I crave simplicity.
My standard Starbucks drink for the last several years has been a grande white mocha, 2 pumps syrup rather than the sickeningly sweet 4 pumps, with skim milk and no whip cream.
How complicated is that?
A few months ago I decided I was over the complicated fancy coffee drinks. I ordered simply a latte. No flavor, no extra shots. Just a simple latte.
As ridiculous as this may sound, my soul felt a little lighter in releasing my need for a complicated coffee drink when someone asked what they could order for me.
My washing machine broke recently. According to the repairman, the failure could have been devastating. He’s seen the same breakdown flood a house. Our washing machine nearly ripped out our water lines as the machine went into turbo speed causing the axle to break while the motor continued running.
He showed me inside my machine what grew and hid in places I’d never see. It was beyond disgusting. I wish I had a picture to gross you out with. I was so embarrassed. I rambled how I actually did clean my machine with vinegar and tried getting the mold and mildew out. I had no idea that underneath that rubber piece thick mold grew.
If the machine were fixable, I didn’t plan to fix it. The machine was gone. I’d never liked it anyway. We inherited it with our North Carolina house. It was a fancy front load machine with too many choices and buttons.
We inherited the matching dryer as well. After 2 breakdowns of that dryer, we replaced it with an old-school simple dryer. Top load, dials (no digital panel). Simple. The repairman at the time told me 90% of his service calls are on these fancy complicated digital appliances. The repairs are incredibly expensive when the digital boards go out. He recommended I go back to a simple machine. He said he never repairs them and they work much better than the fancy expensive ones.
We followed his advice and I’m in love with my dryer that looks like it walked out of the 1990’s.
When my washing machine broke, I followed the repairman’s advice. I went with a simple top load, old-school dial machine. I’m in love. You won’t see my laundry room on Pinterest, but I’m filled with joy over its functionality.
Choosing Simplicity Over Popularity
I wrote a post about letting go of Facebook. For what I do, it seems to make no sense. But you know what has happened- I feel more free.
I’m missing out on things for sure. But I don’t really struggle with #fomo. I’m kind of used to missing out.
I’m always late to the game. When skinny jeans came in style, I vowed to never slip my big toe into them. About 3-4 years after the movement, I fell in love with skinny jeans. I stocked my closet with a couple pairs. The following year someone told me skinny jeans were replaced by big bottom jeans. Ha!
When Toms became popular I thought they were the ugliest shoes I’d ever seen. That was so many years ago. I still don’t have a pair, but now I love them and have been saving up my DSW reward dollars to buy a pair. I have a feeling the day I finally order the shoes, I’ll read an article about what has replaced Toms.
I started blogging in 2009 right after my youngest son was born. Since then I’ve had 3 different blogs as I moved toward writing with greater intention and purpose. I printed blog books at the end of each year because it basically became a family yearbook. I didn’t need to journal and scrapbook as in depth since I’d recorded the highlights.
I miss those blog books. They were so simple.
In 2012 I attended my first writing conference. I attended full of excitement as I held in my hand what I thought was a fabulous book proposal. I still think it was pretty awesome. And relevant. But each publisher and agent I met with told me to get bigger first. Grow my platform. Jump on bandwagons doing what all the other writers getting heard were doing.
I left with mixed emotions. I couldn’t write in order to get popular. That’s not how I write. I’m authentic. I can’t fake a thing. I can’t write what will tickle ears or provoke for the sake of provoking a reaction. Internally the idea of building platforms didn’t sit well with me.
Over the course of time that followed, I decided I’d write however God led. If growth came, great. If it didn’t, great. Writing for me needed to remain simple.
I guess the rambling route to the point is that I desire simplicity over popularity.
Releasing the complicated to grasp the simple
I can only hold so much at one time. No matter how hard I try to simplify life, it gets complicated. So I find I have to create a habit of releasing and purging.
I have to look around my life and see what can go.
When I feel the stress of life mounting, or when I begin to lose my joy for the things that once brought such delight, it’s time I take a closer peek at what’s going on. Often I find I’m holding onto things which need to be released.
I’ve been reading through this history curriculum, which I really dislike, with my middle son. He and I used to love history together. Now we approach it with dread. Both of us. Yet, we don’t voice it to each other. In the middle of reading yesterday, I closed the book and announced we are done. He looked at me with surprise.
“You know what. We are done with this curriculum. We aren’t learning. We don’t love it. What’s the point? It just adds one more thing to our day. We are simply checking boxes. Who needs that?”
I think he thought I was kidding, so I continued. “Do you love it?”
“Well, no, I don’t like the writing style.”
“Neither do I. There are better ways to learn history. Simpler and more enjoyable.”
So out it went.
When I gave up Facebook, I wondered what would happen to my blog. Do you know the surprising thing that’s happened? My blog has actually grown in email subscribers. And I don’t spend any time formatting for Facebook. I’m not divided in posting on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I’m just focusing on what I love. Writing. Simple.
Blogs may not be popular anymore. But I’ve never been one to chase popularity.
I’m not strategic in my posting. I write as the Spirit leads me. So I’m free.
What Can You Release?
Are you holding something that adds only complication? Can you release it and choose the simpler road?
I’m finding that the more complications I release, the more free I am to reach for what really matters.
Free of scanning Facebook, I’m free to listen to my children with all my attention. I didn’t realize how much of my attention was given to something like Facebook until I let go of it.
With each step I take to choosing what is simple, I’m able to pay closer attention to this beautiful life. I’m regaining clarity.
We are at the end of our second year of homeschool. So much transition is happening as we close chapters and curriculums and anticipate the new rhythms of summer.
My promise to myself this summer is to choose simple over complicated or popular.
|In case you’ve missed it, I’ve created a tool to help you simply sit with Jesus. There’s a sweet joy in letting go of the frantic pace of life for 10 sweet minutes to sit at His feet. I tend to be more like Martha than Mary, working more than sitting. Jesus loved Mary’s offering.
God is inviting you to simply sit at His feet. You don’t need a book, or a group, or an extra night carved out of your schedule. You simply need an email address.
When you order Illuminate, it will arrive quietly into your inbox. It will patiently wait on you. And when you listen, God will speak to you. I’ve prayed for your time with Him as you allow Illuminate to help you to focus your heart and mind simply on God, the lover of your soul.
It’s $10. It’s yours forever. It would make a sweet gift to someone the Lord brings to your mind who could use some encouragement and reminders of who loves them with a reckless love. Click the picture for more information.