A Step into Simplicity

Three years ago I decided to stop clothes shopping. Not in any way as a sacrifice, but to simply buy only what I needed, in an intentional, thoughtful way. I did reserve the right to decide what “needed” meant though!

I didn’t realise that this would be the first step on a journey to start living much more simply.

It all started with a phone call to my lovely auntie who I’d been to stay with a few months earlier. “Did you realise you left your scarf here?” she said. I hadn’t. I hadn’t even noticed or missed it. “You’ve got too much.” she laughed. It was a throw away comment but I realised she was absolutely right.

I did have too much. In a time when people are struggling to put food on the table or feed their families, I had everything I needed. I had too much.

I didn’t have a shopping problem, I wasn’t even an impulse buyer and I never bought anything if I couldn’t afford it, but I tended to hang onto things. We’ve lived in the same house for twenty five years and brought our three children up here and over the years we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff.

So I made a decision to only buy what I needed, or what needed replacing.

That first year I only bought four or five things. I was hardly going without, so it really wasn’t difficult and I never felt deprived. My life is quite simple and I don’t need to dress to impress! I didn’t tell anyone and I doubt anyone noticed. My only compromise was that I sew and I allowed myself to make my own clothes, as much for pleasure and relaxation as anything else and that made it easy for me.          simplicity blog

I’ve always loved clothes and colour and I still do.

But it wasn’t long before I noticed I was much happier having less in my wardrobe and I soon realised that it was ok to wear the same things a lot and began the habit of wearing a smaller capsule of clothes, putting quality over quantity, loving what I have and getting rid of what I no longer needed. It’s a process of pruning and it’s still happening.

Eventually I unsubscribed from all those company emails with offers tempting me to buy and had stopped reading and then started decluttering my email inbox, my phone and other parts of my home and life too. Noticing how I spend my time, how I am living.

My word for the year for 2019 is “Simplicity” and I’m really enjoying this process of living more simply and with intention.

However we are living, we can be spending time, or money, space or energy on things that don’t really matter, sometimes with the very best of intentions. Sometimes finding it hard to say no.

I want to be living the life I’m meant to be living, saying no to things that are crowding me or keeping me from whatever it is that God has planned for me.

In John 15:1-2 Jesus is saying “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”

Is God nudging you to let go of things that are crowding you or that are distracting you from the very best that he has for you?

Our day in Nottingham on 18th May “Get Real” will help us explore how to live authentically and what that means and in November our annual conference theme is “Bloom where we are planted” so whatever this might mean for you, we do hope you will be able to come and join us.

 

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