Friday, September 12, 2008

Simple Living: Part Two

What is Simple Living?

As I contemplated this question this week, I was struck by how "complex" the question actually is.  In order for simple living to be genuine, it must encompass all of life.  And life is complex.  Truly living a simple life means taking a complete inventory of one's values and goals, dreams and ambitions, thoughts and words.  And not only taking an inventory of them, but taking every thought captive.  Determining whether each thought, each dream, each "duty" will contribute to the simple life we say we desire.

For me, this means starting with evaluating my values.  What is important to me?  Why do I seek a simple life?  How will I know if I'm living a deeply simple life?

So what's important to me?
  • My relationship with God- so how is my devotional life?
  • My relationship with my husband- so what do I allow to interfere with our time together?
  • My relationship with my kids- so what is the quality of the time I spend with them?
  • Discipling others- who am I inviting into my life?
And somehow that's where my list ended.  Could I really boil my life down to these four things? I'm not saying that because there's only four things, that it's SOOOO easy.  Rather on the contrary, it still remains quite complex.  However, this gives me a jumping off point to begin in evaluating the choices I make every day, down to how much time I spend cleaning vs how much time I spend with my kids.  

I'm not saying that this list couldn't be longer.  Or that there's not other things to include that wouldn't be absolutely valid.  But for now this is my list.  Every decision I make should be made on the basis of whether or not it will enhance on of these areas of my life.

So for this week, I'm focusing on the quality of relationship with God.  How am I making time to enhance the most important relationship of my life?  Even this comes down to some very simple issues:
  • Praying throughout the day, whether doing housework, playing with the kids, or making a meal
  • Living a life of worship, whether in my conversations with others, in worshiping in song, or memorizing Scripture
  • Taking time each day, even 5 minutes, to meet with the Lord in Scripture, hearing his words as they are still applicable today
To see how others are simplifying their lives, check out Keeper of the Home.


AHighandNobleCalling said...

What a sweet, encouraging post! By purposing to live simple, I think the heart of it is that you are freed to put that time and energy into relationships, especially the Lord. Thanks for writing such a wonderful post! I am sure your simple week will be filled with riches beyond compare!

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

I enjoyed this post. Really, I think you are correct that life can basically be boiled down to those 4 things. We sometimes "create" more things in our lives that are exactly necessary. Thank you for the encouragement.

Stephanie said...

I think it's so true that it we boil down what living a simple life should look like, it's ultimately about having time to pursue the relationships that are most important in our lives. When it comes down to it, it's our relationships and what we've spent investing in others and in the Kingdom of God that will last. What a great way to break it down as you pursue simplicity. It's an encouragement to me as I do the same. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Stephanie said...

You can't tell by my google ID, but that's me above- Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home. :)

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