We are in the second week of advent. Like every other season, it seems that distractions abound.
- Sick children
- Christmas gifts to be considered, bought, and mailed
- Piano recitals
- New jobs, this year for two adults in the house
- Always seeking answers to a deep burden resting on my heart
- Basketball practices and games
- Sick pets – again, different dog this time
- Church obligations
The list could go on and on. We’re busy and I feel like we rarely slow down.
Lately, I have been pondering deeply what simple living looks like. There is part of me that wants to define it as getting back to the old ways I used to do things, such as breadmaking, soap making, cloth diapers (although not anymore), hanging my clothes out on a line to dry, cloth versus paper, or just simply buying less. I believe those and many other aspects of simple living are part of it. They are the fruit of a deeper simplicity in the heart.
“The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe.” Elisabeth Elliot
“A disordered life speaks loudly of a disordered soul.” Elisabeth Elliot
“The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy and incoherent faith.” Elisabeth Elliot
A Disordered Soul
Perhaps in seeking an external simplicity, I am missing the root of simplicity. That’s why it doesn’t flourish, grow, or become a part of me. Simplicity is rooted in a faith that believes that God is enough.
All the useless material things I hold on to, deathly afraid to part with them because I might need them, display a lack of faith in His provision. The numerous kitchen gadgets that go unused display laziness of heart. This I know, because I have had seasons where I use them all faithfully and enjoyed them. The unattended calendar speaks to a disorder in my mind and thinking. The clutter in my office displays my prayerlessness over ordering what is necessary to serve my family and clients as a wife, homeschool mom, and tutor. Disobedient children and frayed relationships within my family speak to a heart focused on self instead of making disciples of my children. The endless lack of order in my home speaks to the disorder in my soul.
I crave simplicity but I realize now that what I need first is a deeply rooted trust in my Savior, Jesus, and a willingness to die to myself for sake of the gospel. The gospel-centered heart feeds simplicity in the soul and in life.