I recently shared with a local mom’s group on simplicity. It was a good challenge for me – one, because talking in front of people isn’t my favorite thing and two, because it helped me re-center a bit. I think everyone always has some area of their life that needs to be simplified and ordered, at least I know I do.
So, why bother with living a simple, ordered life? Does it really make a difference to the world around me? I believe strongly that it does. Here’s why:
- 1) Living a simple, ordered life is counter-cultural. Bigger is better, the one that dies with the most toys wins, keeping up with the joneses … that is our culture. Sure, there are pockets of people and moments in time where there are calls for a simpler life, but overall – excess wins. Just by choosing to aim for simplicity, you are saying to the world There is someone greater than all of this and I live for Him.
But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. 1Thess 4:10b-12
2) By making space in your days, you are leaving room for God to move, speak, direct your time. Simplicity is not a lack of resources or drive. Simplicity and order go hand in hand working together to make us available to serve our families, our church, and our community. A child that needs some extra time with mom. A meal for a neighbor or church member. A last minute play date with a mom that’s been feeling a bit lonely. Helping with the behind the scenes things at church that need to be done. If our schedules and minds are so filled with stuff that we can’t fathom having time to do these things, it’s time to rethink things. Simplicity means having a plan for all the expected things so there is room for the unexpected things. Room for God to move and use you.
So how do you figure out how to simplify your life and bring order to your days? Well, first – pray. Pray that God would show you what He wants in your quiet life. Think and pray through possessions, activities, even relationships. I always function best when I can write things out and see it. I made this worksheet to help work through some of these things.
Three simple exercises – identifying, focusing, ordering – to help you order your thoughts on what you want to simplify. You can find the free download here. I hope it helps you to stand back and see the areas in your life that can be simplified.
What do you think is the biggest challenge you have in living a simple life?