A Time for Everything

I had emergency abdominal surgery at the end of February, and I spent a good part of March at home, in pain, relying on my dear husband Jon for help to do nearly everything.  The idea for this post came out of that experience.

That's because I had a huge burst of ideas and writing inspiration in January.  I couldn't explain why I was creating so much, but I was amazed and humbled by all the ideas and the desire and energy to express them.  The unexpected result was that I was able to rest and recover while all of that previously written material was auto-published by my blog platform.  For weeks I only wrote a sentence (or maybe a few) daily, as is my habit, even though the surgery sapped my ability to do almost everything.

relax and restore

Our go-go-go expectations hurt us. 

We measure worth for others, and for ourselves, by what we produce.  That's our culture.  We pay lip service to the idea that everyone has value, including the infirm and the differently-abled, but that's not how we actually behave.  And we can be hardest in this judgment upon ourselves.

My father was an active, tireless hard worker, provider, and church volunteer – the man you could rely on to get prodigious tasks done – and then it ended when he developed ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  My mother was one of the most creative and competent people I've ever known, but her years of caring for Dad, and then her own slow decline with Lewy Body dementia, put an end to that.  Their interest in and compassion for others continued even when they became reliant on people to do almost everything for them.  Do I have the capacity to follow their example?  I hope so.

Sometimes life puts us in a wintry season (regardless of the real-life weather).  We can either accept the challenge and opportunity offered by a season of rest and waiting, or fight it.  So often, we struggle against circumstances, which wastes the energy and focus we'll need once it's time to flourish and create again.

What I'm realizing is that there are times to work at our full capacity – like my many, many hours of writing in January – and times to slow way down and be more quiet, thoughtful, and patient.  And both of those experiences are valuable.

Some days we'll accomplish a lot, and others will be a time to "replenish the well."  We need both.

In March, I focused on recovering, and felt thankful for family and friends who helped and prayed for me.  How humbling and beautiful it was to be the recipient of all of that.  I felt valued, even without a busy to-do list.  You are too.

Coming June 3
... my new book, The Daily Minimalist.  The Kindle edition is available for pre-order at only $4.99 (almost 25% off the regular price).  The paperback edition will become available to purchase on June 3, the same day pre-sold Kindle editions will be delivered to your device(s).

I've never said minimalism is magic, but it can do amazing things.  It can help you get control of the scattered pieces of your life.  It can let you find more time for what really matters, and more money for the things you really care about.  Minimalism can increase your energy and focus as you pursue your most important goals.

With 31 chapters for 31 days, and hundreds of tips and encouragements for the art of simpler living, The Daily Minimalist is full of practical ideas and inspirations to help you be a rebel who challenges the more-is-always-better beliefs and values of our society. 


  1. When I had surgery several years ago I was surprised by how good it felt to have people praying for me. What a blessing, indeed! I'm glad you got to experience that even though you'd rather not have had the need.
    Linda Sand

  2. Karen- sorry about your emergency surgery. Glad you had family and friends to take care of you
    as you recover. Hopefully by now in the month of May you are feeling better. Good food for thought in this post! Rest and take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and good wishes. I'm feeling fully recovered.


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