loved living in the country because “slow” is ok. If you have to leave a water heater in the yard for a while, it’s ok…and doesn’t mean it will be there forever. In the suburbs you’d get a citation or something. Living in the country means you can sit in a hammock and look at the sky, listen to the birds, smell the seasons change and relax. I miss that.

  7. Beautiful post. Wise words.
    I’ve been there. And it. is. worth. it. Keep “being” and doing while it’s all undone. We can’t get time back, so why not use it, make the most of it, when we have it…rotting floor boards and all?

  8. I love “slow.” Slow is contrary to what the world says, all the more reason to love it!! :) I’m sure you will enjoy your first spring and summer on your new property. :)

  9. Thank you for writing this! It’s so easy for me to get caught up in what is still left to do but it’s more important to slow down and appreciate what’s right under my nose. Thank you!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is exactly what I need to hear. I am currently living in Ohio while fixing up a house in Florida and preparing to move in a couple of months. I constantly feel that I’m caught between two worlds and failing in both of them. I really needed this reminder that just because something needs to be done it doesn’t mean that it needs to be done right this minute. I will definitely be rereading this post whenever I start to freak about not getting it all done fast enough. Thank you again!

    • ” just because something needs to be done it doesn’t mean that it needs to be done right this minute”

      you all are full of good words today!

  11. Love this! Me too, Me too!!! This just helped me take a deep breath! :) Thanks!

  12. I love this post, needed to read this today. Thank you!

  13. YES! I have to keep telling myself this…because I want to rush ahead and make all these things happen that I want to see done, but all the while…more and more gets added to the list. So when does the slowing down happen unless I make it happen? It’s exactly as you said – it’s a conscious choice. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

  14. It is a choice. Not always an easy choice, but a necessary choice for some of us. Others (my Mom and my sister) it would drive nuts! They see it as lazy! I see it as a necessary pause. A way to take a deep breath and think for a minute. Or not think. You have to enjoy life and revel in the little things each day, not spend it grinding away at the ever growing list. That would make me bitter and angry which is not my idea of living!! I’m going to choose ‘SLOW’ and happy every time. Thanks for the post, which generated the comments that confirm that I am not alone in this!!!!

  15. I also live in the country and one thing that you learn is that there is always something else to do. Your list never ends so you may as well slow down and enjoy the life you have chosen. We live in the country for a reason and it is not to work harder.

  16. I needed this. We moved into a 114 year old house three years ago. At times it’s easy to forget how much we’ve accomplished as we become overwhelmed with all that’s left to do. As a full time English teacher, mom, wife, everything else, I am constantly struggling with priorities and how best to spend my time. Thank you for this today.

  17. LOVE THIS! I just recently realized this is as good as our life gets (in the most optimistic way possible). If I can’t embrace NOW with its imperfections and faults and all, I can never live my life to its fullest. Because my life will never be “perfect.” I had a surprise visit from by sister-in-law this morning – even though I panicked for a moment and swept the floor real quick, I didn’t make an apology when she walked into our not so clean powder room. Because our imperfect bathroom is where we are now, and I don’t want to apologize for where we are. Thank you for the reminder :) oxox
    Yuko
    oxox Yuko

  18. Thank you for this. I am of the belief that because I am a Christ Follower, my eternity starts here on Earth while I am still alive, because I am an eternal being. This puts a different perspective of how I view time. Are there things that must be accomplished daily? Yes, of course–I am still tethered to the Earth and live within its constricts. But because eternity is always in the now, in a certain way, I have forever to do things…and that is why SLOW is not only possible, but good and real and freeing. An abstract concept that is hard for me to describe quickly. I hope you can kind of figure out what I am trying to say!

  19. Awesome, and, totally what everyone else already said. Not a thing wrong with slow. Like, buying a set of chairs weeks and weeks ago, complete with fabric and such to re-cover, then letting them sit in the garage because it’s more fun to beat your kids at UNO every night in your old chairs than it is to go be alone in the garage, painting chair frames.

    Also, whatever that pile of stuff is under the barn roof? Totally looks like a giant cat.

