Call to Simplify
I read over my last post here and funny enough it was on seasons….and how we pass through different seasons in our mom-life …..it was a little over a year ago and yet again I find myself in a new season…..i am starting to think that days or weeks could easily mark a new season instead of big changes.
Life moves so quickly ….although to be honest it REALLY feels that way when I am feeling sentimental or my kids (now 7 & 10) are being extra helpful, sweet, spirit filled, or even overly kind. In the midst of laundry, carpool, work, and other daily activities it doesn’t seem to move so quickly. I don’t mean I don’t appreciate it but the sadness or early grief for the next season is at bay at least for a while. With that said, I have felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to simplify life so that the sentimental times come even more often and the awkward or hard moments are less so.
Until August 2012 we owned a “regular” house….one that required a lot of outside maintenance, cleaning (I guess), and it just seemed overwhelming….my work has also required me to be “on” always & keep a pace that did not allow for much in the way of wiggle room. We had looked at houses for a while but had not found what we were looking for….something easier where we could make memories doing the things that mattered. Thankfully my husband had also prayerfully considered my request to move to a different kind of community …..one that almost demands simplicity. We finally found a house that not only fit our needs for community & old-school parenting but it also needed cosmetic work allowing us to continue the theme that God had laid on my heart.
Get rid of stuff that doesn’t matter, be still!
By old-school parenting I mean kids playing outside, picnics, bike rides, community, walking places, and talking to neighbors…. almost every single day…closeness that allows you to raise your kids with neighborhood freedom yet safety in tow. By simplicity I mean we painted almost every single thing white. YUP WHITE. It was & remains to be a very visual picture of our new mode of operation.
The moral of the story is that we needed to decrease distraction, reduce upkeep (as not to spend our energy on things that don’t matter), create a peaceful environment, and give our kids the freedom to play….simple. My husband’s nickname for me is the “peace nazi” and our new environment is even more conducive to success in that area.
The theme carries over to business as well….i own three businesses….in just a few weeks it will only be one. What a blessing…..to be in a new season…..and to be moving towards keeping a different pace day to day.
God was very clear in his instruction to me….
I ask you…..what in your life is causing clutter, taking your energy, or taking the emotional energy that we need to just to love a God who loves us so very much. It’s heartbreaking to me that we have to ask God to help us to love Him….our creator, the designer of the universe. For us it was simplifying life to be able to dwell in the midst of God’s presence….setting the tone and the setting for what we view as most important….it is a constant reminder when we don’t mow grass that what is eternal should be our focus… daily.
As we raise our children, encourage our husbands, and do what we do daily….would we do it better if we were STILL and evaluated what we are about…daily…hourly….weekly….with our husbands.
Does it matter eternally?
Is it needed?
Have I prayed about the emphasis I am placing on each area of my life?
Do I spend time daily with God? If not, what is keeping me from it?
Am I able to give my family what they need of me emotionally?
I fully realize that those are some bold questions…..especially from someone who cannot get it “right” most of the time. In addition, I also believe that it is not everyone’s story nor everyone’s situation but I believe that clutter drowns out the Holy Spirit…..but the concept of simplity can take so many different shapes in so many different seasons. It doesn’t have to be your house….maybe it is something less visual.
Draw near to me Oh Lord…..lover of my soul.
All of my love,
ashley – thank you for this. this is to timely for me and it think a wonderful summer project for me is to continue to figure out what can go and how to make my home more peaceful. many think i’m adding with sending the cards to market – but it’s my attempt to delegate, move stuff off my plate! i LOVE that image of your kids in the creek. some of my fondest memories of a kid. just playing in the creek. you are equally inspiring to me – 3 businesses, 1 or zero. love your heart my friend.
Ashley, I love this. You are so wise. I dream of moving to the country and having a farm. And I have no idea what that means. But it sounds old school and I like old school. Simple. Slow. Hard work. Together. Time with The Lord. Bare feet. Bicycles. I do have white walls! So that’s a start!
Thank you Ashley! For getting my wheels turnings. For showing that change is possible. Even in the regular rat race we are running.
Perfect words for summer, but of course any season too. Lovely reminder to break life down into its most precious components. . . and push the rest aside.
gosh this is so good. clutter drowns out our sensitivity to the holy spirit that is FOR sure sister. man. it’s super easy for me to constantly keep clutter at a minimum in my home, but my heart…now that’s more of a challenge. i love your heart. i love those questions. i just wrote them down & will filter things through those !! love you!