The Search for Simplicity…

Life isn’t supposed to be complicated.

Jesus didn’t die so we could live complicated, frustrated, miserable lives. He died for us so we could enjoy life. The minute everything gets complicated, it steals joy. We need to learn how to stop stressing and stop living an excessively busy lifestyle.

John 10:10 says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

I don’t believe this scripture is solely talking about physical possessions. I know that he doesn’t mind us having physical possessions. As a parent, I love to give my kids stuff. But I think he means more than that when he is talking about an abundant life. I think he is talking about a life of joy, a life of peace, a life of fulfillment.

The lifestyle of simplicity. Simplicity means “single, consisting of one thing, unmingled.” God has dealt with me about living a simpler life. He has shown me that the only way to do this is to just be about “one thing.” God just wants us to be about Him. He tells us in His Word that we won’t inherit His kingdom if we don’t come to Him very simply as a little child and say, “I believe.”

It sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it is so much easier to complicate it… being human, I want to figure everything else out on my own. I want to work my way out of problems… and I want to take credit for the victories. But I am really starting to realize that God’s plan is simple. It may not make sense to my mind, but there’s nothing complicated about God, and He doesn’t want me to be complicated.

I have been so overwhelmed lately. I am working a ton of hours, trying to establish myself in my career. I am going to school full-time. I am also volunteering for two church services and a Wednesday night every week. On top of that, my kids and I have counseling, visitations with their dad, and my women’s group that I lead. I have been juggling relationships with my kids, neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers. My schedule is pretty cluttered. There is a lot of stuff going on, and not enough time to do it.

My intentions were good going into all of this. My heart was in the right place. But my life is a whirlwind. I cant seem to catch my breath.

Something has to change.

So, today begins my journey to figure out how to manage my time well and focus on the things that are most important to me and my family. Obviously, not every day will go exactly according to plan. That’s not possible. But, my hope is that we can start living the kind of lives we want to live. We can focus our efforts on those things we value most.

I still won’t get everything done. I will still drop the ball sometimes. But I will be headed in the right direction. I will have direction. I will have close, meaningful relationships with people that I love and I will be able to use the talents and experiences God has given me to do things that have meaning.

I am beginning to realize that I can only do so much. Everyone may have unlimited options, but we all have limited resources. We have to make important decisions to eliminate some things. When I am feeling especially productive and superhuman, I really struggle to admit this reality. But, I can’t do it all. I have to remove the clutter.

I need to have clarity on the types of things I should not do. Time is limited. I need to make the hard choices about how I spend my time. I have to start saying “no” to some things so I can say “yes” to others.

Inevitably, I know that I will face circumstances that could throw me off course and make me want to give up on my dreams. Just look at the past year. Lol. Obviously, Some of these hindrances are caused by my unhealthy behaviors. Sometimes, they are caused by people who want to see us fail. Sometimes, they are caused by good things that aren’t best.

Regardless of what causes the hindrances, I have to pay attention to them and make some decisions about what activities need to get the boot!

This week I will be asking a lot of questions about myself. I will be discovering what truly inspires me and makes me feel like I am doing life, not just living. I hate going through the motions and I am ready to step into the next level of what God has for me. Life’s too short to spend my days in constant frustration.

Please keep me in your prayers as I embark on this tremendously important aspect of my journey through life.

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About Shannon Joy

I am a single mother of two incredible munchkins. I pray a lot, work a lot, learn a lot, volunteer a lot and tend to do a lot... I love my life. The past few years have been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs. Thankfully, I have made the choice to see challenges as opportunities and it makes me so much stronger than I ever thought possible. I love to write and paint and feel that being creative is my God-given talent. I am so excited to share my life and experiences with you. Although I am a diamond in the rough, I known that I am being chiseled and hewn by God's grace and my own perseverance. I love comments and feedback, so please send a little love when you can. I will always try to respond personally and in a timely fashion.
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