Practicing Simplicity

Last week I shared about how I was learning soul freedom. Seeing my scatteredness and my many distractions more clearly has pushed me forward in practicing simplicity in my moments. It has encouraged me, even more, in walking with slow-feet in my days.

I have been greatly helped this past week by an online course I am taking. This wonderful course by Mary Gallagher is such a blessing. You can find it on her website Simple Life Simple Faith. The course is called Find Your Simple and it has led me in finding more focus in my life.

It seems that only a few words at the right time can make all the difference. The words I am referring to that resonated with me are these. “Everything isn’t meant for me. I must choose wisely.” Wise words by Mary Gallagher.

After reading, “Everything isn’t meant for me.” I had to ask myself what really is meant for me? It quickly became very clear to me that I only really want my everything to draw me to Jesus, that is what is meant for me as His daughter. Busyness does not do that. Busyness leaves me frantic and distracted. But, I am finding that slowness leads me back to Him throughout my day.

Practicing simplicity in my moments allows me space to breathe. When I stop multitasking and do one thing to completion, I find I am present in that one thing. I am available to His words and the Spirit’s nudges. As I went through my day yesterday, one thing at a time got checked off my to-do list. Running errands, raking leaves (it’s fall), making a vegetable salad with the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers from our patio garden, cutting back dead flowers, reading a chapter in a book, working through four loads of laundry, folding each load as it was finished, taking a walk, and doing some yoga. I didn’t rush, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed.

What surprised me is that I found I had a spirit of gratitude in my heart throughout the day, (well, most of the day). Overall, I felt gratitude, not frustration. I enjoyed the process, and my joy in that overflowed with thankfulness to the Lord. Besides that, I found I didn’t end up with a bunch of loose ends when my day was over. My tasks were complete and there was order. And that filled me with a feeling of peace and satisfaction.

Focusing on the task at hand gave me space to think, to be mindful of the Lord’s presence, to talk with Him as the moments went by. Not my normal, frantic cries for help, out of frustation, but rather to just be with Him in my day.

I have found a lacking in my ability to concentrate and make good decisions in my rushing and busyness. It begins before I even get out of bed, when I am racing through the coming day in my mind. This crazy-thinking has led me away from my routines. When the day starts out with me thinking about twenty things at once, it is hard to begin the day focused on reading the Word and praying. My mind wanders, and thoughts scatter. I think about all I need to do. It is hard to keep my mind stayed on Him, and to know His peace within.

I recently found that it is helpful for me to write my prayers as letters to the Lord. That too is slow. I write whatever is on my heart. I write about the verses that come to mind as I “pray.” I write responses to what I have read or studied. I write about my feelings, my worries and concerns, and the needs of others as they come to mind. I go back every few days and read through my prayers to mark down His answers.

I wrote my prayers years ago, but this “letter writing” is more relational. Now it is just heart-scribbles in an old journal that lead to connection in the quiet of the morning and in the sleepiness of bedtime. And I am loving it! My soul is refreshed.

I can’t do everything. I must choose wisely what I can do in the given moments of my days. What will draw me to Jesus? I am finding that slowness leads to less fretting, and more gratitude and joy. Practicing simplicity in life gives me space for cultivating connection and creativity. These are good things.

Recalibrating life isn’t just for this year. The learning process will be ongoing. I learn, I try, I fail, I learn more, I try again and again. It amazes me how quickly I fall back into old patterns after I just learned an important truth for my life. But one day at a time, moment-by-moment, I keep trying, I keep learning.

What about you, are you practicing simplicity in your moments and in your days? What leads you back to Jesus as you move through your day?

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