The porcelain oven top was scattered with bread crumbs this morning, not the size Hansel and Gretel left as a trail in the forest. Rather, the size that comes from someone buttering toast on top of the stove and leaving the remains. A quick wipe of the stove top would mean the kitchen was all clean, and I could grab a shower.

Crumb Smiley

I remembered Peter used the fresh dish cloth this morning to wipe Archie’s mouth, so I went to retrieve a new one from the dining room. We store dish cloths and tea towels in the drawers of the buffet (along with napkins, spreaders, coasters, trivets, etc.).

The knob I grabbed to open the buffet drawer was loose. Instead of going downstairs to get a phillips head screwdriver, I rambled through the drawer and found a spreader. A few quick turns of the knob, and voila! Tightened.

Knob

While I was at it, I decided to tighten the remaining knobs on the buffet drawers, which then reminded me that the handles on the cabinet doors in the kitchen were loose as well. Sadly, the spreader didn’t work on those screws, and I didn’t want to strip them out, so I put the spreader away and returned to the kitchen.

Spreader

Which is when I saw the crumbs on the stove top and remembered I still hadn’t gotten a fresh dish cloth. Which reminded me that maybe I should take some ADHD medicine this morning, so I fished a pill out of the basket, grabbed a small glass of water and threw that baby back. I put the glass in the dishwasher and once again noticed the crumbs on the stove top.

Where was that dish cloth? Oh yeah. The drawer.

Then I remembered something I read just last night in Richard Foster’s best selling classic, “Celebration of Discipline.” After perusing the pages I realize it wasn’t Foster at all, though he has plenty to say about Simplicity. After a quick search of my nightstand, I find Ann Voskamp‘s “1000 Gifts.” In Chapter 4 – A Sanctuary of Time, Ann writes,

“Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.”

Wasn’t it weeks ago that I had read those words? They were still with me.

Maybe for some people, focus, the act of being attentive, comes naturally. For me, it is an ongoing struggle. Years ago, I even chose “attentive” as a mantra.

Suddenly it clicked. Perhaps lack of focus is why life is NOT simple.

But not just any focus.

Foster says, “The central point for the Discipline of simplicity is to seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of his kingdom first and then everything necessary will come in its proper order.”

I grabbed my laptop, sat on the love seat, and typed away for this post. No post is complete without photos so I searched for the camera, used just this morning by a boy anticipating his 13th birthday and the need for a Facebook profile picture. I took a few photos and the battery warning light flashed red. I prayed I could take the necessary photos and upload them to my laptop before the batteries died and I would have to search the house over for fully recharged AA batteries.

I’ll be pondering simplicity, focus and seeking first God’s kingdom this day and into the weekend. Pardon the bread crumbs.

What about you?
How has focus, or the lack thereof, shaped The Simplify Journey for you?

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By the way, if you’re always looking for dinner ideas, you can download my Menus for the week. What are you having for dinner this week?

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