Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making Our Own Stress

There are jokes about putting the cart before the horse and "living simply" is one of those situations where many folk rush to put the cart before the horse and find themselves not so happy. Living simply, with real honest simplicity comes from the heart long before it comes from owning chickens, some goats and making your own soap, and honestly, those things are just extras that are not all that simple. But, we so often equate simple living with a homestead sort of life, an old fashioned approach to daily living, which is not always true.
Simple living is a condition of the heart. It is born from a deep desire to have more peace in our lives, less stress, less stuff, less rushing around and more meaning to life. It has a lot to do with being able to go to bed at night without having to lay awake with some major emotional drama being played over and over in our heads. I think for me, it has something to do with faith too. Having a deep abiding faith that you I am not walking this life alone.
Living simply is about not fretting all the small stuff and like its often said, its almost all small stuff. I see so many women spending so much of their time concerned about food, and yes, we do need to eat healthy. I firmly believe that but not to the point that it is my main focus in life and not to the point that you are defined by that. We should be defined by what is in our hearts and by the strength of our relationships with our loved ones. For me, there is a rather straight forward guideline I try to follow and it faithfully keeps me on track to a simple life. Not getting caught up in the sweating the small stuff.
Matthew 6:25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Following the advice set in these verses is all you need to live a simple, uncomplicated life, where peace flows through your heart deeply. It might take you to a life with chickens and goats and homemade soap but maybe not. It will take you to a life that reaches more outside yourself than for self centered pleasures. It will take you to a place where you go to bed at night without that hamster cage thought process of reliving the day over and over.
It will take you to a place of contentment that sees no need of keeping up with your neighbor or having to run out to the store to buy that new gadget you saw on television or on so and so's blog. It will keep you from the confusion of what is the right way to eat and what is the right way to live life. The new age gurus are preaching the same message, only they are leaving out verse 33 and that my friend, makes all the difference in the end.


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I'm so glad you are blogging again, Patty. Such good posts. I can imagine a book about someone who jumps into "simple living" and then has a lot to learn! Really, someone should have written this already. Perhaps they have and I don't know it. It would be a great comedy with a lot of wisdom slipped in with some subtlety.

Sarah said...

I know I am often guilty of putting the cart before the horse! Thank you so much for your post- I really needed to hear it. I love your blog and your pictures. You and your husband are truly an inspiration!

window into our life of love, joy, and adventures! said...

I enjoyed reading your post today! It is so true! Simplicity does start in the heart!
Thank you for your encouraging posts! They are an inspiration to my husband and myself and my daughter!

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