Monday, August 15, 2011

Living Out My Priorities

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
 I’ve realized over the last year how true that really is.  God created us for one purpose:  to worship and serve Him.  Yet we I often cram so many things into my daily schedule that I miss the big picture.  I’ve come to understand that my life is only as complicated as I choose to let it be. 
We live in a society with all kinds of modern “conveniences” to save us time and make our lives simpler.  Yet we seem to have less time than ever for what’s really important.   My husband and I went out to eat about a month ago.  As we were waiting on a table, we couldn’t help but notice the family of four beside us.  We waited for at least 20 minutes and not once did that family say a word to each other.  They were all consumed by their hand-held devices.   The hostess called their name and they got up to go to their table the kids still glued to their games.   Whether we realize it or not how we spend our time is a direct reflection of our priorities.  
Don’t get me wrong- those who know me best know how much I love technology.   I’m also guilty.  I know how easy it is to be totally consumed by some of these things.  It’s not just technology either.  We think we must have certain materialistic things and be involved in every extracurricular activity there is.  Yet with all this come attachments and consequences.  We’re too busy to even have dinner together.  We’ve traded in family dinners around the table for quick trips through the McDonalds drive-thru.  Instead of sitting on the front porch actually talking to each other we sit in front of a television or a computer.   Seems like a pretty bad trade to me.   I want the modern conveniences but not at the price of “old fashion” values.    This is where my simple life comes in . . .
It’s still a work in progress but I’m learning to live a simpler life.  To me to live simply means to live out my priorities.   Focus on what’s really important and eliminate everything else.  It’s to live with the things that I truly need and to protect the things I treasure:  my relationship with God, my family, my friends/community, my home, and my health.
 When I quit my job last year, I was worried because I knew living on only one income meant we’d be doing without a lot of “things”.   However, after the end of this first year, instead of wanting more I actually want less!  I’ve found those simple moments spent with those I love are far more precious than anything money can buy!  I always said it but now I’m blessed enough to be living it!  There’s a lot to be said about living simpler and having less.  Here’s a few:
1.        The less that you have the more you depend on God to supply.   
2.       When you simplify, you have less to interfere with what’s really important.
3.        You don’t have as much to maintain, clean, organize, or store.
4.       If you don’t have it you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for it.
5.       There’s less stress and more joy!
                 The purpose of this blog is for me to hold myself accountable for keeping it simple and to document my journey of living a simple life in a complicated world.   I’ll spend the next few blog entries elaborating on my priorities and how I plan on living them out.     I want to share some of these simple moments –like sitting on the porch having a Popsicle with my daughter – that we often miss or let fly by!  I hope you enjoy reading about my journey and take away a quote, tip, or experience that will help you prioritize and simplify your own life!  I'd love to hear from you so leave me a comment!!


  1. This is wonderful, Anna! I too want to simplify my life. I am finding that the older Gary & I get and the older the girls get I want to cherish every moment I have with them. They are growing up so fast and I don't want to miss one single moment with them. Thank you for starting this blog and I am looking forward to reading it in the future.

  2. This is awesome Anna. Your words are very inspiring. April and I are also on a journey to "Simplify" our lives. One evening after sitting in front of the TV with dinner plates in hands and the kids in the their room with the same, it hit me hard. This isn't the way God intended His children to spend their time. Now dinners are being spent around the dinner table and the TV is off more often as we sit studying God's Word. Thanks for this blog Anna and sharing your journey with us.

  3. Jess - I know what you mean! It's so true. The simple things in life bring us the most joy!

    Q - Don't you just love those little "a-ha" moments when God gets your attention??!! You are creating some wonderful memories for your family!