“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
– Hans Hofmann
I’m sure you have heard the saying “small is the new big” or “less is more.” I see these sayings every day whether on cars or t-shirts. Maybe I’m judging but I usually end up wondering if they really mean what they are projecting or if it’s just a motivation booster for them to actually try to live it out. I can say that because that’s where I am.
I love simplifying. Between the ages of 10 and 13, my love for simplicity was birthed. I loved simplifying and organizing so much that I would lock myself in my room, deep clean everything and move my furniture would to create a different feel to my living quarters. It became an obsession to the point that my mom created a document, printed it out and in the presence of my siblings, made me sign it, promising that I would simplify and reorganize my bedroom once a month. My poor mama probably had no idea that I would catch on to the cleaning/organizing idea the way I did!
Jump ahead 13 years when I lived in a house where my five roommates would make fun of me for simplifying my room and belongings at least once a week. Either I was really good at getting rid of the junk in my life or I had a lot of junk in my life to get rid of! I felt calm and free, knowing that those items didn’t have this weird control over me anymore. I could actually feel myself breathe easier.
Presently, the apartment that Noah and I live in is very small and this has challenged us to declutter, simplify and change our lifestyle in a totally different way than I had been used to in the past. It has been very difficult to discipline myself to not go out and buy more just because I simplified the previous week before. I’m at a new level in this simplified lifestyle. It’s where I have graduated from the “a simplified life” to the “simple lived life”…which, when it comes down to it, is God’s life, the gospel.
This new lesson on simplicity has create a need for Noah and I to pray and seek out what our priorities are as well as a foundation for the life we want to exemplify to the people we come into contact with. Questions such as “Do I really need this or that?” “What do we want to set as priority in our lives?” “What do we want people to understand of us from observing our life style?” “How can a simple lived life radiate a life of Christ?” “How does simplicity change us or better yet, how does it glorify God?”
Noah and I have friends who live in a one room studio with their five year old daughter. They are living this simple life out of choice and their lack of possessions really do reveal Christ to me in so many ways. They continually encourage our community to be content, to continually give and share. They are discipling our community to live a life, free from material things that can quickly create unnecessary chaos.
Simplicity allows your focus to be on something other than you and this is where you will see lives being changed. After all, isn’t this the gospel?