Wow, have you noticed that there are more and more blogs and blog posts out there on living simply and spending less? It might be because I’m actively searching out this subject or because there is actually a growing movement out there to live more simply. It’s probably a combination of both. I’ve come across many blog posts on simplifying, but this one by Kelly Oribine really struck a chord with me and has inspired me to write my feelings on the subject as well. Do check it out, she does a magnificent job of motivating and inspiring on the subject.
I do think people are getting more and more frustrated with buying stuff all of the time and realizing that the things they have aren’t going to satisfy that hunger that they have inside. Is it a coincidence that so many are hungering inside and yet begin to realize that the things they have desired and maybe even gotten didn’t make them happy? No, I don’t think so. I think God is trying to come through loud and clear that only He can fill that desire, fill that hunger we have inside.
I’ve had simplicity on my mind on and off for years, but haven’t really thought about it intensively. While working full time, my mind mostly buzzed around my work and what I was going to cook for dinner that night and what I was going to wear the next day. Yep, really deep thought right? Actually, thoughts on simplifying were there, but pushed aside more often than not. One of the things I noticed driving around on the Autobahn in Germany these past 20 years is how much more traffic we have. How much stuff is being hauled from one place to another. I’ll be the first to admit “I like stuff” and am thankful that we have all the possibilities to buy the things that we want…but. And this is a big but…Do we really need strawberries in January? The latest technology or the newest plastic doodads advertized on television? I think we should all ask ourselves these questions when we are being tempted to buy something.
I’ve come to understand that my desire for a more simple life doesn’t just have a physical aspect. To have more time, to have more room, maybe even save money would be the physical aspect of it. But think about it, if you have more time and room physically, and you don’t have things in front of you all the time, then your head may be free of thought and that can make room for the spiritual aspect. To have room and time for spiritual healing, isn’t that what we as humans all really hunger for?
It’s ironic, we in the western industrialized world are thinking of simplifying our lives more and more and those living on the brink of life and death, I mean those in need of food and shelter, would love to have our problem of having too much stuff? There are also those fast growing eastern economies, where there are so many people desiring what we (in the “west”) have been so recklessly wasting. No, I really don’t think the movement to simplify is a coincidence, I think God is trying to tell us something. I think he’s planting a thought in some of our lives and maybe we need to outwardly express it to those who could care less.
Living simpler means different things to different people and it’s up to each one of us to make a decision where we want it to take us. I think that those of us who have a desire to live simpler are on the verge of something wonderful. Then there are those that probably could care less and maybe those are the people that we can be an example to.
I’ve started on my own little journey to simplify by reducing the amount of stuff we have, and really thinking about what I do want to let into the house. I’m by no means at the end, just the beginning. This journey will never end, it’s ongoing. There will always be things that we think are important in our lives; that we can actually do without if that is what God wants us to do. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to become an ascetic and start sleeping on the floor, I just want to concentrate more on what’s important. I still love design and decorating, traveling, having and looking at nice things, but I want to keep these things in balance and perspective so I can really enjoy and appreciate them.
I believe learning to live simply and moderately will help me to:
- To have less stuff that I need to care for. Whatever you have, it needs to be cared for…washed, cleaned, fixed and used. So I want to get rid of all those things I don’t use, haven’t used or just plain doesn’t have any use at all, neither do I want to keep anything that I don’t love. Granted there are things that are attached to my heart that are hard to get rid of and I’m not going to just throw everything out. I just want to think about each thing and make sure it speaks love. If not, there may be someone out there who will love it or have a use for it.
- To buy less stuff. Before buying something, I want to ask myself do I really need it in my life? Will I want to take my time to care for it?
- To save money.
- To have empty spaces to breathe and let in what is important. The sanctity.
To do my part to keep this earth healthy so others can enjoy it too.
I feel like God is telling me, look, if you have food and shelter, that’s good enough for your physical body, but what you really need, is Me.
What are your thoughts on simplifying?