Spring cleaning is great, but why wait till next year? Why not clean out your home before Christmas? You know, before you accumulate more clothes…before you press the kitchen supplies back even further into the cabinet…before you stack another book…before … Continue reading
Simplicity is well-used buzzword today. Although there may be some basic tenets of the philosophy or lifestyle, the spectrum of its meaning is broad. There are also different shades of simplicity, such as minimalism. I want to explain a few key points about my experience and definition of simplicity, or simplicity living.
First, simplicity is two-fold: It is the pruning of unnecessary possessions, commitments, and activities in our lives to increase space for the things of highest value (family, community, faith etc.).
The practical expression of simplicity is unique to each individual and his or her values. For one person simplicity might include elimination of TV programming, for another downsizing a home, for another declining outside commitments. The practice of simplicity is not always dramatic. Sometimes it’s subtle and includes small acts such as reducing your book collection or donating duplicate cooking tools.
First impressions of simplicity often include images of drab empty homes, sullen faces and cloistered families who reject mainstream culture. Simplicity is not a state of barrenness!
Second, simplicity living is a state of fullness, not deprivation! It is prioritizing the most satisfying and rich parts of life above the parts that detract from contentment.
From a young age, American media trains us that abundance or abundant living is found in possessions: The more you own or possess the more abundant and full your life. Simplicity involves a reeducation of the heart and mind. Like any worthwhile pursuit, there are challenges, but the fruit of contentment is worth the effort.
Third, simplicity is the process. The fruit is greater contentment, joy, and fulfillment.
I will write more on contentment as part of the 31 day writing challenge. I am anxious to share several simplicity triumphs to demonstrate the freedom and fulfillment of simplicity. And always – I would love to hear your stories! I encourage you to read Not More, Better from Joshua Becker at Living Minimalist, one blog fomenting my simplicity pursuit.
Welcome to my answer to the Nester’s 31-day writing challenge – Almost Simple Enough. Many of you have seen snippets of my simplicity journey and I aim to share more during the month of October. I admit the small challenge of writing even a few lines for 31 straight days seems daunting to me. Like many of you, I stumble daily along my journey as a mother, wife, worker, friend, who has aspirations, doubts and chronic health struggles. For the background story on why I chose to pursue greater simplicity, read Start with Broken.
Look for photos, tips, lists, anecdotes and experiences this month on increasing the simplicity and contentment in life. Look for two themes in my experience – the pruning my toddler son provides and the contentment only God can offer. I look forward to your comments and experiences as well. Many of you are walking a similar journey!
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.