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simple life

The Simple Life sign. (Referred to in my earlier post “small things, big reminders“.)

It was a fun find from a downtown Franklin store. Since living a simple life has been a part of our family’s DNA since we have been married, we grabbed it. In our early years of marriage, we read two books “Simplify Your Life: A 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Matter” and “A Place called Simplicity.” These books taught us to look at all aspects of our life to prevent us from being over-extended and over-whelmed. They made a lasting impact on the last 20 years of our life especially with our time and commitments.

One of the things I have learned is that living a simple life is not so much about a place. Everyone can’t live in a cabin in the woods like Thoreau or in a farmhouse in the country. And, not everyone would want to live there. Simplicity is more about an attitude and priorities. You can have a simple life in suburbia, the city, or out in the sticks.

We have done better in some seasons than others. Living simply that is. As our kids have grown, it has become more complicated to keep things simple when we are running here, there and yonder. But, we have learned the value of the word “No” (even to good things) and to constantly evaluate our schedule. We try our best not to have more than three nights per week scheduled, so that we have adequate down-time at home and dinners together. Doesn’t always work when Jimi is traveling or we are in baseball season.

In fact, this past spring, our family had 14 straight weeks with commitments every day (with the exception of only 5 free days). That is way too little white space for me! And, far too many Sonic runs for dinner. Everyone needs margin. After that season, I certainly did. It made us take a hard look at our life again and make some tough, needed changes.

My simple life sign reminds me to reevaluate and refocus when life gets crazy like that. If I am not careful, my life can become full and overflowing with too much stuff and too many commitments. Proverbs 13:7 says”a plain and simple life is a full life.” Even though saying “No” is hard some times, I want my life to be simple, but full of what matter most.

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