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Five Ideas for Simpler Living

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”—ConfuciusEnjoying Boots

A few years back, my husband and I built a small getaway (think, barn with a finished second level) on some land only a few miles from our house. To some, it may seem silly to build a place so near our home.

However, we desired a hangout where we could escape the endless demands on our time. A haven where I could get away from the never-ending tasks home requires. Where Dave could leave work behind. Where we could reconnect as a family.

When I’m at our “barn,” much of my cares and worries fade into the background. There, life takes on a simpler cadence:

Periodic badminton games when the persistent winds rest. Watching Common Nighthawks zigzag after insects in the evening sky. Roasting marshmallows while staring dreamily into a nighttime campfire. Card games, family movies, star-gazing, hikes, gardening.

For a short while, I leave chaos behind.

Because let’s face it: life gets complicated—sometimes, through no fault of our own—it just happens.

However, we often encourage complexity.

For example, much of our technology has been invented to make our lives easier.Yet we let technology control us.

Through satellites, cell towers, and Internet we become accessible 24/7. Valuable face-to-face interactions are displaced by posts, tweets, and texts. Social media encourages us to be actively “engaged” all our waking hours (and often our sleeping ones) .

Activities and “busyness” are also large contributors to a chaotic existence.

I hate to admit it, but I fall right into the complexity craze.

Simplifying our lives involves  paring down, removing the extraneous. That’s what my family attempts to do when we head to our getaway. We leave much of our culture’s “noise” behind.

But why relegate simplicity and the peace that accompanies it to a special place and certain times?

And so I’m creating a plan this year to bring a little simplicity to our home.

Interested in joining me? Here are some ideas for you to consider.

  1. Be in the Word daily–running all decisions through a God-lens. It is impossible to go in the wrong direction when God is navigating.
  2. Rearrange priorities based on God’s plan, not man’s. Extracurricular activities and social media shouldn’t displace attending church or spending time with family. Don’t forget to elevate your spouse to his or her rightful place.
  3. Pare down and clean out. It is impossible to experience peace in the midst of clutter. Trust me, I’ve tried for years.
  4. Manage  daily life instead of letting it manage you. This includes creating a plan for social media, finances, and activities. Build some margin into your life.
  5. Identify an “escape” where you  can breathe slowly and deeply. A stream, a corner of your garden, a favorite tree, or it may just be a nook in your home. It doesn’t matter where it is, just utilize it regularly.

We live in an age of extraordinary opportunities and technological advances. Yet,  living a complicated life steals much of the joy found in each day. It obscures life’s little blessings.

Therefore, be intentional about living a simpler life. Your family will thank you.

“Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2a)

Share in the Discussion: Have you found yourself overwhelmed with the demands and pace of daily living? What are some ways you’ve found helpful for simplifying life? 

Counting gifts is a tremendous blessings.  #949–969, check out my entire list of 1000 gifts (or more) here. 

    • Family walk; Breathing space beginning tomorrow; Zach cracks me up!
    • Helping Danny from long distance; Jesus Storybook Bible; Establishing a pattern to my days
    • 2 dozen turkey traipsing thru our yard; Serving drinks to 200+ people; End of a difficult assignment
    • Discharged from therapy; Opportunity to listen to a friend’s heart; Tuckin’ in children–love it!
    • Found more fresh peppermint leaves; A little more tech savvy every day; Firewood bundles
    • So enjoy our beat-up old deck swing; A clean kitchen; Cat playing with a grasshopper
    • Winning August Joy Basket from AnnVoskamp; Skyping with Daniel (college son); Back at home church after few weeks absence


Due to Labor Day, Ann Voskamp’s 1000 gifts linkup will post Tuesday this week.

Know that I am blessed by your visits and value your comments. I love to pray for you and hear your stories! If you find my writings encouraging, please share them with others. It’s super easy, just click one of the buttons below. And if you haven’t yet, please consider subscribing to my site by email or RSS feed. You’ll get each post delivered right to you.

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

3 comments on “Five Ideas for Simpler Living
  1. Stacie says:

    I need this reminder, these encouragements, on a regular basis. (Especially #1).
    And we love our Jesus Storybook Bible, too!

  2. Julie, I love the idea of simplifying my life. Too often I think God’s voice is crowded out by all the noise in my life. When I slow down and pause, I hear His soft whisper in my soul.

    Also, thanks for stopping by Jesus & My Orange Juice. I pray you return often for some refreshment. Blessings!

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