Wednesday, January 16

Simplicity

In order to make room for more demolition, I'm slowly processing through the girl's things and moving them upstairs into the bedroom the boys use. Their room will soon be divided to become coveted and useful downstairs bath and a master bath. Many of our elder relatives require a downstairs bathroom in order to visit us and having a bathroom downstairs will increase the house value as well.
I am laughing to myself as I sit here, understanding the irony of writing about house values and coveted rooms under the title of simplicity. Rooming four children in one bedroom, however spacious it may be, requires a bit, okay, a lot, of paring down. Simplicity is the general theme in my spirit lately. Simplicity being of importance in that it clears the unnecessary and makes room for the necessary.
While these loads of unneeded clothing go off to charity and the sewing corner upstairs has been unpackrated and tidied, the pantry organized and a mudroom established, I feel the same necessary call to simplicity needing to spill over from the practical to the spiritual in my life.

There aren't a lot of negative outside influences in our home. Music flows from the Zune, classic and meaty books are passed around and t.v shows, via the internet, are few. For me, in all honesty, the most corruption in my spirit no longer stems from Oprah's world view or gossip magazines, it comes from attitudes in the environment around me.
Here are some questions you can mull over with me:

1. What influences effecting my job as wife to I need to simplify and weed out?
Do I surround myself with women intent on encouraging their husbands? Are my friends who are also wives supporting their husbands in their role as leader of the home?
A few years ago I had to stop being around a friend who continually belittled and complained about her husband. As much as I would encourage her to focus on herself and her relationship with God instead of him, it continued to be a draining and unfruitful relationship.

2. What sort of influences do I see creeping into my parenting and my role as mother? Am I surrounded by women who view motherhood as a blessing and an opportunity to mature spiritually or am I surrounded by ones who simply view motherhood as hard and something to complain about?

3. Are my husband and I surrounded by friends who have a Biblical view of family, home, and marriage? Does there need to be any simplifying in close relationships that we have?
Sean and I realized what a contrast there is in the body of Christ regarding family and children when we were first expecting our fourth child. The responses when we announced we were expecting our fifth were more consolatory that congratulatory. And here I must give a shout out to our very wonderful friends who are sincerely happy for us!

What influences in your life are distracting you from your purpose or the quality with which you fulfill it?

3 comments:

Bonnie said...

Hi there! I found you via Merchant Ships, and I'm very glad I did.

I'm wondering this morning, though, if IRL you'd be my friend! On the outside we have much in common, the way we grocery shop, the number of babes we have (although I do thank God there is not one growing in my belly as I type), but I'm not sure I'd fall into your same theological camp.

After babe #4, who's 14 months yesterday, I went through some serious transformation (the God-induced kind), all in the midst of being shunned from my previous unhealthy church, and being completed by post-partum depression. What I came away with was (to me) a much freer way of living, not so theologically based, but God based. That statement isn't to put you down at all. I just wonder if because I've left behind so much of the legalistics of Christian living (put as a yoke around me as much by my self as by the church or any groups of Christians), and have an understanding that being a mother *is* hard, and having as many children as I can might not be the best thing for me (right now, anyway), maybe you'd see me as a dangerous or unhelpful influence?

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, if we were neighbors, and I believed a bit differently than you about husbands, wives, children, and God, would you simplify me away from your life?

How ridiculous that I'd even ask a stranger this question! But I hope that as follwers of Christ, you would love me the same even with our different revelations about God and how he's called us to live this life.

(I try not to complain about motherhood, and there isn't much to complain about, regarding my husband, although he certainly isn't perfect :))

Forgive me if I come across as some theological freak- I was simply shocked at what I think you might be saying regarding friendships.

I think what it comes down to is that my understanding of the "Biblical view" of family or life in general has changed drastically over the last year. I'll actually be posting ion it in a few days.

Thanks for bearing with me. As I said, I'm glad to have found your blog, which looks like-minded in many ways.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I just found you via Merchant Ships as well. I read you answer to Bonnie's comment and thought it was well explained.

I recently finished reading a book, Breathe, by Keri Wyatt Kent that you might find intriguing. It was all about simplifiying not for the sake of simplifiying, but for creating space for God. She focused on lving a life of Sabbath Simplicity and it was a GREAT book. I journalled through all the questions and it really did change things for me.

blessings on your journey!

Hannah said...

Mary, that book sounds wonderful! I love the premise of simplifying to make more room for God!