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My Simple Life

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness. – Henry David Thoreau

When I was little, I imagined how great it would be to have a simple house, with not much in it. I had a very glorified view of simple living: not much money and not many cares. I remember imagining a small, simply furnished house – something along the lines of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s little house on the prairie – and for some reason as a kid that made me feel free!

Fast forward 20 years and you’ll find a very different girl. In many ways, we have a simple life. Simple furniture. Simple apartment. “Simple” income. And am I free? No. I stress. And stress. And stress. The reason is I often desire for more. For “better.” I keep thinking, if we only had that new couch or a different entertainment center. If only I could have that e-reader. If only I could get a new wardrobe that matches the latest trends that are so cute. If only we had a new dresser. If only If only If only!!

Yuck! When I list out the many ways I have been unhappy and dissatisfied with life I am slightly disgusted. Somewhere along the way I forgot what brings happiness and joy in life. I started placing so much emphasis on what the world says is good. More! Bigger! Better!

It seems to me that my younger self knew something I don’t know now. That happiness is not found in things. No, it is found in the things that bring life.

It is in family and friends.

It is in a good book.

It is in a simple meal that stirs the senses and nourishes the body.

It is in the appreciation of all we have, giving thanks to God for them and living a life truly content with what He has provided.

Yesterday, all I wanted to do was rest and read a good book. So, I snuggled up in a blanket on the couch with Jan Karon’s A Light in the Window. Within a few minutes, Jack had grabbed his blanket from his bed and his favorite flip book and joined me on the couch. The dip in the middle of the couch (that I so often despise) forced us to sink together and we snuggled that way reading our books for a quiet afternoon.

The very memory of that moment brings me such joy and happiness, I don’t know how to express it. I could live my life that way forever and never get tired of it. I am so thankful for my son and my husband (who has endured my complaining with more patience than I deserve). I don’t want to go back to my belly-aching and discontentment. My life is good. I have everything I need – and more! It’s time to thank God for His provision and to be content in my simple life.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV 2010)

 

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4 thoughts on “My Simple Life

  1. It seems clear to me that God really wanted me to hear this message today! First, I read my church’s reflection and message:

    Scripture
    33Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    Reflection
    In our materialistic culture, it is easy to lose focus on the true riches. God calls us to invest our energy into riches of the heart. Challenge yourself today to focus on God’s currency–Love.

    Prayer
    Dear God, help me to tune out the noise of our world. I invite You into my day to help me shift my focus from earthly currency to Your spiritual currency–Love. Amen.

    THEN, I clicked on your link and read your post! Thank you for sharing, Leah. 🙂

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    • Thank you for sharing, Kelsey! This has been a message for me for weeks – months even though maybe I wasn’t listening! 🙂 I’m glad I’m not alone.

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  2. 🙂 sounds like a wonderful moment…Jan Karon’s books are my favorite by the way! I am enjoying fiction more and more…and yes, I find, especially after I’ve gone to store, that then I want more, there are times I too have to quiet my mind, and say my cat scratched couch is beautiful, with all the memories from it!!! yes, and remember what am I choosing to surround me in my life and they are so more important than a brand new couch! That actually was a recent thing….so go Leah!

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    • Stacy, I have always loved and will always love fiction. Jan’s books remind me that life is good. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your own desire for a new couch. I feel less alone in my struggle just reading that.

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