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I have found that it empowers me for a much more efficient and effective day.


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Silence requires as little distraction as possible and works best when there is a complete absence of noise not even worship music or visual distraction Bible reading is yet another discipline. Solitude should be a daily event, but on occasion can be given to a longer special time in a more remote place. Prayer is another great discipline. Times when we not only listen to God for our lives, but when we have the faith to believe that he in turn hears us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. These are essential qualities that lead to a life of simplicity.

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The word of God is living and active and can penetrate our innermost being like a sharp double edged sword. Fellowship, community and service are three more spiritual disciplines that are necessary elements for a more basic and simplified lifestyle. In the early days of our nation the Church not only provided access to a spiritual life, but it provided the major part of social and recreational life. People helped each other cut wood to keep their homes warm against the winter; men and children worked side by side harvesting crops; and women canned food together to store up provisions.

Not that we need to practice these past skills necessarily, but young mothers still need the wisdom of the older women, and young men still need the accountability of older men. Children can get their relationship needs met through the life of the church as well. Too often we hurry from soccer games to gymnastics to music lessons so that we provide a well-rounded life for our children. They may go from event to event and often miss out on the simplicity of just being a child.

We may even have to put them in daycare as we rush to a frantic work place; thus we all may miss out on the richness of a simplified life. There is something rich about the operation of the above mentioned spiritual disciplines that is basic to our human needs and is part of the provision of Christ through his Church.

EARLY AMERICAN HOMES: A RETURN TO SIMPLER LIVING | Rizzoli Bookstore

Each of these disciplines adds to the fullness of a life lived in Christ. How long will you go on being simpleminded? Solomon goes on to speak of the value of asking God for wisdom. From his mouth come knowledge and understanding… Then you will understand what is right, just and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise planning will watch over you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Planning provides a course of action. It may take us years to accomplish the things we set out to do, but at least we know what steps we need to take to get there.

One good example is making a plan through investments that will allow us to achieve some financial freedom. In our case God has blessed Nancy with the ability to spot good deals on investment property. By doing this we have managed to slowly build a financial future together so we have more freedom of choice in our twilight years. Long ago we decided we wanted to serve the Lord in some capacity for the rest of our lives.

At the same time we want the freedom to choose what that will look like. In working on a plan for financial freedom, we have greater peace and hopefully a more simplified retirement. We have found that risk usually spells anxiety and thus complicates our life.

Our LIttle Cottage living the simple life

Therefore, Nancy and I are cautious not to let investments rob us of our focus. The point I am making is that it is scriptural and wise for all of us to dream and plan for a secure financial future. If those plans are implemented wisely, they can not only help provide a life of contentment but also lead us to greater simplicity.

Hamburgers were around 20 cents each and flew rapid fire off of an assembly line of young minimum wage workers. It was a phenomenon that would change our world forever. As these types of restaurant chains sprung up across the nation and around the world the competition became fierce. Huge oversized portions of fast foods became the norm of the American diet causing the nation to face a new health threat: obesity.

Faster and bigger has become the credo and these two concepts permeate every niche of our world. They are also bigger than ever even though the average family size in America has decreased. Larger homes, like the larger vehicles we drive, demand greater resources and increasing quantities of energy. Not only do we have to heat these larger spaces in the winter, but air conditioning is also the norm during the summer months.

Because the culture has convinced us that bigger is better, the expense of owning a home has increased. We not only have to buy the larger home, but pay larger amounts for insurance, taxes, maintenance and energy to run it. In most cases it now takes two salaries to be a home owner; one to pay the mortgage which is mostly interest and one to live in it.

In our city of Boise, like many cities across the nation, it is easy to get a picture of this reality. Many people in the past few years have tried to purchase North End homes because of their character and quaintness. The majority of the North End homes are small two story structures. A home of square feet would have been considered a large one in this older community, many being only to square feet.