  20. Love this post…I feel like you are blogging directly to me this week! Several years ago (4? 5?) we bought your piano. And although we were strangers and came in the evening, probably interrupting your family time, you invited me in and shared a brownie with me and made me feel like I could stay as long as I wanted to. Your husband and boys hung out outside with my husband and they him the same way. Not as a stranger intruding on precious time, but as friends. It is a joy to read this post and remember your hospitality. I know that your commitment to take time to enjoy life and really live is being passed down to your sons, as well. How wonderful! Thanks! P.S. The piano has really been enjoyed! I am teaching my two year old to “play” now.

    • Oh TEARS!!!!

      Abbey! I’m so happy you are enjoying that piano–the one that my sister learned to play on! And such kind and encouraging words as you remember stopping by, the highest compliment, really!!! xoxox

  21. I really appreciate this post. Especially, because I was recently at a place where I had almost no friends over to our new place because I was afraid they would judge me for not having everything in tip top shape. I’ve since let that go and I feel so much better about the state everything is in! Good things take time :)

  22. Love it!

  23. Slow is good. My word for this year is begin vs last years remain. I am learning that even to begin starts slow. Sometimes you have to stop before you can begin. I’m still figuring out what it all means for me this year.

  24. Valerie H. says:

    Wow, it feels like you’re writing your posts to me lately! Living in our house for 6 years now, it’s easy to forget what it looked like when we got here, and how much we’ve already done. (Good bye green carpet, hello hardwood!) So I guess slow has been my word for awhile now. Thanks for the reminder that it’s okay!

  25. I have thought of you several times in the past couple of weeks. Our 54 year old oven died, and no one makes parts for it anymore. So as I wait for the new oven, I can only cook on the stove. And I wonder, “How did The Nester manage to cook for an extended time without a kitchen?” About that water heater? You will probably start a new yard-art trend on Pinterest this week! Just start a “Nouveau Rural Art” board!

  26. Thank you! I really think slow sounds better than fast! I hear/feel/see relaxation, friendships, teaching, learning, enjoying the moment….with family and friends you love and that loves you back…I like slow! 19 months ago we bought a few country acres. It’s looking like within a month or two we will start building a house, yes, slow! I wonder sometimes how long it will take to build because hubby wants to do a lot of the work himself, while he continues to work his other business. Someone recently told me, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Thanks again for sharing your word!

  27. Bonita, loved this sounds like my life exactly……living is more important than bemoaning the “undone” in our lives…..even though I have a husband who works at it constantly, after almost 50 years, I am convinced there will always be things that will need doing, and
    “slow” is the only way to go….God bless you dear one.

  28. So very, very good!

  29. It also means choosing what you want to work on first… I think I spotted a greenhouse in the last picture, I would be doing that one first because I love to garden!

  30. This is so good. So true. Just because its on the list doesn’t mean it can’t linger there a little while. I’m a “crosser addict” I want things crossed off like right NOW! No waiting for later…but that’s just silly because in the meantime we make everyone crazy or they just think WE’re crazy. It can wait. It will get done. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. This is good. This week we have chosen slow…in putting off finishing our floors to help some friends move. Slow in spending time together this week instead of more working. It sure can be annoying to hop over gaps in our floor but our agenda doesn’t have to come before people. Because when we put some of that work before people’s needs, the work is no longer a blessing but a thorn in our side. Thank you for this timely reminder.

  32. For whatever reason, this post, on this 765th snow day with peeps in a messy unfinished house, at this minute was a perspective changer for me. Like I’m watching myself from the ceiling in the corner of my room and I can see that I (not “they”) get to decide what enough means. …..deep exhale!

  33. Best you’ve written and just what I needed today.

  34. I’ve just recently found your “nest” and have soaked up your message of delighting…no *thriving* in the midst of imperfection. I wanted you to know that it’s calm in your blogging Nest. Some blogs are beautiful and inspiring, but leave me a bit frantic with mental sticky notes of To Do’s. Not here. Thank you for that! Praying the Lord will bless you for your intentional SLOW.

