We started to pray for simplicity a few weeks after we began family Bible time. We weren't really sure how to simplify or where to begin. We didn't really have anyone to ask, because it seemed most everyone we knew was also living the hurry scurry life. So, praying is what we did, and we prayed for several months for the Lord to give us direction. In May after praying for a little over 5 months we meet a very unique family, they are Mennonites. We meet Noah the husband at the Mennonite market, he introduced himself to our family and told us about his family. Noah has a wife named Sarah, and at that time had 14 children...and Sarah was pregnant and expecting baby #15 at the end of summer. Arthur and Noah really hit it off and became friends quickly. The next several weeks we continued to purchase our produce from the Mennonite market and visit with Noah while there. One Saturday Noah ask Arthur for our address and they began to write letters back and forth. Noah and Sarah invited us to their home on a Sunday afternoon, for watermelon, popcorn, and fellowship. We were very excited about going to visit this Mennonite family of 17...Sarah had by this time given birth to a baby boy whom they named David. We had a very pleasant visit with our Mennonite friends and while there our eyes were truly opened to 'true' simplicity! Oh you can read a million books on the Mennonite and Amish but until you know them first hand you cannot fully grasp their way of life....it is far from hurry scurry to and fro! They are busy people with much manual work to do, but they aren't driven or ran by the world and it's expectations. When we left their home we had a clear understanding of what the Lord was calling us to do. He was calling us to simplify in multiple areas, but first He started with the -Big- one...where our time went each day. We were drawing close to Him and His word each day as a family, but we still had to many outside activities.
With more prayer the Lord showed us that we had to decide what was really necessary activities, and what things were time robbers. We looked at all our activities and at that time we had 9 children, 7 in outside activities....and that wasn't including the fact that Arthur and I had commitments at church. We made a list of all activities and looked over the ones that we felt weren't God honoring or going to be able to help our children/family grow in their gifts/talents. Eliminating activities really wasn't hard, because sad to say most didn't fall into the two categories I listed above. Our children accepted giving up the activities with no complaints. We were amazed at how much time was freed up and how much calmer our days were...not to mention the sense of peace we had with not being on such a tight schedule.
Almost overnight we saw a change in attitude and disposition in our children. We also began to see gifts/talents in them that we had never seen before. I can't really say if those gifts/talents came out from not being overly busy, or if they had always been there...yet we were so exhausted from the go-go-go of life we never noticed them. Either way because of simplifying the balance on the fulcrum of life was really taking shape, we were having harmony and a good start to simplicity. We could see our children and life much clearer now.