Guest post: Thoughts on Living Simply Part I: Emptied…to be Filled

14 Jan

Guest post by Brittany from The Gentle Home (part one, watch for part two soon!):

All of us are being filled with something. At the end of everyday we must fill our nights with sleep, and every new day with food and work. There was a time when that was enough – food to nourish, hard work to fill the hours of the day and sleep to replenish. But that simplicity, it seems, has vanished from many of our lives and homes. And about the time we notice the piles of things looming in the corners of our houses, the bills crowding our mailboxes and the time commitments invading our calendar, we cry out for simpler, stress-free lives, wondering if it’s even possible.

This is a busy, modern, complicated world we live in. It rushes and races and is ever on the go. It relentlessly begs us to consume more and more, and is never at rest. But beneath all this hustle and bustle there is a quiet place called contentment. It does not shout for attention or attract with flashy colors. It is often found in the most unexpected places, and only if you are willing to go out of your way, past all the noise, to find it. I believe at the heart of living simply is contentment. A discontented heart will always be striving for more – more things, more money, more recognition, more love, more affirmation, more acceptance and more meaning…But a contented heart is quiet, confident and at rest.

We must remember this when we are attempting to outwardly simplify our lives, homes, closets, eating habits, budget or calendar. The things we can see with our eyes are always reflections of our heart. A discontented heart living in an uncluttered home will find ways to fill it up once again with things that cannot satisfy. And a discontented heart is never satisfied.

In my own life, simple living means slowing down and making a conscious effort not to get lost in always being busy or stuck in the cycle of constantly consuming. My definition of a simple life is this: It is a life that has meaning. God, family, service to others and in that order give my life meaning. My heart can rest because I know my worth comes from my heavenly Father’s love for me. It is a life that has order. Everything has a place and everything in its place and a purpose for everything. This is difficult to accomplish in a world bursting with excess. It is a life that’s inviting. People are attracted to the person whose heart is at rest. It is a life that has joy. True lasting joy and not fleeting momentary fun.

A simple life must also remember to have balance. There will be times of busy outings, events, parties and celebrations. This is, without a doubt, an important part of life. But an over-filled life or home is out of balance. It cannot welcome new experiences, new gifts, or new people into it. There may be physically no room for it, or no mental or emotional energy to sustain it. A contented heart is open and grateful, whether having abundance or just enough.

I think living simply is much more than just knowing how to organize a closet, but many times that is exactly where the journey must begin. In order to embrace all these simple treasures, we must first empty ourselves of many other things that no longer benefit us. That is where simplifying our homes, schedules and budgets come in. It is an outward change that reflects new inner attitudes and desires.

Everyday all of us are being filled with something. What are you filling your life with?

[Editor’s note: Brittany is a blogger who likes to write about her days as a wife and new stay at home mom. She loves to share her faith, thoughts, crafts, recipes and photographs. The gentle home is all about slowing down, consuming less but having more, and finding purpose in even the smallest things in our day. She has amazing stories and ideas. Check out her blog at The Gentle Home. Thanks, Brittany, for guesting on my blog!]

3 Responses to “Guest post: Thoughts on Living Simply Part I: Emptied…to be Filled”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Guest Post « the gentle home - January 14, 2012

    […] excited to share with you today a post I wrote on simplicity for a fellow blogger!  Check it out here!  I want to thank The Reinvented Lass for thinking of the gentle home and allowing me to write it! […]

  2. Weekly roundup « The Reinvented Lass - January 16, 2012

    […] amazing Brittany from the Gentle Home do two great guest posts on simplifying life. (Check them out here and […]

  3. Beginning to simplify my life « The Reinvented Lass - January 16, 2012

    […] on it, because she’s been doing this for a long time. Her posts (she actually did two for me, part I and part II) really helped me define it, at least for my […]

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