I want simplicity, I long for a quiet mind. I honestly believe that I can find it amidst all of the noise, but it will takes more intentionality in this era. For me it looks like choosing to turn off the TV and go for a walk or play games. It looks like choosing not to engage in every form of social media out there because I (I am not suggesting anything about you, but I know this to be true of MYSELF) cannot give sufficient energy and time to the face-to-face relationships that are around me if I am constantly plugged in. It looks like not being on Facebook. It looks like choosing to keep the apps on my phone to a minimum because I don’t want my default to be technology. It means choosing to commit to “technology free” times. In our house 5:00-7:30 is technology free, no phone, iPad, computer or TV during that time. I love it! It means making rather than buying. It means only committing a couple nights per week to things that are out of our house. It means that we are a one car family. It means that we are a one computer family (we do both have iPhones and we have an iPad) but it is a lot harder to default to both of us on different computers at the same time while sitting on the same couch.
I want less. I want less to clean, maintain, worry about, think about. I know that we don’t need half of what we have. I know that we are so abundantly rich. I know that even if we got rid of half of what we owned, we would still be abundantly rich. But it isn’t about getting rid of things, it is about changing the way we think about THINGS, the way we view THINGS, the value we place on THINGS. Am I spending more time maintaining what THINGS I have than I am sitting in the Lord’s presence? Am I spending more time cleaning what THINGS I have than investing in the souls of others?
I have been contemplating this post for a while now, I have been writing and rewriting this post and spending hours trying to figure out exactly what my heart is feeling, what my soul is longing for. Then last night my dog, the rascal, ate a hole in the slipcover of my couch while we were innocently watching the Olympics. I got so mad. We had hiked her for an hour and had been home playing with her all day, then bam, a hole in the couch. I mean seriously! Then I heard Jesus, “it is only a THING. It is only a THING and isn’t this what we’ve been working out in your heart lately? Do you want to practice what you’ve learned?” Well frankly I did not. Skye got put on time out and I went to bed stewing. Then I got up in the middle of the night to stew about it some more. But it is only a thing. And frankly if I want to embark on this homesteading ranch handing life, things are going to get messy. Dogs are going to chew THINGS, chickens are going to poop on THINGS and bees are going to sting THINGS. But isn’t that what I wanted, a simpler life, a more natural life, one that enjoys hiking my dog more than worrying about my couch?
But it’s not only the dog that has me thinking. It has been a lot of things for a couple of weeks now. It was Week 6-Day 1 of the Beth Moore study I have been doing this summer. James 5:1-6, the part that says things like “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.” and “Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion is evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.” It was Beth Moore’s plea to assess our hearts. And friends my heart is often ugly and covetous.
It was a favorite blog I read starting a new journey with her family. I was challenged. So yesterday I cleaned out my closet and dresser. And I am embarrassed to say I took two and half garbage bags, the big white ones you put in your kitchen garbage can, out and my closetdoes not look any emptier or simpler. So I made a commitment to myself to try again soon. And next time because “it’s cute” is not an acceptable reason to keep it. It has to be worn regularly and fit to stay.
And then really, it was this post this morning that gave me courage to share.
Hopefully over the next couple of months, I will be able to share real life action steps that we are taking in search of a simpler life. Yes Kelly I am restringing the clothesline and taking the challenge. And yes Rachel I will be joining you.