I think a lot about this topic, and am constantly thinking of ways to practically apply it to our life.
What do I mean by simplicity? I mean uncluttered in belongings, streamlined routines, getting rid of the unnecessary, evaluating wants vs. needs.
And it's hard!
Culture tells us, more. More. MORE.
It shouts it on t.v., appeals to us in pretty ads in magazines and online. But it's all just stuff. Stuff to draw us away from the here and now.
I am really happy to live in the current time, technology and modern living. But, I want my kids to be rich in experiences, traditions, and healthy rhythms. I want them to know that their contentment lies in their faith, not in this world. I want them to celebrate the liturgical calendar, learn to love and serve The Lord and others. I want them to find heroes in the Saints, not in pop culture icons.
Does that mean my kids don't have any toys or games, of course not! We are careful about what we buy, and what we expose them to. Their souls are OUR responsibility, and we don't take that lightly!
Does that mean they never watch television? No, it means we choose the quality of programming, and it's limited to PBS, EWTN, and streaming Netflix.
Does that mean we don't like to have nice clothes? No, it means we buy used, and save the difference (I learned that line from Michelle Duggar, but I learned to thrift from my mom). We have nice clothes, name brands even, we just don't buy new (with the exception of underwear and one pair of shoes per season).
I, personally, will struggle with not wanting to buy stuff for the new baby. I *want* a new wrap, new swaddle blankets, new cloth diapers. Actually, we have very few *needs*, the only thing that comes to mind is a carseat, because I sold our last one. I *want* a new outfit for her to come home in, but she'll come home in what Molly and Maisy did.
Evaluating needs is a struggle. I'm going to use this Lenten season to explore it more. I'm challenging myself to use up what is in our pantry before running to the store. I'm going through closets and donating what we don't use or need. I'm purging our toys and books.
Simplifying feels good, giving things away feels good.
Everyone's path to holiness is different. For me, when life is cluttered with stuff, I have a hard time focusing on the eternal. I know I'm not alone, either.
What do you do to simplify? What areas of your life need simplifying? Challenge yourself, go through your closet and donate unwanted items. Challenge yourself, How long can you go without spending any money?
I'd love to hear your comments.