Pursue Simplicity

We long for simplicity. In the chaos and confusion of an overwhelming and busy life, we instinctively know that this is not what our lives were meant to be like. Our bodies eventually tell us one way or another that they crave simplicity. They long to have simple (whole) foods and activities that keep them strong but also want space and time to rest and recharge. When our muscles tense and our stomachs ache from too much going and doing and being, they are telling us to simplify. When our minds whirl and our heads ache from too much thinking and decision making, that is our clue to slow down and Just Relax.

Unfortunately, most of us push through (in other words, ignore) the signals that our bodies and minds give us telling us our lives are too complicated. Even more unfortunate is the fact that we often fail to simplify until our bodies eventually force us to stop and reevaluate. When the signs are coming, we have the opportunity to simplify on our own terms, or we can choose to wait and be forced to simplify through the terms of a significant physical illness, depression or worse.

Pursuing simplicity means finding the balance that our Creator meant for each one of us. While every person’s balance is unique, we all do have limits and we all do need balance.  Simplicity must exist in every area of life from the physical to the mental to the spiritual. We must deliberately and intentionally choose to not let life become chaotic whenever we find it possible to prevent. Maintaining a lifestyle of simplicity allows for handling and growing through the complications that come with living life this side of Heaven.

Simplifying life does not happen accidentally. A simpler life happens deliberately and intentionally. At first, simplifying seems illusive. Yet, consistent and persistent pursuing of a simpler life will result in victory.

DISCUSSION: What deliberate steps are you going to take today to simplify your life? What steps have you taken than you can offer as advice and suggestion to others?

11 thoughts on “Pursue Simplicity

  1. So true Kari. The soul yearns for a simpler life with less to do's so to speak. I balance myself out like this for example. Yesterday was sunny and in the upper 60's. I spent about 6 hours working outside of my home, Cleaning the siding of the house with a scrub brush, cleaning the windows, and installing gutter guards on my rain gutters to keep the leaves out.

    Doing this now while I have the time will free me later for more rest and relaxation. Also today I will take it easy because of all the physical activity from yesterday.

    • You hit on a key when you plan rest and relaxation after physically demanding work. People often just live day-to-day and forget the benefit of planning (at least a week ahead) when it comes to pursuing simplicity. Great example!

  2. I think this is an area that needs to be talked about. We let our lives get really crowded and busy. The problem I see is that people then pursue simplicity – but pursue it for the wrong reasons. It almost becomes another form of legalism. I think, like you've laid out here, that we really have to understand the philosophy behind what we do rather than just jumping to the simplifying part. This will be a pretty interesting series!

    • You're right, people often pursue simplicity for the wrong reasons and really end up making life more complicated. Making excuses for why they can't simplify is also common. This is a very personal topic for me, and I am both excited and aprehensive with pursuing it. I think the aprehension has to do with the realization that complexity is pursuing us as much as simplicity, and I see that battle everywhere I look.

  3. Simplicity is the key word that I have been using in my house the past week. In a chaotic world, we DO have to be intentional and purposeful in finding simplicity within our own families. Without simplicity, chaos creeps in and therefore no peace. God is not a God of chaos, but a God of peace. Too much "stuff" crowds out that peace that God so desires within our hearts and minds. I have been praying that God would show my family what simplicity should look like for us. And yet…I just signed up my 2 boys to play T-ball at the same time that they will also be playing soccer. I do like that you said that each family's simplicity is unique. We'll see if this 2 sport thing in a season "works" for our family. ;)

    • Part of building simplicity is deciding on focus too. For us, relationship is key. We build our lives around the relationships that are the most important to us. Nothing else will matter if relationships aren't strong. I plan to revisit this topic of simplicity as it is one that many people are expressing an interest in reading more about. About the two sports at once, we have made a decision to not do that. With two kids already each in a sport PLUS vision therapy for one and other school/church acitivities here and there, we just decided another commitment would be too much and decided against one for this spring. Plus, and this comes back to what I said in the beginning of this reply, our relationships would start to suffer if we added something else to our schedule. That is the approach we've chosen to follow.

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