Monday, September 23, 2013

What is Simplicity?

Many people today are seeking a more simple lifestyle, yet the term simple living can mean very different things to different people. While one might take this as a season of decluttering, another may seek simple living by going off grid in the mountains with nothing but a backpack and a tent to get them started. I land somewhere in the middle.

My dreams, thoughts and views on simple living have changed tremendously over the years. I've loved the idea of living simply for many years, and have sought it out earnestly in the best ways I know how. Decluttering a closet used to be the ultimate goal, now, living off the land is our ultimate goal. But as we get older it feels like that goal continues to drift further from our grasp. We were taken from the one rental where we could live close to this dream and plopped in a beautiful happy healthy home, but with no land for fruit trees, chickens, or other livestock we need to help support our growing family. We can't picture any possible way that we will ever have enough money to buy a piece of land to work. In all reality, if it does happen by our hard work, we will likely be too old to live the dream by the time we get it. We do however believe in something more than our big dream, our bigger God.  If He wants us to have this dream become reality, it's going to happen, simple as that.

So we hold on, and continue to dream, and in the meantime, He has had us start something a little different right now. Instead of giving us our big dream, He's having us start small...and simple. Ha, the irony!! Here we are with big complex dreams of simple living, when all He wants us to do is live simple with the little we have now. I can only imagine the chaos that would have ensued if we took our cluttered life and mindset to a farm and tried to live more simply.

In my quest to learn more about simple living, and God's views on simplicity I've begun over the years to question what God's plan for us really is. Yes He has a different plan for us all, yes some He's chosen to be married, some not, some have no children, some have 12, some go across the world for mission work, some do their mission work from their home. I'm talking about His original design for us, what we were created for, and how we were created to live. It wasn't to fill our own needs wants and desires, it was to be a servant to God. To take care of His creation, to have a relationship with Him, and be provided for by Him. No need to grow our own food, no clothes to mend and wash, probably not even a shelter to dust, scrub, and repair. Just God, nature and us, complete simplicity.

Too bad that wasn't enough for us hey? So did things change after sin entered into the mix? Of course it did, but we didn't immediately run to a big box store and buy everything in sight on credit, that came after generations of things not being enough for us. No, back then, even though things got tougher, they were still simple. After sin we were still to care for Gods creation, God still wanted a relationship with us but we had to learn to work the soil to feed ourselves and we had to wear clothing (which would turn into an endless mountain of laundry). Even then, still pretty simple.

This chaotic, cluttered life that most of us lead, this is not the life God wants for us. It is not the life He designed for us. He wants us to love and serve Him without anything getting in the way, not even an apple. ;)

As my family and I really dig in and start this journey to simplicity that God is leading us through, I look forward to sharing it all with you. My hope is that something in it will help or inspire you in your journey with God, and that we both will find a depth and complexity in our relationship with God, as we weed out the unnecessary in our lives.

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