If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Simple Life???

Something has been stirring in my brain for some time now and it still feels like a bunch of puzzle pieces that haven't quite yet come together. So I am going to try and lay it out here and see if you can help me find the corners and straight edges.

Living here in suburbia, I feel this constant inner battle between my desire to simplify our lives and the influence of the world around me. I have been trying to figure out what it looks like to live "the simple life". Many of my friends here would say that I already live a simple life by the sheer fact that I don't own an iphone or a designer handbag, but I think there is more to it than that.

Oh where to start???? I guess I can pick an extreme.

One of my absolute favorite families that we traveled with to China was a Mennonite family from Kansas. I can't put into words how drawn I was to this family. I loved their authenticity and found them to be hands down some of the nicest people on the trip. I have not kept up with them since we left (they don't do web pages and pictures) but I received a handwritten letter from them this week. It was wonderful and I was touched as she asked me about things like the changing of the trees. She also mentioned the pig they found on the side of the road and had decided to raise. Can I just say that I have no idea if the trees are changing and cannot imagine opening my home to a pig?!? And you know what, that saddens me. My life is so busy that it no longer comes natural to notice God's creation around me, much less appreciate it. While reading her letter, I longed to load up my family and drive to Kansas to start over.

Here is the deal though. God hasn't called us to Kansas. He has called us to Houston. I struggle daily with how to live a simpler life in a city that is anything but simple.

My problem too is that I can't figure out what defines simple. Is it the size of your house? The view from your back porch? Whether or not you homeschool your kids? How many activities your children are involved in? The price of your clothes? Whether you cook all your meals (let's hope not because I would need to give up)?

All I know is that my heart longs for something simpler but I don't know what that is. I would love your thoughts.


4 comments:

The Richerts said...

Hi Ginny,
I have followed your journey since you went to China for your sweet Ruthie. We traveled just a few short weeks ago to adopt our Olivia. I TOTALLY get what you are saying. When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up and be Amish. I have always longed for a simple life. I do homeschool and have a few chickens in my suburban back yard. But, my life with three teenagers and one toddler is anything but simple. It is pretty crazy! What I have learned over the years is that our lives (where ever we live) can get filled up with stuff that the Lord doesn't want. Even those who live a really simple life (no car pools or extra curricular sports) can be ignoring the things that the Lord has for them. Honestly, I don't think that God calls us to simple lives. I think that we are called to faithful lives. I could go on forever on my journey of juggling and balancing. It really continues to be a never ending issue that my husband and I pray over and discuss. I think that its right where God wants us to be, though. I think that He wants us to evaluate and choose carefully everything that we put in our lives.
I look forward to read where this puzzle takes you!
Blessings,
Barbara

Naomi said...

I believe with all my heart that the simple life is when a person keeps focused on that "one thing" which is needed..... JESUS!! Everything else will fall into place because you will know what God intends you to do and who He wants you to be on a day to day basis. 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.

It is not about lifestyle but living it out Jesus style!

And just for the record.... I am only just beginning to understand this for myself!

Blessings sweet friend!

Shannon said...

Ginny!
Doug and I have been wrestling and praying about this very thing for quite awhile now! It is good to hear your thoughts and words!
For me, so far what I have found is that when I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and asking Him to sort through the places and things in my life, He gently nudges me. When I step forward and do those things I think that I will find things harder but what I have found over and over again is...freedom! The more I get rid of the things that drag my eyes off of Jesus, the more free I feel. AND the more I begin to notice and talk with God about little things like the nature around us.
It is exciting and so opposite of what teh world teaches isn't it????

Wife of the Pres. said...

Ginny, I rarely comment but I read your blog a lot. I really can relate. I feel so torn b/t our life as we know it and what I *think* it should be like.

DH has family in western PA and most of their neighbors are Mennonites. I am always so envious of their simpler life when we visit up there. I have someone who reads my blog who is a Mennonite and they too are waiting to bring home their older son, but she does not blog either. She got permission to read blogs of families adopting SN children.

I guess where I struggle most is giving the not-so-simple things I LIKE--like blogging and reading blogs. You know? DH and I were talking about all of this not too long ago, and he asked me, "Well if you want us to get rid of X, how about running water and electricity? Are you willing to give that up?"

I don't even remember what my example was as we don't have iPhones, cable, texting and a lot of the other, but at any rate he had made a valid point and had asked a question I could not answer honestly and say "YES." He was just trying to help me see as you so eloquently said that for now God has not called us to China or Nicaragua or inner-city US or anywhere else and so we have to live with what He has given us and try to keep searching for His will.

It is very hard I think once you KNOW how much we all have and how very little so many others have. That to me is what is the key: once your eyes have been opened. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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