The first thing that really struck me was Barbara's statement:
"Honestly, I don't think that God calls us to simple lives. I think that we are called to faithful lives."
Barbara that was good and so I am calling it "Corner Piece #1"!
And that got me pondering: then why is a simpler life seem so appealing and why does it feel like that would be God-honoring?
Then Naomi put it so well with , "I never forget that Jesus managed to keep His life simple in the midst of so much busy activity by spending time with the Father every day."
Of course, we are supposed to model our lives, as disciples of Christ, after the life of Christ. While Christ's life was simple, it was also busy. BUT... it was busy doing His father's business.
Corner Piece #2- You can live a simple life and still be busy but your activity needs to align with the will of God.
Another friend emailed and expanded this well with,
"BUT, Jesus' life was focused on one thing and that was doing the will of His Father. He says He never did anything unless His Father instructed Him. And for Jesus to know what His Father wanted, Jesus had to ask (or pray as we call it). He knew what was important. He was able to look at Judas' betrayal and see the hand of God. He was able to look at the little children and see the heart of God. He was able to walk along the road with two guys who were confused and see the work of God and He was able to go to the cross and endure persecution and pain and sorrow and see the love of God. He had His focus on Him who is in charge."
So then this morning, Trent quoted to me a statement from Dallas Willard, that goes something like, "Business is not a state of the calender but a state of the heart".
I get that because like my friend Jenny pointed out, farmers and homeschool mom's can be very busy in their days. It's not their calender that I envy, it's the heart behind their choices.
But still, my world is too noisy. There are too many stimuli and distractions begging for my attention.
My friend Kim said on facebook:
"One way I try to keep it simple is to make sure my kids (and me) have time to just "be" without the pressure to hurry up, finish up, put up, etc."
I agree Kim and I think we have to be really intentional about that because no way it is going to come naturally. I am going to call the intentional regular action of getting away to reflect and seek the Lord, Corner PIece #3. Some people, like the Mennonites, build that into their culture by refusing those things that distract the rest of us. Like you said, Wife of the Pres, that is not realistic for all of us, so I have to set time aside.
So to recap where I am on journey to simplify...
1. We are not called to live simple lives but faithful lives.
2. You can live a simpler life and still be busy but your activity needs to align with the will of God.
3. Simplifying involves being intentional about slowing down and finding times to block out the demands of the world so we can focus on the will of God.
So what's the 4th piece? I think I know what it is going to be, but that is still shaping out in my head and will come soon in another post I am sure.
Thanks again for helping me process. Feel free to add anything you think I left out. I am blessed to share life with all of you. See, if I were Mennonite, I would be missing out on all of this. :)
Today's Sidenote: I took these while the little ones were playing in a tunnel that my Aunt Penny gave them for Christmas. To my defense, Jack hates having his picture taken so I just am not able to get as many of him. These 2, on the other hand, really turn it on for the camera.