Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Two: The Reveal

Based on what we talked about yesterday, how can we, today, be a blessing to "all the peoples"?  Many interpret this as physically going out and serving and speaking to people about Christ.  They are not wrong to interpret it as so, but for many of us, this is difficult right now based on the life choices we've made (and, in all truth, love).  So, where does that leave us?  I'd like to offer that we are already doing something that will be the means to the end we are looking for.

Living simply seems to be all the rage these days.  It's good for our environment, our health, our stress levels and our bank accounts.  There are TV shows, magazines, websites and many a blog out there that share the reason for and the how-to's of living the simple life.

While I've argued the choice of the adjective "simple" in the phrase "simple living", some definitions are ...

~ "conscious, simple, healthy and restorative living" (from The Simple Living Network)
~ "a lifestyle characterized by consuming only that which is required to sustain life" (wikipedia)
~ "to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly" (simpleliving.org)

Whatever our definition, it is the purpose, the goal, the focus behind what we do that really matters in this life.  We just talked yesterday about how our purpose and God's can, and should, align.

Some of us are living simply right now because we have to.  We have no choice.  Bills come in the mail and we have to decide which ones to pay each month and which ones to make wait.

Some of us are living simply in order to get out of debt.  We've either made some good choices (buying a house that we could afford or getting an education) or some bad ones (running up credit card debt or taking on a car payment we shouldn't have).  Whatever the reason, we're trying to dig ourselves out by living simply.

Some of us (and I venture to say most of us) live simply by choice.  We have seen the alternative and for whatever reason chose this lifestyle, are living it and more than likely, are really enjoying it.

Many of us in this category are also finding that living simply in many ways frees up some monetary resources.  They may be small, but they exist.  We have rejected blind consumerism, pointless trips to the malls, and trying to live up to society's expectations of what we need and cannot live without.

But, what are we doing with these freed-up resources?  Are we saving for for retirement?  Are we setting money aside for a new addition to our house?  For a nicer car?  For a special vacation?  Are we using them to pay for the little indulgences we like to allow ourselves (to keep it real, my indulgences at the moment are books I could borrow from the library, but instead buy, and handcrafted jewelry)?  Or maybe even for tools and gadgets that make simple living even simpler?

What if...what if...our sole purpose behind living simply was to give? That giving would become our current blessing give.

Living Simply In Order to Give.

That's what I want this blog, from yesterday forward, to promote and reflect.

So, there you have it.  It's not earth shattering, but I think that it can be if we really tease out why we may be called to give, in what form that giving will look like and where our blessings should be given.  My take on all that will follow.

Thanks for staying tuned. Pin It

16 comments:

  1. I'm with you. We are simplifying right now. I think it's a movement of God across our nation...maybe beyond. We are going to put our house up for sale soon and get something cheaper so we can support more missionaries. We live in a simple ranch with three bedrooms. It's a modest home compared to the standards of America. But we can live with so much less. We don't *need* 1400 sq ft plus a basement. People are shocked and think we are being irresponsible for doing this especially since we have 4 kids and every kid is *supposed* to have their own bedroom! But our goal is to live simply so we can give. You're on to something sister! I'm excited to keep reading and see how you are going to flesh it out in your life!! :o)

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  2. I have been following you on this from yesterday and I must comment today because while I just began reading your blog, I desire to be more of a regular follower because of this...

    This is in fact a blessed way to store up treasures in heaven...

    Living simply to give.

    Not to mention that just hearing the word simple makes me {{smile}}

    GREAT post.

    Love your new header!

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  3. I'm still with you! I appreciate being able to see you live this philosophy out in your life, not just talking the talk on here. For example, thank you for *giving* a warm welcome to our guest last night at bible study. When there wasn't room at our table, I was so glad to see that your table invited her over. I knew she would be blessed by your presence there.

    Blessings in this new direction of your blog!

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  4. I Loooove the way saved coins look in old blue glass jars. I like the new look.

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  5. Am very excited by your new direction and can't wait for the next post!

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  6. I love your new header! The artsy zucchini clubs, the pretty coins, the sunny sunflower...

    Oh yes, and I love YOU!

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  7. I like the new direction! We just last week paid off our last debt (besides our house) and I blogged about it Friday, asking everyone their thoughts on what to do next, now that we are out of the using everything left over to pay off debt phase. I'm in the process of working out how much to save, how much to give etc. and I am excited to see how you go about tackling this in your life. Looking forward to all the posts to come!

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  8. Oooh this is gonna get good. I can't wait to keep reading more. I will admit that you are challenging me!

    One of the things we've been hoping to do as a family by living with less now is to save for our 'dream property' - mostly it's about having a couple acres - room to spread out. But, lately, I've been hearing little whisperings to my heart,

    "What if God asked us to stay in our little house with our little yard?" "What if he was asking us to do something else with the money we are trying to save?"

    And then you post this! I think God is seriously at work in a lot of hearts and minds across this country.

    I can't wait to read more about what he is impressing on yours.

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  9. We are heading in the same direction too. I love your new header and focus. My husband and I were just talking about this very topic. It is so easy to get caught up in more, more, more - for me, me, me! We are simplifying too and hoping our home will sell so we can downsize. We don't need the size house we have - then we just have to fill it with stuff and well I don't really like stuff nor do I like to shop! :)

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  10. Inspiration abounds for the betterment of our world, right here, from THHP.
    Thanks for focusing in on your plan and sharing. :) looking forward to the next post.

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  11. Thanks for this post & yesterdays - I found them both encouraging & challenging!
    Looking forward to following this new direction of your blog.
    Renata:)

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  12. I will be eagerly reading all week :-) You have captured what has been on my heart lately. How did you know? :-)

    ~Cinnamon

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  13. WOW!!!! I was checking out the blogs yesterday trying to find one that inspired me...I even said a prayer that I could find something to read about that would inspire me...The very next blog I looked at was yours and I started to cry, because God answered me so quickly...This proves that he knows what we need before we ask....Thanks for following your heart...We are in the beinging stages of homesteading and I am LOVING it!!!!

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  14. For someone who's spiritual gift is giving I find this refreshing. Not many feel the way you do. What you describe is what the first church in the Book Of Acts knew well. We need to get back to those mindsets.

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  15. I found your blog while reading a friend's blog. We live simply, but it wasn't by our choice, it was God's choice for us. In 2007, I was in a car accident and am no longer able to work full time. My income has been reduced by about 75%. My husband (who at the time was my boyfriend) drained his bank account, savings, and maxed out his credit cards to help me try to keep up with my bills. I ended up selling my home and we married. My husband lost his job in 2009, he filed bankruptcy, his car was repossessed, but we pressed on. He went unemployed for 8 months without the help of an unemployment check coming in. The job he has now was a significant pay cut and he works about 15- 20 hours more a week. We don't have cable tv, no home phone, I coupon like it is my job. We went 2 years without internet. We recently had a baby and about 99% of the things we got for him were 2nd hand, which is just fine with me. What I have learned through it all is to trust God. HE WILL PROVIDE. I am amazed at how well he provides. Every time I am worried that we won't have what we need, God shows up. I am humbled by how much He loves us. We have also learned to embrace the life that we live. We take joy in so many little things that went overlooked before. I just wanted to share, God Bless

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