The Complex Journey Towards Simplicity

A recurring theme in my heart is the pursuit of a simple life.  Hence, the creation of schedules, lists, and an ardent love of Post-It notes; the continual effort to organize and sort my possessions; the yearning to establish traditions for my family so that the important values of life are not forgotten or neglected.  Nothing highlights this theme more than having a child and not wanting to miss out on his discoveries due to too many priorities.

Yet how is simplicity achieved in this complicated, demanding world? I want to be free of materialism, but there is always something that catches my eye on Amazon and makes me convinced that I need it. I would like to be less of a perfectionist in house-keeping, but then I think of my Swiss roots and don’t want to shame them with a dirty house.  A life that is disconnected from electronics sounds amazing, but my Iphone is just so convenient!

What, in fact, does a simple life look like? Sometimes I think of the pioneer days when shopping consisted of a general store and a burlap sack for purchases.  Yet they would probably look at my life and say that I have it simple because I don’t have to make soap from scratch or cook my soup in a kettle over an open fire.  I can’t say that I have an answer just yet, but I will share my progress on this journey with you.  This post and those following will probably reflect tidbits of my learning.

In my mind I keep seeing that well-known phrase from 1 Corinthians 13: ‘For now we see in a mirror dimly…’  I think I better understand what it means now. I catch glimpses, throughout the day, of how life should be – or rather, how I should be:

-Fading out the world and focusing 100% on the loved one in my presence

-Absorbing life with all of my senses at once

-Responding to challenges with gratitude instead of complaints

-Resting when I should

-Choosing joy and living with gracefulness

-Selecting Christ-glorifying priorities

-Acting upon the urge to squeal with joy or run up and hug my husband’s neck just because

It frustrates me that these are only glimpses and not consistent reality.  But that’s me seeing ‘dimly.’ One day it will be the only reality. My response to this realization? Hold on to what I see, memorize it, and apply it whenever possible. When I look in that mirror, I can only see my reflection because there is something to reflect upon.  The same is true in life. These glimpses are glimmers of hope. I see them since Christ is working in me to refine me in His image. He won’t quit and neither should I. True simplicity is found in having ‘God-set’ priorities and being able to focus completely on them.  Right now I am still battling the distractions of a messy world. Let me rejoice that I am seeing. For the joy set before me I will endure and one day there will be no need for a mirror.

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About wordvessel

Aloha! Thank you for visiting the Weeklythoughtexhange. I hope you enjoy this healthy exchange of ideas and thoughts. I am a middle school language arts teacher and relish active discussion, frequent reading, writing for leisure and growth, and immersion in new ideas and thoughts. Some of my favorite pastimes include being outdoors with family, friends and pets, traveling the world and country, and embarking on new adventures wherever they happen to find me - in my own backyard or on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
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