Living Simple

Living Simple this is an idea that continues to tug at my heart.  I do not claim to have a formula on it, nor do I feel like I have arrived at simple living yet.  For me it is part of my journey.  

Living simple, or simple living means many different things to many different people, I am still defining what it means to me.  I have shared with a few friends that I would love to take every single item out of my house, deep clean, paint if it is needed and then bring back only what is necessary back into the house.  However, when there are eight people living under one roof I am sure we would have varying  ideas of what necessary looks like.

Material possessions is just one part of what living simple means to me, there is my faith, what does it mean to have a simple faith, to walk humbly in simple reverence to my King?  There are the ways we spend our time, the things we place value on, even simple hearty meals.  Living Simple is not just about reducing clutter, but that is a good start.

As I said, I do not claim to be an expert in simple living but I do believe I am on a journey to a simpler life.  In many ways I wish I could turn back the hands of time and start over with what I know now, but it is the journey that has brought me to this place.  I often look at my oldest, Elijah, and then to Samuel, my youngest, and think what a different life Samuel will live.  

I have always been a collector, who attaches sentimental value to things, it has been difficult to let things go.  However the desire for a simpler life seems to be the stronger longing in my heart.  Each piece of the journey fits together like a puzzle.  Dave and I had already started down the path to wanting a simple, wholesome, country life for our children.  We had started changing the food we ate and began to look at a more natural back to the basics approach to life.  And then Joel was diagnosed with brain cancer.  

Joel’s cancer in many ways put this path on hold, however, as we got our feet back under ourselves it also accelerated the process.  I do have to laugh at myself, because in many ways I have simply replaced one thing for another.  For instance in my bathroom closet I had little plastic containers that organized our soap, hair supplies, dental accessories etc. now I still have the same organization system but now it has small baskets.  Wooden toys and toys made of ‘more natural’ fibres have replaced many synthetic/plastic ones. Yet there are some deeply loved items that I have not purged, and I do not believe this will ever be a Lego free zone. 

Cancer has made me look at every item that comes into our home differently, rightly or wrongly.  There are so many things I still want to change and purge from our home, but as I keep saying it is a journey.  Over the next few months, perhaps years, I will share with you pieces of this journey.  Do I think everyone should walk this same path that our family is on?  Well, that is difficult to answer.  I have seen the positive impact it has had on my own family, so I would love to answer yes!  However, people are so individual, and I know that not everyone has the same gifts or talents so we will never all journey down the same path, but I do believe we can all benefit from simplifying our lives… at least a little.

The pictures in this post are from our 16th Wedding Anniversary.  Dave and I thought it would be fun to take our kid’s out for a drive to one of our favourite nature spots.  To me that day exemplified, ‘the simple life.’  We could have done so many other things that day, but sitting back listening to our children’s voices as they played and discovered on that secluded bit of beach was so incredibly peaceful.  Driving home I heard Joshua say, “That was the best day of my life!”  What a gift.  I know people will say you need to make time for your relationship with your spouse, and Dave and I do, we grab moments where we can, and occasionally sneak away for an hour here and there, yet we have our children with us for such a short time that we want to live simply as a family!

Here is a verse that just seems to resonate with my heart as I work at simplifying, “A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.” ~ Proverbs 13:7  Now before you rush to open your Bible thinking I do not ever remember reading that, well, that is because it comes from Eugene Peterson’s The Message.  Purposefully pursuing  a simple life that is a full life.

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