Living simply has been something I have been working towards for several years now. The term itself just exudes a beauty that I long to capture in my daily life.
But as human nature would have it, as my nature would have it, living simply has become overly complicated. And ironically, in order to strive to live simply, any google search will leave you wanting to buy more books and systems that claim to help simplify and organize our lives while filling our shelves and minds with even more stuff. We often spend precious time we so desperately long to keep to ourselves culling through websites trying to find the magic key to this so called nirvana of a more peace-filled life.
I have had numerous posts roaming through my mind on this topic of late, especially since we were dealing with a very intense personal situation in which all that we as a family knew was being threatened by an outside person who was unknown to us until very recently.
Thankfully, that person has been stopped and while the "situation" is not over nor is it resolved, we feel a bit more at ease. Living through 4 months of constant stress and uncertainty of what would happen at any given moment that would require immediate action, has left me with many lesson. Some of those lessons pertain directly to living more simply, in a very tangible way. One of the most important lessons I have taken away from this experience is this...
Life is NOT an emergency. There are urgent situation which arise, sometimes more often than I would like, but my LIFE is a gift. It is to be treasured. It is to be enjoyed. Even in the most difficult times, the most challenging situations. It is NOT to be lived as though I am on auto pilot, or even worse, as if I have no say in what I do with my time while I am here. Life is precious. Ann Voskamp states, "Life is not an emergency, it is Eucharisteo!"
There are three areas that I find simplicity must be found in to be truly successful.
1. The physical world in which we live: Our stuff must minimize to make room for our hearts and souls to fill. This is the culling through process which so many of us welcome....getting rid of stuff. The trick is to keep the stuff away in the first place. The way in which we discern what to keep and what to decline must relate to our frame of reference. For me and for my family, this is a deeply spiritual process and therefore #2 on this list must be addressed first.
2. Our time: Our calendars fill up quickly with many wonderful and many obligatory activities. It must be a priority to simplify our daily lives in the realm of time to allow for the next step on this list. In order for us to prioritize which activities are best FOR us, we must understand what our purpose is. To discover this, we must spend time, in the classroom of silence, listening to what He has to tell us. Every day. First thing. Even before coffee...ok, maybe with coffee in hand.
3. Spiritually: We can get bogged down in our faith lives too. Trying to pray just the right way, attending the perfect retreat or bible study. We over-complicate the simplest of ideas. Love. Love one another. Love God. Love yourself. It is that simple. Once we understand what we are being called to, we can better define number 1 and number 2.
I plan to take each of these areas and expand on them separately. Hopefully, I won't lose to many of you, but I do understand if this is not your cup of tea.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci