Monday, August 13, 2012

Obedience: simplification

I am attempting to begin a 'series' on our blog about OBEDIENCE in all of it's forms...we'll see how this goes!

God has laid on our hearts the journey to simplify our lives over the last several years
The beginning
The one year update

In the beginning of this journey, we had very specific ideas of what simplification looked like (see 'beginning' post link)
Now, a few years later, this striving for simplicity has become a insistance in my life
Every day I am looking around the house thinking:
What can we get rid of?
What can we sell?
Who should we give this away to instead of selling it?
Who can we bless with this money?
How can we be more responsible with what we have been given?
How can I avoid getting too much stuff?
Which room/cupboard/storage box can I sort through today?

Now, before you think 'Wow, they are selfless.  Look how much they think of others,'
stop yourself...because we are selfish, prideful, greedy sinners.

It is only by God's goodness and grace that He has intervened in our lives this way and is changing our hearts to resemble His more

In the beginning I felt attached to 'things' and 'stuff'
Over the years of simplifying our life I have learned what it means to store up treasures in heaven, not on earth...
This stuff isn't coming with me!

I have gained so much FREEDOM from this life change!

- I don't need paintings and art on my walls - give me pictures of my handsome husband and adorable children
- Our kids do not need gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or ever, really - let's save our money to get them what they need, when they need it...not getting the habit of getting them what they want when our culture says they deserve presents
- Let's celebrate our marriage by spending time together alone, reconnecting and romancing each other - we don't need new gadgets, jewelry, or expensive surprises
- We don't need to shower family with gifts for every holiday, accomplishment, or get together - let's spend quality time together, having real, vulnerable conversations about Jesus: those will last forever...
- Let's be careful with our 'yes's' to protect our time together as a young family - let's minister where we are called, and say no to spend time together playing, teaching, and learning from each other
- I don't want to feel so possessive over things or people that are not even mine - God gave me my husband, children, and family for a short time...but they are not mine forever, they are His!  I am called to care and love for them as He would have me for now...protecting, leading, and guiding them towards Him for an eternity in paradise

How have you learned to simplify your stuff, relationships, and life?!
I challenge you, too, to get down deep inside and consider how else you can simplify your life - enjoy the freedom it brings you!!!


  1. Wow, I cannot believe its been 2 years since you've started this journey already! Your vulnerability and updates have been such an encouragement to me. I love learning from like-mind friends. :) I love the term "simplicity" makes me think of a rich life. Definitely something I'm trying to keep in the forefront of my mind these days. Have you read the book Throw Out Fifty Things? I started to look at "stuff" differently when I read it. I think you'd enjoy it as you continue to figure out what you really need and don't. This is an area I struggle with my kids...helping train their heart to not be focused on materialism and "I wants."

  2. I love it Rachel! This is something the LORD is working on our family with as well. We just did a huge sweep of the house, getting rid of the things we either don't love or don't use. We got rid of a TON of stuff, but I am sure I could go through again and get rid of that much more. I started reading a book i got from Leslie called "simply organized" is so helpful in giving a practical roadmap to living simply. It was crazy when i started going through things, because I didn't realize just how many material possessions I kept simply out of guilt! Guilt that I spent money on it and don't want to waste it, so-and-so gave it to me, i might need it someday....etc etc. It was so freeing to get rid of these things! It's also so good to know we aren't alone in our journey. I love reading your posts. Can't wait to see more of you soon :)

  3. So good, Rach!!! I always love hearing what God is teaching you guys and how you guys are applying it. It is inspiring and challenging and encouraging!

  4. Isn't our God amazing!! I love how he gives us such undeserved rewards through obedience. Thank you for sharing how he is working in your lives.

  5. Catching up on your blogs... I was glad to see this summer that you hadn't thrown out my Christmas present from last year. Ha!

    Your courage to go against the flow is inspiring. Moving regularly has helped us to streamline possessions and evaluate commitments. Moving is rather drastic though, and I wouldn't recommend it as a long-term solution.

    I'm sure your children love more of their mom's attention and love.