Homes that had garages generally had space for only one car. In the center of the North End is a cluster of small stores called Hyde Park. Most of the North End homes are within walking distance of this central area which at one time provided groceries and other household necessities. At the intersection of Hyde Park, one can observe a circular wide spot in the street.

Although the tracks are no longer visible this location was at one time a pivot for a street car that transported the community into downtown Boise just a mile or two away. Things were much smaller, but more efficient for those who chose to live within the city limits. Today, Boise is a sprawling metropolis with little public transportation compared to the days of past. In the last twenty years the streets have filled with commuters at rush hours and something has been lost.

It is not unusual to see a family of four or less living in a home that is to square feet. Most families have multiple vehicles due to the fact that everyone is going in different directions. Maybe less can deliver more! This profound statement has been indelible on my mind through the years I hiked and horse-packed into the back country of the western states. It was vital to me that I leave as little evidence as possible that I had ventured into the majestic mountains and visited its pristine lakes and valleys.

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But, what I could take with me forever were the rich memories of being with family and friends in places yet unblemished by the lasting imprints of a developing society. This refers to the lasting impact one person makes in their lifetime of living on planet earth. It is determined by the fuels we burn, the non-renewable resources we consume and the pollution we produce. The size of your carbon footprint is dependent on things such as the size of vehicle you drive, the expanse and efficiency of the home you inhabit and the waste you left behind.

Early American Country Homes: A Return to Simpler Living

Because the life of simplicity is a life that prioritizes, downsizes and slows its pace, it is a life that accomplishes much but uses less. It is a life that cares about humanity and the generations to come that will inhabit the earth.

Our desire should be to leave a small human footprint but a lasting, large handprint of God. The handprint we leave is an imprint on the hearts and memories of the people whose lives we touch. Have you ever considered your epitaph? The only truly great mark our lives will leave behind will be on the lives we blessed along the way. Both the regrets and the celebrations are about the people they had been called to love and care for.

When the rich young man came to Jesus asking him what he needed to do to have eternal life, the scripture tells us that Jesus had genuine love for him. Jesus looked at him and told him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor. If he did this he would have treasures in heaven. Consider how important it is to leave a positive imprint on the children God has entrusted to us. There is a definite balancing act between work and providing for a family while attempting to live a healthy, content life.

While considering this issue, I read a book that dealt with the advantages and disadvantages of one-income homes. In many cases both parents are forced to work away from the home at least forty hours a week.

A Simpler Life Essay

Small children often spend their days in daycare, while older children often come home to empty houses, left to their own resources. Meals are rarely eaten around the family table in a traditional fashion, and communication within the family can be sporadic. One income generally provides the mortgage and car payments while the other covers the additional living expenses. Not only is this accepted lifestyle difficult for the family unit, but it creates a mentality that moves in the opposite direction of the simpler, more content way of life. The book I reviewed was published to encourage the return to the single income home for the benefit of the family.

This can happen if couples are willing to slow down, have shared vision and make a plan. It has been proven that a stay at home parent can actually make up the difference for the expenses that are incurred working outside the home simply by avoiding daycare costs, the temptation of fast or pre-prepared food, transportation, additional clothing and the absence of homecare skills.

Not everyone has the privilege of this style of living or even wants it, but for the family that is moving towards a life of simplicity — it is a worthy target to consider. The world is in a rapid state of change and not necessarily for the better. As ice sloughs off and melts into the ocean waters, the sea level gradually rises AND encroaches on coastal land around the world.

It is anticipated that within this century the ocean level will raise a foot and a half. If all of Greenland entirely melts not to mention the polar caps which are undergoing the same decline the ocean will rise 20 feet causing devastating results worldwide. I say all this to point out that there are changes happening all around us that appear to be out of our control. Besides the issues of our changing physical world, there are others such as an uncertain economy; the potential of global outbreaks of disease; the increase of hurricanes and other natural disasters; the threat of international terrorism and nuclear weapons in the wrong hands; and a deteriorating environment with non-renewable resources being used up.