I think we can all agree that 2020 has been an interesting year. I’m sure there are a lot of emotions for different people—stress, sadness, loneliness, confusion. Likewise, there are emotions of happiness, joy, rest, organization, and simplicity.
Ah, yes—the year of simplicity.
While everything around us seems like such a heavy whirlwind of complication, simplicity has been ushering us in like no other. And even though I already live a fairly simple life; I, too, have been ushered by simplicity more than ever before.
There are so many times where life just gets loud. I’ve felt that this year on more than one occasion. I’ve had to step away from it “all” many times. I’ve felt myself drawing inward into the quiet more and more often, and I don’t mind it one bit. In fact, I think we need seasons of quiet. Seasons of rest that allow us to focus on our beautiful Savior and what He’s doing in our lives.
Rest in the midst of unrest seems impossible, but I assure you, it’s the most possible and rewarding time to seek out rest.
Could it be that all the crazy has a purpose? Could it be that one of those purposes is exactly this—a refocus on the home, family, a simple life, and Jesus?
Could it be that simplicity is the way of life we were truly created to live? Could it be that life is so complicated and confusing because we made it this way by not living simply all along?
In a world that is consistently loud and chaotic, this year has offered an alternative. This year has extended to us an invitation into simple living. Would we have gotten this chance before? Is it preparing us for something greater?
People from all over the country, and beyond, are re-learning life skills; like how to make bread, how to create sourdough starter since there’s a yeast shortage, how to start raising chickens for eggs and meat, how to start gardening and growing their own medicine. The list continues to grow each and every week.
Surpassing the life skills that people are learning in this new year, I, for one, have been learning more about myself. About my time. My priorities. My family.
This homesteading lifestyle we live isn’t just about growing a garden and raising livestock. In fact, the word “homesteader” itself, when broken down, simply means someone who’s focus is on the home in every way. For me, that means not only being a good steward of the earth and livestock, but also being a good homemaker, a good mama, a good wife, a good follower of Jesus.
This year has challenged me to intentionally choose simple in every single way. And I encourage you to do the same.
I have learned that I have more time on my hands than I realize if I just put down the cell phone, the computer, or the remote. And even though I don’t really spend much time on those things to begin with, it’s not just about the physical time you spend with those things. When I see something I don’t agree with, or that upsets me, I dwell on it throughout the day.
My prayer for weeks and weeks has been Philippians 4:8:
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4:8 NIV
I have learned that when I spend less time with people through technology, I spend more intentional time with people in my own household, or in my local bubble.
I have learned that the world doesn’t need my opinion every five minutes, it simply needs me to be a reflective mirror of Jesus.
I have learned to take delight in the quiet, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
I have learned to pay more attention to all of the theories of an 11-year old, and the innocent wonder of a 1-year old.
I have learned that there are processes to life, and that I should embrace them. Like taking hours to pick green beans or blueberries. And the time that it gives me to simply “be”. To simply “rest”. To simply talk with my precious Savior. To organize my thoughts. I don’t think we give ourselves times to organize our thoughts anymore.
I have learned new canning recipes and new dinner recipes. My family is grateful for it, and so am I.
I have learned and started organizing more things. Which makes life in our home so much easier. And when there’s less stress in the home, there’s less stress in everyday life.
But most importantly, perhaps, I’ve learned to let go. I’ve learned to draw deeper into the One who created it all. I’ve learned to go with the wind and sail with faith. I’ve learned that my God is even more faithful than I knew before, and that in the midst of even the worst of times, He is still good. I’ve learned that God is doing something, even when we don’t see it or feel it.
I’ve learned that it is in the quiet moments, when you’re working with your hands, and doing the mundane—that is where you meet Jesus. In the moments you think no one see’s you, no one knows you, or nothing you do makes a difference—that is where you meet Jesus.
You see, living a simple life isn’t just about learning life skills, getting closer to your family, and then not posting about it online. Living a simple life—an uncluttered life–allows more space for an intimate walk with God. To know that every intricate part of your life is seen. And to feel a decluttered life, a quiet life, without the weight of a filled-to-the-brim schedule that you rush through each and everyday. And, even if you have a filled schedule…it’s filled with all the simple living things you could imagine.
So here’s to 2020. The year of simplicity and home. The year of calling the technology infatuated prodigals home. The year of rest, and yet, filling our time with more skills. The year of busy, and feeling that busy, because gardening and farming is a good busy. The year of all things simple…
In fact, it could be the best year that’s ever happened to us.