Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An update on SIMPLE

To pursue Simple has been mostly counter-cultural. At the dawn of April it's been three months of this word, My One Word, and so far, I can tell you - a simple life is not an easy life.  I cannot drift on the current of breathing and just come upon it, floating there.  Oh no.  I'm swimming upstream, dodging branches, bodies, entangling weeds, and wave after strong wave of urgent (urgent is a noun today - work with me) to get to what it is to be simple.  Many days I don't get there, to that shore, but some days I do.  And oh, is it lovely!

photo credit: KLNphotography

So, practically - 

  • I've packed all of my craft supplies away.  And wonder of all wonders, I feel not a twinge of depravity. I don't miss the mess in the playroom, or the constant reminder that I haven't made enough cards for the people I love. As a matter of fact, I haven't even sent the ones I had stocked up!  Jesus requested that I put the hobby aside for a time, and when I did ... well I have a feeling you know how wonderfully rewarding it is to obey.
  • I have not painted my finger nails for over 3 months. And - shocker - I do not feel any less beautiful.  I'm not facing insecurity or comparison issues.  The only pain of this sacrifice is when I pass by the aisle in the store and see the pretty colors, but how long does that really last anyway? 30 seconds? Yeah, I'm good. Less wasted time and less frustration when they inevitably chip the next day.
  • I have focused more on prayer and less on "doing."  I'm learning the value in praying for people, and letting go of the guilt I feel when I don't bring a meal or pay a visit or bake a cookie.  The simplicity of talking to Him and laying more things into His hands, truly trusting that He is faithful.
And intellectually - I've learned so much too.  It's amazing how often I see the word, the concept, and the practice of Simple when I'm looking for it.  All over my devotions, novels I'm reading, posters, signs, sermons, conversations, and Scripture.  Like these two (ironically from my favorite book of the Bible):

"For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you." -2 Corinthians 1:12 (NKJV)

"But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." - 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)

Isn't it beautiful? The thought, the idea, the practice, the concept - God wants me to live in simplicity?  You mean He is glad when I know one thing - Jesus Christ and following Him?  Today it feels like a breath of fresh air ... as if I've been living in a city of pollution for months.  When the no-name snake comes to slither his way into my mind with corrupting complications do you know what I've been learning to do?  Simple - pray.  Focus back on Christ and what I know of His faithfulness.  Don't get me wrong - some of those re-focusing moments have been the toughest, but when I reach that shore of Simple again ... really - bliss.  Confidence. Strength. Faith. Security.  All that I've been seeking for years.  When the simple grace of God flows through me abundantly toward others rather than some flashy, fleshly intellectualism ... wow.  Humble. Peaceful. Hopeful. Gifts easy to give and even easier to receive.

It feels like ... like I'm really following Jesus, and loving it.

I can't get enough of the simple message of this song.

I need Him. He wants me to need Him.  I'm glad when I realize that need, and the faithfulness of how He meets it every single time.

Have you chosen your One Word for the year? It's not too late.  Here's the link to the website, author, and book that started this movement.  And for a jump start try these simple steps:

  • pray - ask God to show you your word
  • put aside all of your other "resolutions" (are you still working on January's list - good for you!)
  • make a list of words, and let Him help you narrow it down until one remains
  • put it in a place you'll see it every day
  • open your heart for the rest of 2013 and let Him teach you what it means in your life
If you'd like a handy button like mine:

then you can click on over to Melanie's Blog - if you ask nicely, she just might make you one too ;)

So, to cap off this simple post - 

Lord, thank You so much for the gift of this word.  Thank you for showing me that the struggle to reach simplicity is truly worth it when I get there. Please show me more - here are my hands, open to receive more simple and more of You.  I hope with a confident, assured hope that this year will continue to yield more of this goodness.  Show me more ways to fight off the devil when he tries to tempt me with confusion and needless complexity.  Guide me to more of Your simple truth and please continue to prune my life in ways that will glorify You.  

1 comment:

  1. So encouraging, Robyn. Keep blogging about your experience with SIMPLE.