My family and I are coming up on our one year anniversary of our official move to the simple life. It has been a blessing in many, many ways. Thinking back, we have been moving this direction for a long time. Since I started really learning the lessons of the "everything you need" promise, I have really tried to embrace the concept. Simplicity fits very well with the promise that God will give us everything we need, when we need it.
There are lots of definitions of simplicity, I have learned. It means different things to different people, but the one that has been the most meaningful to me is:
Simplicity: living life within the resources God has given
Simple, huh? Simplicity as a lifestyle means living a life that works within its own limits. It's taking into account what we have, and choosing to live within those means. Choosing this way of living can have huge implications that may or may not include choosing to live in little houses, having less stuff, having less on your schedule, spending less and having more time for relationships that nurture you and your family. We have chosen to embrace all those things and it has changed the rhythm of our family for the good.
A year ago we moved from a normal-for-our-culture sized house and into a tiny house of 900 square feet in the country. We did it purposefully, which means I have been noting lots of things along the way. I have been writing as I go, and the result is my next writing project, called Living Simplicity. I can't wait to share it with you sometime in the future. In the meanwhile, I wanted to share some lessons with you I am still learning.
Simplicty is about purpose. Living within your means and resources is not the social norm in the US. We are not simple people. We live beyond our means as a rule, not just financially speaking but also with our time and in many other ways. To not live that way takes some effort. It takes effort to say 'no' to the things that you don't have resources for, or the things you don't want to waste them on. To live purposefully may mean a number of different things to different people, regardless it has to be something you work toward.
Simplicity brings peace. I have found that when we are living within the resources we have been given (whether financial, time, energy, etc.) we have more room in our lives to take a deep breath and take in the things that bring calm and peace to our spirits. Whether those things are exercise for your body, cooking healthy for your family, gardening, nurturing friendships or Bible study, living simply allows for those things that help bring us peace.
Simplicity can draw us closer to God. Kind of in the same vein, when we purposefully arrange our resources in a such a way that we can make room for the things that matter, as Christian woman we can give those resources back to God by nurturing our relationship with him through them. Less time given to things that don't matter means more to be given to things that do.
For me, keeping this benefit of simplicity in mind helps me be both purposeful and find peace. When I am seeking to manage my resources well, and I am doing it because my resources were given to me for a purpose then I find that I am better about doing what I need to do to find that sense of peace in my life. I need time with God, I need time with husband, I need time to make by body healthy, and I need time with friends. These things help bring me peace, and help me live the life I believe God has meant for me, with all its blessings and its struggles.
I am excited to share more with you what I have learned of simplicity. I am still learning.
Having everything I need,