  35. Thank you for your lovely writing. I am someone who has found it hard to slow down, who wants everything finished *now*, yesterday for preference! Over the last year I’ve been struggling with trying to improve our rental home and cope with the routines that have to be put in place after my children’s diagnosis of autism. It’s been a very long and *very* painful journey, and at times I honestly didn’t believe I’d ever see any progress. In the last two days my son has given us a 5 word sentence (“Look at the big dinosaur!”) and will say his name when you ask him what his name is. Marcus is 4.5 years old and hearing him say his name for the first time has helped me to realize that sometimes things just take a bit longer. It might not be to my timetable, but at least it’s happening.

  36. THANK YOU!! Thank you for this post. It is so refreshing in a sea of blogs (perhaps mine included?!?) that project a kind of perfection which is not realistic. I find your blog the most re-assuring and the most inspiring.

    Lisa.

  37. THANK YOU. This is my life, too, mostly by choice. Many people don’t understand, but you nailed it perfectly here. Refreshing.

  38. “Choosing slow isn’t giving up or backing down, it’s usually not being lazy, maybe intentionally slowing down is an act of hope, rest and trust.”

    I love this. Choosing slow is just that, a choice. And one that oftentimes needs to be made daily, moment by moment.

    Thank you for your words today!

  39. Thank you for this! I LOVE it!

  40. What a beautifully written post, I’m so glad to have found you!

    A slower life is something I embrace daily and with that comes the unfinished projects around the home. As soon as I let go of how I thought things should look, I made room for more fun, mini epiphanies and more time for my children creating moments I hope they will cherish.
    I look forward to soaking up some more of your posts.

  41. Love this post, thanks for sharing! Great pond by the way, I wouldn’t mind sitting and taking it slow with that :P

  42. baileywife says:

    Someone’s been reading their Jesus Calling…..waiting, trusting, hoping…..beautiful! I love trusting the unknown, and waiting for all the possibilities to be revealed. Love this post so much!

  43. so love this post…love your heart for your family and for your home and especially for the Lord.
    love how you trust in the process…not just of how your home comes together..but how you trust all that the Lord works in your heart in the process of making your home what you want it to be.

  44. awww you’re not the only one with a water heater hanging around where it shouldn’t be… my busted one is currently abiding on my side porch…! Thanks for the encouragement today. It’s hard to be patient and ok with slow sometimes, but it’s those in-between times when it feels like nothing is happening that everything is happening inside of us.

  45. Nester,
    Sometimes slow lasts long enough to let your mind rest and your heart take in what is needed to procede. Then what you do, falls into place and you wonder how so much got done so fast. :)
    enjoy the process.
    During our closet removal/upstairs hallway remodel we had my sisters family come for Christmas from 1500 miles away. Instead of a rush to finish and throw it together. We swept and cleaned the space and put up our skinny little Santa Christmas tree and enjoyed family. It will get done when it gets done.
    rick

  46. Once again, just what I needed to hear. This all makes me wonder too – if our slow, peaceful pace will actually embed itself into each room? Somehow leaving each space more carefully finished, fuller of serenity instead of rush.

  47. Perfect timing. One of the main reasons I enjoy your blog is that in the midst of the pretty decorating pictures, you remind me to be content with what I have. Living in an old daylight basement that I’m trying to beautify while looking forward to one day having a house, I constantly need that reminder. Thank you!

  48. Darla Kay says:

    My husband and I have taken on a huge project. We get discouraged and every time one of your email updates arrive, I read and remember to breath and enjoy today. Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps us crazy renovators.

  49. AMEN SISTER! If I could make those letters be any more capitalized, I would!! For the first time since being made a mother almost 17 years ago, I am working full time. This year, SLOW has taken on new meaning and a new level of difficulty. I sometimes go to bed at night feeling so tormented because I wasn’t able to slow down at all! At heart, I am someone who finds value in ‘slow’. I try to achieve it everyday so that nothing goes unnoticed. Life does funny things sometimes though… Then ‘slow’ suddenly looks and feels different. Thank you for your sweet stories and pictures of what ‘slow’ should be.

  50. We just moved and then adopted a new puppy. I needed this post! Thank you!!

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