When Simple Isn’t

When simple isn'tAh, another Friday. Another chance to admit my desire to simplify my life, declutter my home, and take my schedule in hand isn’t quite working out.

I’ve mentioned before that one stumbling block in my quest for a simpler life is that the people in my home aren’t all on board. I continue to struggle with this. I have a vision of space. I want to stretch out my arms. I like the idea of wide open areas more than furnishings to fill the spaces.

I’ve raised four kids in a house with 1500 square feet. And it’s fine. This is what God gave us, and I’m content. At the same time, some days I want to toss every single thing and stretch out on the floor and not hit anything. Our home has many small rooms, which is great for privacy for a largish family, but it means there is no room to twirl or stretch or dance around to the radio. I realize those things aren’t necessary to life, but still… We all want what we don’t have, right?

Anyway, back to the story. I have discovered that some in my home have very, very different views of space and stuff. Some value stuff over space. They enjoy stuff. They experience a level of comfort that comes from equal to my level of comfort in open spaces. We’ve endured times of poverty when we didn’t have enough of some things, and I think having a little more than necessary can be soothing after that. We’re not talking idolatry, just a general level of comfort.

So, the goals have to change. We will have rooms that are spare and rooms that are, um, cozier. My bedroom is going to be cozier. It’s not a haven for me, but it can be a haven for him. Another room–or several rooms–will be emptier for me, and not comforting for him. And that’s okay. I read a lot about simple living as though it’s the cure for all ills, but for some people, it isn’t. It can be as difficult for some as clutter is for others. And sure, we could compromise so no room is comforting for anyone, but maybe the current compromise is the best one.

Today I’m giving myself permission to put the people in my life before my love of simplicity and space. No need to worry about things that I can’t change, and there’s no reason to try to change my family to my way of thinking about this. Simplicity isn’t a biblical mandate. Clutter isn’t inherently evil. God told Abraham he could have a big old chunk of land and tons of descendants. David and Solomon had palaces. More isn’t always bad. Ignoring the people who live with me, though, and not paying attention to the states of their hearts in a matter–that one can be bad.

Finally, I want to give my readers one final heads up about the giveaway of a ceramic prayer box. I am a worrier, and there is something comforting about praying using tiny figurines (letting each one remind me of a prayer, nothing more strange than that) and then putting them in a box and closing the lid, essentially casting them on God and no longer taking the problems on myself. Anyway, the giveaway extends through the weekend, and I’d love all my readers to get a chance to win.  Giveaway Here




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