Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simplicity


SIMPLICITY seems to have become a vogue word. It is popping up in magazines, books, blogs, calendars, journals, and more.

In our crazy modern world, I think simplicity goes beyond a trendy interest to a heartfelt need.

Our friend Chip MacGregor was talking about simplifying recently here on his blog. Check it out. Is he nuts, or do you think he is on to something?

The need to simplify has really been calling to me the last couple of years, but I still haven't gotten to the point of taking the steps to fully downsize my belongings and my commitments. I applaud those who have made that cut.

I helped compile a little gift book on simplicity and found in my research that most people who talk about simplicity first recommend getting organized, then downsizing to only what you need, then setting boundaries and saying no to adding more than what is necessary.

I think to really find simplicity in life comes down to a spiritual level. We need to die to our selfish wants and set one goal. We should only allow into our life those things that will draw us closer to our God and help us serve Him as he leads us. Painful? Yes. Radical? Probably. Necessary? Definitely.

Basically simplicity comes down to living counter to the world and opposite of what trends in culture would tell us to do.

I may have signed up for a Twitter account, but you won't find me posting anything. My cell phone service fades in my driveway, so I don't even bother texting or using a phone with organizer. And it is actually good for me that I only have dial-up Internet at home, or I'd be online all the time. I agree with Chip that business can wait until morning. :-)

So, is simplicity calling to you?

13 comments:

Myra Johnson said...

Oh, Becky, I so relate! Seems the more computer and Internet stuff people come up with to "simplify" our lives, the more complicated and busier everything becomes!

I would have a very hard time giving up my high-speed Internet and smartphone, but I try really hard not to let them run my life. Once the workday ends, I stay away from the computer and try to focus on my husband and home life.

Debby Mayne said...

My husband and I have been working on simplifying our lives, and it's freeing--both spiritually and economically. Fortunately, both of our adult daughters have good values, and they're keeping their own lives simple as well.

JoAnne said...

I have have high speed internet at home, and I feel like I spend too much time on it. Maybe I should start turning it off at a certain time each day. :)

But for the five years Doug and I have been married we have never had any type of subscription TV in our home. I think the last time we tuned into anything was the 2008 summer Olympics, and they were super fuzzy on our "rabbit ears!" :)

So many people think we're crazy to not have TV, and Doug's coworkers like to call him Amish. :) But we don't really miss it. We own our favorite DVDs, but since it takes more effort than just turning on the TV to play one, we often find something more productive to do. And when we're at our parents' houses we get to watch their satellite TV now and then, and it really seems like a treat.

Doug misses getting to watch sports whenever he wants, but what we don't miss is filling our home with the trashy shows and advertising that are so hard to avoid, especially now that we have a little one in the house. We also don't miss wasting too much time being couch potatoes. And we certainly don't miss the cost of satellite TV!

So that's just a way to simplify that I'd recommend to anyone who's willing to try surviving without TV. :) I promise it can be done! :)

Mary Connealy said...

JoAnne, no TV (well, no cable) I think that's so fantastic.
I don't think people hardly talk face ot face anymore.

My mother-in-law 90 years old, talks about going to town on a Saturday night and meeting friends for coffee while the kids went to a movie. They had a neighborhood gathering nearlyl every Wednesday night. They did May Day visits and big school picnics.

Now....we don't even know our neighbors. And I'm in the country, the city has to be even worse.

Mary Connealy said...

I think it takes courage to simplifly, Becky. There's so much safety in just sitting like a drone in front of the computer or TV. It takes no effort. Demands little of us.

Edna said...

I am with you, I am a simple woman don't put on airs and don't even color my hair, even thought I am 66 I have just a few gray hairs around my ears. That is what a Christian life and husband does for us. If we live a good Chrisitan life and as simple as can be I believe life treats us better. This may not be what you are talking about in this blog but that is the way I understood it.

mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

CatMom said...

Great post, Becky! Simplifying for me would be eliminating some "clutter" in my home - - and I'm working on it. ~ When I read Chip's blog recently, I was so enthused about what he'd written that I sent him an e-mail telling him I completely agreed with him! ~ I'm striving to keep the Lord first and foremost in my life, and seeking His guidance for all those activities and "things". Blessings, Patti Jo P.S. Love the picture of you and the ducks!

Becky said...

Yes, Edna, I do believe that we can put so much stress on ourselves trying to keep up with our culture and overloading our schedules that it can affect our health and make us age prematurely.

FYI -- they are geese. Young geese that are now twice the size of my ducks.

It is funny how I add work to my life by keeping poultry, gardening, canning, etc., but somehow that makes me also slow down and appreciate things more.

CatMom said...

Ooops! My apologies to the geese (for calling them "ducks"- LOL!). In spite of your busy schedule, Becky, it is wonderful (in my humble opinion) that you have those other interests (poultry,etc.) because I truly believe other interests like that can be "stress relievers". My 6 housecats are a LOT of work, but they are a wonderful "diversion" if I'm feeling stressed or worried! Blessings, Patti Jo :)

Cassandra Frear said...

The simpler my life gets, the more relevant and powerful it becomes for others. Isn't that an odd connection? But I have seen a direct correlation: that when I simplify, I am able to make a bigger, deeper difference for others. It just happens. I don't quite understand it.

Thoughts on that?

Amy Tate said...

You know, one of the most profound articles I've ever read was written by Dr. James Dobson, entitled Learn to Employ the Word No, published by Focus on the Family, 2005. He says, "Self control starts with saying no to frantic living and yes to a more orderly existence." I'm still working on the orderly existence part, but I have the article posted on my fridge as a reminder. It's not always easy because I love people, but I love God more. And He's only given me so much time and energy for each day. Thank goodness His mercy is new every morning, because I use up whatever He gives me in a hurry! Great post! Thanks for the reminder.

Becky said...

Yes, Cassandra, I can see how removing the clutter and distractions from our lives allows us to slow down and really listen to others and to see their needs. Slowing our life down also allows us to hear God and know how He would like to use us to help others. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Из удовольствий наиболее приятны те, которые встречаются наиболее редко. Самые, лучшие духи в маленьких флаконах. Отдайтесь вашему делу всем сердцем и душою, но посмотрите прежде всего хорошее ли это дело. Разумный гонится за тем что приятно, а за тем что избавляет отнеприятностей. Вся Россия, это пьющий Гамлет.