Simple and Free
As we have launched into this new year, something that has really been laid upon my heart has been to simplify our home. And, I know a lot of people start cleaning out and reorganizing in the new year, but this year has been different for me. The heart behind it has been different. Instead of just wanting more organization, less clutter, all of those things, this year for me, it has come from a heart of simplification, so that we can have more time to be intentional where it matters. For, in the past, honestly my heart was mostly more in it for me to have a more organized house, but this year we have been able to give away more, and simplify more out of an intentional heart that as we have less, 1. we have less to distract us, and 2. we can have more focus on what matters.
For me, this means getting back into reading scripture every morning. It sounds silly, but when I do not have everything set out and ready to go for the mornings, I simply will not take the time to open and read scripture. It just doesn't happen. So, this year I spray painted a beautiful tray from my mother in law, set it in the kitchen, and placed my Bible Study materials on top, using the bottom for organization of all the kids crafting supplies. This has done 2 things for us. First, it allows me to see my Bible each morning as I am making breakfast. It's on my mind. Secondly, everything I need to entertain the children so that I can do a Bible Study is right there as well. It makes it doable and easy. And this is how simplification has gone in my house this year. It has gone beyond, how can I freshen up this space and make it looker cleaner to the eye, to how can I make this space more intentional for how I want our family to live this year? And its working.
Another big reason we have been simplifying is due to our adoption process. We went through some online training as we prepare to bring a child from an environment of lacking to an environment of plenty when it comes to material things. We were educated that even the aspect of a bath, fresh, clean running water in our home might be a lot for our child to take in at first. They suggest that we simplify the amount of "things" we have in our home when we first bring our child home and that we gradually introduce things as our child adjusts to culture. But, as I have been working on simplifying our home, I am also reminded of how much we do not need so many of the things we hold onto. Really, when we are stripped down, I can fix my eyes back on the creator and remind myself of all the blessings we truly do have. Thinking over the blessing of running water, clothes to fill our closets, food in the pantry, electricity, heat, the list goes on. And, not that possesions are bad at all, but the heart behind WHY we need things at times can be. I want to constantly live in a state where if everything materially was stripped from me, I could still know joy, because my emotions were not completely tied to them.
Materials Becoming Idols
I was recently listening to a blog where she was talking about things becoming idols in our lives. She then went on to say that anything that causes complete devastation for our lives in whatever facet has taken the throne of God in our lives. This is not to say that we should not have grief, pain or hard seasons, for surely those will all be present in our lives, but I was able to think back over areas where I became completely devastated over something that should not have been. The answer, I was putting too much trust in that thing and not trusting that God is sovereign and good and His plan is best for me. He is above all the things. And I think that our view of God honestly begins in our homes, how we live our lives and the importance that we place on things that no one else sees. How we design and structure our home is becoming more and more important to me. And not in the aspect that it needs to be "magazine staged", but rather that it is set up and intentional to make treasures of the gospel important. For example, its important to me not only that I have an easier way to get into the Word each morning, but also that our home is easily designed to have people over, to be able to extend hospitality. That we have a way to set up more than enough seats at our table, or a space to have friends over for a play date. For none of this is truly ours, we are simply using what the Lord has given us, so I want to do my best to make sure I am investing it well.
Simple and Less Stress
What I have found as I have simplified our home is that it has reduced the amount of stress in our home. There are less toys to pick up and a better rhythm within our home. I am certainly a person that tends to get stressed out. As a type A driven, introverted mother it happens a lot. BUT, I have started to try out 5 different things to help me reduce stress in my life, and over all it has been helping. I even created a little PDF all about it if you too are someone struggling with simplicity and stress in your life. You can find that resource here:
I hope this week you are able to simplify your home, your life and your heart so that you can fully launch into the calling God has for you, His magnificent purpose filled with full satisfaction and joy.
Because truly that is what this is all about. This is why simplicity matters, because it draws us back to our need of Jesus and allows us less distractions to be able to see Him more clearly. I recently heard a person talking about how we may not be in a season of answered prayers right now, but instead, we may be in a season where the Lord is building grit in us. This way, down the road we too can be of encouragement to someone else in our current season of life now. So, to all my momma friends with littles, and really to all my friends, I so deeply believe that if we can start simplifying and finding ways to reduce stress in our lives, our faith and our callings will have more space to grow. And this is what matters.
~Rooting for you dear friends! I would love to know how simplicity and reducing stress is going in your life this week. Tag me or chat with me over on your favorite platform! Grateful for you!