Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Simple living--my own journey--Part I

Where do I begin? I made this a series because I didn't want to make a long post about all the ideas in my head, but now that I have "chopped it up", I've lost some of them!!
Today I want to focus on the essence of Simple Living in my own life. As I said yesterday, this "term" means so many things to so many different people. I actually even dislike using the term, it's so overused. Someone mentioned the word, "Margin" (which I love) and "Slowing Down" (which I think is the essence of simple living) so you'll find those in my musings as well.
As I write, I would love to hear feedback from each of you. Also, if you are inspired to write something on your own blog, please link to it in the comments. I will put everyone's links up at the end of the week. (On Friday for "Weekend Reads") 
If I get to the core of how I want to live my life, the first thing that needs to be done is cut out unnecessary clutter and chatter from my mind. This is so that I can listen to the Lord. He is the ultimate Simplifier. I can read all the "Simple Living" books out there, but God's word  spells it out simply and succinctly
What does this mean?
Well, for me, it means making time every day to listen to Him.  Basically, I sit in silence (and you know when the best time in your schedule is for this) , read His word, and try to listen to what He is telling me. I try to surrender to Him in my mind. If any concerns come up, then I immediately pray about them. (Phil. 4:6)
My thought is this: I have to make time everyday for this, otherwise my agenda for the day and my life can overtake what He wants. If I am reading every Christian parenting book out there, or every "Living Simply With Children" book out there, then I am really not listening to Him, even if what the books are saying are real and true. He knows me intimately, and He is the One who is guiding my life. I have to make it simple as that, because my life is so, so, SO complicated. It's much easier to pick up a book or talk to a friend about what I should do, but it's harder to wait on Him--pray and meditate on Scripture until relief or an answer is found. (Notice "relief" is not always the same as "an answer". By "relief" I  mean "peace".)

Related:
My inner room
Peace is a person

8 comments:

Betty said...

Oh WOW Andrea! You hit the nail on the head. I've sensed the Lord calling me to seasons of no computer time, because that's where I hear the most chatter. (I've even had to stop blogging.) It's alot easier to sit and read the blogs on my Blogreader while I'm eating a muffin than it is to read a book (though I'm an avid reader--at least I once was). But all this input, though good , is clutter in my mind and heart. It crowds out the Lord's voice.

The truly successful ideas in my life have come from listening to the Lord and to my own family. The Lord's yoke is what fits me best. But I have such a need to connect and to learn and to be inspired and often I can get that from a few selective blogs. Thus my life is a tug of war in finding balance. I look forward to hearing from you more on this subject.

TAMI said...

"But the wisdom that comes from HEAVEN is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

There is NO substitute for that!!

Joy said...

This is so that I can listen to the Lord. He is the ultimate Simplifier. I can read all the "Simple Living" books out there, but God's word spells it out simply and succinctly.Yes, yes, yes!

You've really gotten me to thinking about a lot of this. I've been trying to piece some things together in my own mind for the last few weeks and your post sort of made everything 'click'...looks like we're both doing a series this week! *smiles*

http://memoriaarts.typepad.com/memoria_arts_life_in_the_/2009/05/crash-protection-in-parenting.html

Kimberly said...

I been working (!) on simplifying our lives for about a year and a half. I summarized a lot of the changes in this post a few months ago: http://kimberlys-cup.blogspot.com/2009/01/its-interesting-to-see-difference-year.html
I've gone into more detail in various posts since then under the category of Simple Living. There are "how-tos" and links for some of the things we're doing now, if anyone is interested. It's been such a wonderful change for us with a lot of unexpected benefits!

I always love popping in over here. :)

annkroeker said...

Oh, I can't wait to hear all your thoughts--I'm glad to pop over here and catch up. Slowing and simplifying...they're intertwined.

Look forward to your ongoing thoughts and analysis.

Natalie said...

"If I get to the core of how I want to live my life, the first thing that needs to be done is cut out unnecessary clutter and chatter from my mind. This is so that I can listen to the Lord. He is the ultimate Simplifier. I can read all the "Simple Living" books out there, but God's word spells it out simply and succinctly."

YES and AMEN!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

This is so awesome and necessary. I think often of our kids, growing up in the "instant" world and constant mind clutter of commercials, Twitter, blogs, IM, texting....we've talked a lot about that. It is hard for us, but doubly hard for them. It is contrary to everything society is telling them.

Every time I read Jesus' words, I'm almost taken aback at how few He used. We could learn from Him.

Keep it coming!

Love,
Katherine

Elise said...

It is SO necesssary, this. Sitting in quiet, coming to peace. I love the word "relief" in that place.

I'm looking forward to more thoughts on this from *you*!

xoxo