For the past 2 years, the Lord has been whispering the word “simplify” in my ear, so much that I can’t ignore it. We de-cluttered, sold things, gave other things away, and then we went to Uganda. For 5 months, we lived off of the 14 items of clothing that we took with us, ate the same thing every week, and had few electronics, and we found it to be so freeing. Before we came home, we talked a lot about how we would want life to look back in the U.S. We knew that we wanted to live our day to day lives even more simply than before and talked about specific ways that we would do that.
I dreamed of an Anthropologie inspired home with white walls and neutral tones. Baskets, reclaimed wood, and live plants would take care of the décor in our little home and we would have space and room to breathe because there would be no clutter. Anything that would need to be added to our home would be either homemade or purchased second-hand.
To me, this picture that I had sketched in my head was a breath of fresh air.
But then, we moved into our little red house and started unpacking. It was like Christmas in June seeing all of our belongings that had been waiting for us for 6 months in storage while we were out of the country. Here is the thing that I quickly realized as I looked through everything we own… I like color! I love lime green, teal and mustard yellow. I’m drawn to the color mint and a deep magenta makes my heart smile. I love color.
So I had a choice. Get rid of all of our current, colorful textiles and décor in order to fit this natural motif that I had been dreaming of, or, just roll with what I’ve got! And friends, we are rolling! Now don’t get me wrong, I still am so inspired by people’s homes that are raw and muted but ours is just not turning out that way.
My new path to simplicity is filled with much more grace and isn’t as rigid as where I was before. I’m learning. I’m learning that the simplicity that the Lord is calling me to isn’t defined by lack of color; in fact, He is the one who created me to love these bright colors! The simple life that He is leading me toward is more of a compilation of small, seemingly insignificant, daily decisions.
- It is the decision to be content with what I have instead of buying new.
- It is the laying the to-do list aside when there is an opportunity to connect with a friend.
- It is the choice to get rid of things that are taking up space but aren’t being used.
- It is trusting that He is going to take care of me, even if I don’t have 3 jobs!
- It is taking a moment to breathe and process before responding.
- It is letting things go.
- It is living in gratitude.
- It is living below my means.
- It is taking a day of rest.
- It is not grabbing everything that I love from a store.
- It is inviting people into my home, no matter if it’s cleaned up or a mess.
- It is taking the time to stop what I’m doing and giving Caleb long, drawn out hugs.
- It is cleaning out my closet (someday!).
- It is making time with Jesus my first priority every morning.
- It is eating real, unprocessed food.
- It is being ok with just enough, and not an abundance.
- It is (much) less time on social media.
- It is living on less to have more time.
- It is relaxing at home instead of always needing to be entertained.
- It is eating to live, not living to eat.
- It is dropping perfection and accepting the real me.
- It is forgiving.
- It is knowing my limits and not trying to be superwoman.
- It is choosing joy.
This is my list that has unfolded in front of me. It may be different for everyone, I’m not sure, but I’m learning more each day as the Lord reveals it to me. I fail….a lot, but there is grace…..grace and COLOR!
2 thoughts on “defining “simple living””
Yay color! In my mind I love the muted, bare, plant filled homes too – but I just can’t purchase all new stuff because I like my color too 🙂
Same here sister! I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂
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