You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.
— Stephen R. Covey
I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and my priorities lately…my life over the past few years has felt more and more rare. Time feels too precious to waste. Our family has progressed through so many interests and activities, but deep inside, a deeper Something has burned.
I’ve lost my taste for rushing. I just can’t do it anymore. Hurrying all the time made us weary. So we have left it behind and have come home to the woods, where we have found ourselves and God and a new depth to our lives that I could never have imagined.
As I watch my children lie on the ground and look up into heaven, as I watch them dance in the smoke of a campfire, as they dig their snow tunnels, as they learn the call of each new bird that is starting to come back… As I walk through the woods at night with Matt, as I go down to the river to just listen, as I whisper hello to the trees each morning… I know that what we have chosen is right.
A slower, more deliberate life has become a priority for us. I am constantly surprised at the worry people feel about this choice, at those who try to convince me to start a busier life again. They worry that our children, or even that I, will not have the “enriching” we need. It’s so sad, really…people have forgotten how to rest and to think and to become.
A life in the woods isn’t what is in store for everyone, or even what is desired. But don’t be afraid to know your heart’s desire…don’t be afraid of your priorities. The world will try to snatch them from you. Let that burning inside carry you on, courageously.