Find Your Simple
Life can be hard but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Proverbs 13:7 in The Message translation says “A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.”
Does this mean God wants you to live a dull, poor existence? No, but it does mean that we can stuff our lives with things that do not fill us, leaving no room for life or faith.
I’ve always been a down-to-earth, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of girl.
I never understood why, as women, we worked so hard to look or be different than what God created us to be.
It isn’t that I don’t have high expectations for myself or lack the desire to be successful and all that I can be….quite the opposite!
I’m a perfectionist: a helper, a seeker, a lover of personal growth, and a lifelong learner.
It’s just that I tend to see through the clutter and noise and the expectations of others to find my own way.
Finding my own way has led me to a life of simplicity, a life of freedom, and an abundant life of gratitude.
My pastor says gratitude helps us find our calling. I would add “simplicity helps us hear our calling.”
But it hasn’t always been easy!
When others don’t understand you they try to control you.
A pastor once told me that if I wanted God to be pleased with me I had to “fit the mold.” It turns out it was his mold - not God’s mold!
Guess what? The only thing that belongs in a mold is Jell-O!
But I was young so I tried to meet the expectations others placed on me. The more I contorted myself to follow the typical path in life the more anxious, trapped, and empty I felt.
The more goals and resolutions I set the less successful I felt.
The more I added to my life the emptier it became.
I was making my life too difficult!
One day I was coaching a group of teachers who were making their process complicated.
I cut to the chase, presented a simple solution, and said, “Keep it simple, my friends.”
Relieved, they laughed and said, “Mary, that should be your life motto because you always help us get to what matters.”
That was a clarifying moment for me. I began to apply this principle to all areas of my life, praying for God to guide me.
Each step I took toward simplifying brought me peace, clarity, and joy.
Gratitude for the simple things flooded me once again.
My heart’s desire came into focus.
My dream began to lead me and God’s voice became clearer.
Without striving or struggling, my priorities began to shift and I realized I wanted more.
Not more tangible things, but more time, more peace, more reflection, more margin, more purpose!
I wanted to use my gifts and strengths to help other women see through the showiness of life and find fullness that empowers, fullness that lasts, and fullness that satisfies.
The urgency to simplify gripped me.
I knew it was time to sell our dream home - the house I loved and had said I would die in!
I knew we were going to embark on big changes and one step at a time we tiptoed out in faith.
Step by step, God began to reveal the plan and soon our house was sold, our belongings vastly reduced, and the moving van pulled out of Ohio headed to Texas.
Suburb to farm
Big house to understated farmhouse
Target to Tractor Supply
But I wasn’t free yet! I was trapped in a job that was crushing my spirit and stealing my joy.
I knew what I had to do and God helped me see the vision for where I am now long before I knew how to get here.
But I was a coward, so God pulled the trigger. I was part of a downsizing initiative and overnight I went from trapped to free!
The final shackle had been loosened.
I was free!
Free to walk in the dream He had given me long ago.
But here’s the catch: if I hadn’t been simplifying, if I hadn’t obeyed God when He urged me to clean up my life and whittle down to the essentials, I would not have been in a place to take advantage of this new-found freedom.
Simplifying opened the door to freedom.
Freedom opened the door to my dreams.
"Trust the still, small voice that says, 'this might work - I'll try it.'" ~Diane Mariechild
Following my dreams has deepened my faith. Now when I write about the journey I’ve been on women reach out to me and say things like:
“You are an inspiration to me.”
“It’s wonderful to see how happy and at peace you are.”
“ You are inspiring me and I’m looking forward to putting some feet to my dreams.“
“You are the picture of contentment.”
I’ve found that women just like me - and you - are searching for the same things:
SIMPLE LIFE ~ SIMPLE FAITH
Are you tired of the emptiness of a complicated life?
Are you ready to grow closer to God than you ever thought possible?
Are you ready to uncover your God-dream beneath the complications of this life?
Are you ready to find your simple?
You’re ready to start simplifying but where to begin?
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Identifying what’s important to you is the first step to creating a simple, full life.