1.23.2012

Simple

love in progress

It's that time of year again. I'm crocheting tiny hearts out of red thread, chaining them together, sending them out in the mail. My own heart garlands are hanging in my kitchen windows, and a few other hearts from friends are hanging here and there around the house, reminding me how much love there is at home and abroad.

love from abroad

Yet I can't ignore the lack of love I see lurking around so many corners. Like all families, we have our share of drama and dirty laundry. There is betrayal, gossip, insensitivity, disloyalty, intolerance, jealousy, spite, unmet expectations, bickering, silence. All is well under my little roof, but under the bigger roof of our collective family, things are not as they should be. And like so many other families, nobody wants to talk about it. I don't want to talk about it either, but I can't stop thinking about it.

Today, I'm calling upon a line from a sermon I heard several years ago:

"The truth is simple, but not simplistic."

I know the pastor was speaking about Jesus and the ultimate sacrifice when he spoke these words, but I took his message and applied it to my most sacred truth: family.

At the time, I was struggling with my choice to stay at home with my children. Most of my mom friends worked outside of the home. They had offices, business cards, nannies, hyphenated names followed by a string of letters and punctuation marks. I had a preschooler, a toddler, and a station wagon. My life was simple, and I was afraid it made me simple, and not in a good way.

love from amy

The pastor's words put everything into perspective for me. Yes, my truth was simple, yes I had made the simple choice to stay at home, but my life, my decision, was not simplistic. My decision was born out of love.

Love is simple, but far from simplistic. To borrow an all too popular Facebook phrase (at least among my family), "It's complicated". And we complicate it even more when we forget that:

It is simpler to love than to hate.
It is simpler to be honest than to lie.
It is simpler to smile and wave than to intentionally ignore.
It is simpler to remain friends than to unfriend.
It is simpler to be loyal than to go behind one's back.
It is simpler to forgive than to hold a grudge.
It is simpler to show compassion than to be disappointed in someone.
It is simpler to say nothing than to gossip.

Yet none of these actions are simplistic. They require strength and a whole lot of love. Today, I'm summoning both in large amounts. With my tiny crochet hook and thin red thread, I'm creating a stockpile of handmade love, and hoping it works. Perhaps love - and life - is as simple as we make it.

24 comments:

  1. I had a family member tell me once, "You're so simple." It is entirely possible that it was said with the intent of belittling me - but I found strength in that statement. That is exactly what I want to be, Molly. Simple.

    Sending you lots of air hearts and hugs today.

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  2. sending you more love, hoping you feel it.

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  3. Good luck! I know what you are talking about. My home is good and honest. Wish everyone else was. I hope you find the strength you need to deal with your family struggles. As for being home with your kids while others are working. You will never regret that. Your children are only young once. When I retire I will have had 34 years at the same job. It is better to have lived several different lives than just one. I know from experience.

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  4. Dang, forgot to mention how cute the hearts are.

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  5. Such a great post, really hits home with me right now. I fall so easily into the trap of wanting the things I see other people have around me, and forgetting that I chose not to have those things by preferring to be with my children. Crocheting kind of drives me nuts, but I'm willing to give it a go again if it gets me such a super cute heart garland.

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  6. Beautiful post. Thanks for writing it :)

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  7. Oh yes Simple...it's what I am striving towards in so many parts of my life and you just put into words a lot of reasons I want it there. Nothing more so say than a simple thank you :D

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  8. Thank you for this Molly. Once again, a well-timed post!

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  9. Thank you for these timely words. You have touched my heart.

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  10. what a beautiful post and really perfect words.

    (and love these hearts!)

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  11. really lovely post, molly :) strangely it echoes similar thoughts of my own lately...love it when that happens!

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  12. True words, Molly. In fact, they're worthy of a bulletin board or maybe even a frame. Being simple nearly always means swimming against the prevailing current.

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  13. Over my cup of coffee this morning, you have shined some very important light on things and put them all into perspective. Sending good, simple vibes your way, Molly.

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  14. I keep saving this post in my reader to read it again. I've read it a few times b/c of wanting to read those phrases again. An interesting juxtaposition: the simple - the strength it takes, the complicated - is it really? Where do we put our energies? Thank you for these lovely phrases...

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  15. There is so much truth in this post. I printed out the simple phrases and hung them beside the boy's bed, and mine. How many times we will come back to them in the course of our lives will be tremendous. Thank you for putting this out there.

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  16. Simple, but not easy, right? I think that there is so much that can make our lives simpler, more pure, more beautiful if we are only willing to put in the effort and courage to simplify things. Beautifully put, Molly.

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  17. I just found your blog through Pinterest and love it. This is so beautiful and true. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. all true --the conundrum of simplicity is that below the smooth surface of it, it is indeed complicated:
    a complication is I seek intimacy with those whom I most trust and admire--often member/s of my family
    which leads to another complication which is intimacy for me can involve talking about those issues most rough & real to me--often member/s of my family
    Things can really get complicated when talking about things most r & r, it sometimes involves talking about someone else as well--often member/s of my family
    The only tool I have that is intricate enough to deal with the situation is that most complicated of emotions, love

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  19. This post inspired me to search famous quotes about simplicity. Here are a few… (Mark)

    Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
    Confucius

    All truth is simple... is that not doubly a lie?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.
    Albert Einstein

    I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches.
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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  20. oh heck yes. We are living in some ca-razy times and it's enough to poison even the most steadfast among us.
    BUT. it's nothing a little crochet or paper heart string can't cure. Simple, but not simplistic.

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  21. Stumbled here through Bonnie [I think---who knows after a few clicks!] Loving what I've read so far, especially this post. Your hearts and stars aren't bad either, though I have to resist temptation!

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  22. I pop in and out of all kinds of blogs and have always enjoyed your creative spirit. This morning I've been following your paleo conversion with tremendous interest. It was, however, this entry that spoke to me this morning. Thank you for putting into words exactly how I've been viewing the world lately. I appreciate your clarity.

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