Dave and I are on a mission to live a life that is honoring to God and simplistic in nature. This adventure began in May 2014. I am SO excited to tell you all where God has taken us!
1. the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do.
2. the quality or condition of being plain or natural.
3. a thing that is plain, natural, or easy to understand.
I would also say that it is a verb! Because for us, it is now a way of life.
For us, it is not only a physical process of decluttering, organizing and making things simple. This process is much more complicated since it involves a shift of the mind of a change of the heart. It is about contentment and limiting life’s distractions.
I started off the year 2014 believing that this would be my year to get organized! The girls’ toys were making me crazy. We were overflowing with toys, with lots of pieces getting lost or broken or imbedded in my bare feet. I felt like I was drowning in my own home. I believed if I only could get enough bins to put things in, my problems would go away. Everything would have a place and it would be fine. But that was like putting a band aid on a broken bone. Kissing it and proclaiming “There! All better!” was NOT going to actually fix it. Being organized is fantastic, but it’s only a temporary solution. It is simply rearranging things! What we needed was much deeper than that. Deeper than “stuff”. And God knew that.
I am amazed at how God used so many things all at once to let me see the light. (Obviously He knew I needed lots of clues.) First of all, He gave me Jessica. Let me tell you a little about her. Jess and I have a Jesus-centered friendship and that is what makes it so strong! We started out being friends because our kids went to the same play group. But then it evolved with me saying something to her like “I’m a mom, you’re a mom. I love Jesus, you love Jesus. I love coffee, you love coffee. We should hang out.” And she agreed. She is someone who just … gets it. She gets what life is about. She shows Jesus to people just by being herself. She gets all the outreach that should happen throughout life, and she does it out of a pure heart. She’s the one who tells me – when my husband is gone on a work trip – that no matter what I need, she will help me. And she means it! She means talking, coffee, babysitting, whatever. She was praying for me while Dave was gone for 1.5 weeks back in October. And I felt it. She even came over to talk and keep me company at 10:30 one night! We were still talking at 1:00 am! I could not ask for more.
Now, why did I tell you so much about Jess? Because I love her! But she is a huge piece in this puzzle. Jessica and her husband Justin have started and finished this process. This is a life they are continuing to live. It was so refreshing every time I would go to her house and it didn’t seem “full”. And not in an unsatisfying way, but in a comfortable way. She gave me a couple of books and website references that were huge in kick starting our journey. I will share those too.
The first book she gave me was called Radical by David Platt. I started reading it on our family vacation in May, and I am very slowly still reading it!
The second thing that happened was an initiative our church had going on that centered on generosity and bringing people together for His kingdom. Guess who was asked to be the event coordinator? That’s right. This girl! That put me at all the meetings and gave God more opportunities to be working in my heart. Guess who else was put on that committee? That’s right, that guy I am married to. And it started at the same time everything else started. May 2014. Wooo baby!
The next thing we did was to go through this blog. We took bits and pieces from each post and incorporated them into our lives.
I was moving at a snail’s pace when we turned the corner into October 2014. My big party planning events were over for our church initiative and I had time to read again. At some point over the Summer, I had downloaded Jen Hatmaker’s book Seven. It was downloaded at a time when it was on sale for $2.99. Score! It’s worth much more than that. So, I started reading it. Right alongside with Radical. Ouch!
I was about a chapter in and decided I was nervous about what God was asking me to do. So like any other Christian who fully trusts the Lord with her life and His plans for her, I put the book down and started reading other books completely.
But then things started happening… first, I noticed another mom reading Seven at a church function. Two days later, my sister in law told me she was reading it. Literally the following day, another friend told me she was reading it. Then a whopping SIX days went by before yet another friend told me she was reading it. Followed by two more friends later in the week! What in the world, people?! That’s six friends! And this book is 2 years old! It’s not even new! It would be too freaky to wait for a seventh. I guess I’m the seventh! Ah! Okay. Fine. I will pick the book back up.
The first chapter talks about food and how Jen chose 7 foods to eat for a month. I was still making excuses. “We do a meal exchange. If I do that, I can’t eat any of the food they bring me. That would be pretty wasteful.” Guess whose meal exchange ended that same week? Yep.
Little did I know what God was about to do to me…