“And what does the Lord require of you? Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with thy God.” – Micah 6:8
I love that this book ends with this chapter. Reading the book through a second time as part of this group has made me think more deeply about each of these areas of my life. As it should. And as I read this chapter the for the second time, one thought couldn’t escape me.
It all comes back to faith.
With each chapter, I have shared my struggle in each of these areas in my life. They are (but are not limited to….):
- I have more stuff than I need and I just keep accumulating it
- I don’t really like the way I look
- I’m well-intentioned with my meal planning, but when the time comes, I’m just too lazy to actually make the food I planned
- I want to do all of the fun things and not miss out on stuff, but I also thrive from just being home and doing nothing
- I want all the stuff. The nice, pretty stuff. All of it. But I can’t afford everything that I want
- I love the idea of being hospitable, but really, I just want to stay in my comfort zone in my home and not have to make small talk with people I don’t know or don’t really like
- I get an endorphin rush when I see ‘likes’ on my Instagram photos
- I want all the things I need to feel rejuvenated (and there are A LOT of them) ALL.THE.TIME.
- Motherhood is so darn hard. I want to do it all and be the best and I am just not.
Do you sense a theme in all of that? Discontentment. Lack of trust. Selfishness. Laziness.
Each of those struggles is deeply rooted in an area where faith is lacking. And no amount of simplicity challenges are going to fix that.
Simplicity Challenges are great. I highly encourage everyone to do all of them. You have got to start somewhere. But the deeper struggles will only be resolved by a healing that does not come from ourselves.
It is only when we trust in God’s promises that He has redeemed us from ALL of our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can even begin to deal with these issues.
- God has given us more than we will ever need. Even if we die of starvation and live a life on this earth riddled with pain and heartache, the promise of eternity with God in heaven is the only thing that we really need. And the only thing we absolutely could never attain on our own.
- I am God’s child. Created by Him. My value is not determined by my outward appearance, but rather, by who made me and calls me His own.
- God’s grace and forgiveness covers my sins. All of them. Even the silly ones like being so lazy that I won’t get up off the couch and make food for my family.
- The things in this world are good and many are blessings from Him, but the moment they become THE thing in our lives, our priorities need some readjusting
- The stuff of this world does not bring real happiness, satisfaction or joy. Stop expecting it to. Or hoping it will someday.
- My time on this earth is not about my comfort. I have been put here to be an ambassador to a gospel whose cornerstone is inclusion and love. Live in response to the undeserved inclusion and love that I have experienced and pass it on.
- I am God’s child. Created by Him. My value is not determined by other people’s approval of me.
- True rest comes from a relationship with God
- I am not enough. I never will be. And depending on myself to be everything my children need not only sets me up for failure, but it is lying to them. I have to rely on God’s strength EVERY DAY and trying to do it on my own will only end badly.
When people hear that I write an organizing blog, I get the question, “Where do I even start?” quite frequently. I don’t always answer this way, but my honest answer to you now, in light of this chapter, is….
Start here. Start with what matters. Start with where you started.
Created by God, separated from Him, and bought back at an immeasurable price. And end with His promise that this isn’t all fixed in a day. Or a lifetime. God spends our entire life refining us, continually pointing out our sin to us, so that we can continue to see our need for Him, ask Him for His forgiveness, which we are guaranteed in Jesus, and living with a purpose that is bigger than ourselves. And is bigger than an organized home, a simple wardrobe and a delicious dinner menu.
Simplifying begins and ends with faith. Trusting God isn’t easy. And trusting God doesn’t make things easy. But when we start with trusting in His promises, this simple life that we are called to live is filled with purpose and joy. And that’s why we all started reading this book in the first place.
At the end of each chapter, Emily Ley has a ‘Simplicity Challenge’, which are 5 steps that you can do right now that make big strides toward achieving your goal.
Comment on each blog post with the number of simplicity challenges you completed that week. I will track each person’s progress (this is a total honor system thing) and the person with the most challenges completed at the end of the book will get some swag. Like good, helpful swag. No clutter-y stuff.
Don’t forget to take photos of the process AND the progress and use #simplifiedsummer so we can all celebrate together!