Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Starting Your Simple Living Journey




Here are some simple steps to help you get started on your journey to simple living.  As I talked about in the post 'What is Simplicity?', this can mean something different to everyone, but these pointers should help anyone at any phase of their journey.


STEP #1: Be interested in living simply.

If you landed on this page chances are you're interested in living simply. Congratulations! Step one is complete!
In all seriousness though, if you don't have an interest a drive or a passion for living this kind of life, it's going to be a harder journey than it needs to be. There is so much joy to be found in living simply, and so much more to get from life when you cut out all the excess. If you feel it's a journey you need to take, but aren't too keen to get started, or if you started out excited and lost your passion, take some time and research. Find books at the library, check out simple living on Pinterest or You tube, or find some simple living blogs to follow. All of these have some great inspiring photo's, tips and stories and you're sure to find something to get you back in the swing of things, remembering or seeing for the first time the amazing opportunities that a simple life can bring.
Feel free to check out some of my Pinterest boards to get you started: I would love to check out your board on simplicity if you leave it in the comments.
http://www.pinterest.com/jessica_babcock/boards

We also enjoy getting inspired by watching these shows on you tube:
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Frontier House
  • Victorian Farm
  • Edwardian Farm
  • Wartime Farm
  • and general homesteading clips we come across.

STEP #2: Question your heart and your reasons for wanting to do this.

Determine if this path to simple living is God's idea for your life, or just your own desire. Again, research. Pick up your bible and read about how God intended for us to live, and how Jesus lived. Anything you can find on material possessions, and God's provision would be a great way to start. If this is the life He wants you to live, He will make it abundantly clear to you as you spend time reading your bible and seeking Him in prayer. Then, if it is what He wants, by all means, seek His path with all your heart, and if it's not, keep praying and reading to find out what He does have planned for you.

STEP #3: Keep Moving Forward

It's all fine and dandy to have grand dreams of a 50 acre farm, a homestead you built with trees from your own property, a grand orchard, and to live completely off the land. But if you're like us, in a low one income family, renting, and struggling to make ends meet, and 1 acre of that land is almost more than you could pay off in your lifetime, you need to take baby steps. Make smaller goals to get you to the big one, and take baby steps towards those. Don't give up on that dream if it gives you passion and motivation to move forward, but be realistic with what you can do now, and there's a lot! Change what you can now, slowly, and simply. This is about simple living, no need to complicate things. ;)

STEP #4: Dig Deeper

Don't give up on seeking God's will on this. Always be open to His guidance and correction. Even if we know the direction He wants to take us, it doesn't mean we know the ins and outs of the landscape He's taking us through. We can't go it alone.
For Example: For years I sought a way to simplify our laundry system. Baskets, schedules, separate closets, family closet, closet organizers, everything you could think of, except the one thing I should have been focusing on...less. Simple living shouldn't be about organizing and scheduling the stuff in your life, it should be about having less stuff in the way of living your life for God.

Over the past couple months we've been taking baby steps towards this goal. We're getting rid of it all! Okay not really, but we're getting rid of most of it. We now have all our clothes in one closet. Our entire family of 8 has their clothes hanging in that one closet (and no, it's not a walk in), with the exception of socks, underwear and pajamas which are in a shared small tote for the young girls, and a couple boxes for us older ones. That's it, and we're not done yet. Baby steps remember! ;) We've got more to sort and get rid of, and we're going through a period of testing to see what it is we really wear, what we need for each season, and how many outfits one person really needs to get through the week.
Really, how many outfits did each person have 30 years ago? 50? 100? During Jesus' time? How many articles of clothing would you want to wash each week if you had to wash them all by hand?

Keep in mind that your idea of simple living might be to buy new stuff to simplify your laundry situation, and maybe that's where you are right now and that's fine (baby steps). But as you move forward you might find God may be taking you down a path that ends in you living with 1-3 outfits and hand washing them outside in a tub. Be open, move forward and keep digging, guaranteed He'll show you new and better ways to do things as you go along.

Sharing at: Raising Homemakers
Wise-Woman-Builds
Welcome Home Wednesdays


9 comments:

  1. I just found your blog today through your link-up with "A Wise Woman Builds Her Home". I am absolutely inspired! We share the same vision, and even though I am far from where I feel God is leading me to be in this area, I am, as you said, taking baby steps! I wanted to subscribe to your blog via email, but I can't find that option? Maybe I am overlooking it. Anyhow, I am very interested in hearing more from you as you share the thoughts God gives! I will try to remember to check back. God bless you and continually give you His peace as you follow Him, Cheryl Smith

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    1. JessicaSeptember 25, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Thank you Cheryl, it's a fun journey isn't it? I thought I had an option to subscribe via email, but I'm not very tech savvy, and I might have done something wrong. I'll look into that, and thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

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  2. You have some good points here! Thank you for sharing!

    I found your post through Raising Arrow's Welcome Home Wednesday link-up.

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  3. Hi Jessica, stopping by from Wise Women Link Up. I felt so encouraged by your post, thank you, I am striving for simplicity in our lives. I look forward to keeping up to date on your journey. Have a blessed day. Tara.

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    1. Thank you so much Tara, I'm glad you found encouragement here, and I'm glad you stopped by.

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  4. What do you do with outgrown clothes for a little one to grow into?

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    1. We actually had a hard time with this originally. When we first moved into our new home which is much smaller than our old one we had totes of hand me downs piled to the ceiling in the homeschool/playroom. Then we went through a lot of hardship and had no other option but to start selling these clothes we had been saving and thought we needed. We still have a couple totes containing fancy dresses, a very small amount of baby clothes, and some clothes given to us for our boy, but we've found that it's not hard to come by free clothes when you need them. Everyone seems to have hand me downs they're looking to pass on, and when we really do need something (which is less often than we thought) it can be asked for as a gift for birthday or Christmas, or be found for a couple dollars at the local thrift store. Clearing out the clutter and having less stuff piled up in our home is worth more to us than those clothes were.

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