Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our first step to simplicity....While seeking a balance on the fulcrum of life


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 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.

Noah & Sarah's home

Our next step was to simplify our 'stuff'!

What I have been sharing is merely a CliffsNote version of our life change. I pray that at some time I can share a more in-depth look at our journey the Lord has lead us on and often times carried us.

What a mighty awesome God we serve!


Cinnamon said...

I am enjoying your series. You are such an encouragement to me.

We visited some Amish folks and just walking into their uncluttered home opened my eyes. The next thing was that they had their dtrs all peeling potatoes. Their youngest had to have been 3 or 4 yrs old.

I promptly decided to start earlier in training my children to do jobs. They love being able to do "big" jobs and I love that they can keep busy being productive instead of destructive.

Can't wait for the next part in your series.


Stacey said...

Thank you for sharing your heart on this matter :) We are just at that point in our lives where our kids are getting old enough to be involved in different activities, and it's so hard to know what to choose! I'm curious to know what sorts of activities your children are involved in.

The Munck Family said...

Our children have since then taken art lessons, music lessons, and sewing. The boys have learned how to build, and do lawn care. As a family we have done various ministry outreach things....all using the gifts the Lord has us. Thank you for your comment and stopping by our blog.

Lynda said...

I totally agree that families get involved in too many outside activities - - and won't elaborate on them all or give my opinion of them - - and I do have many.
When we homeschooled our girls, I loved the simplicity of the days and the chance it gave us to explore new activities.
Life can still get hectic with simplicity but the best part is it gives you a chance to focus on your "gifted" area and begin to perfect it. It's the same for me in church ministry. When my girls were small, I felt I should be teaching in every class whenever the doors were open - - - as a way to give back to the Lord - - but it made me tired and made church seem like work rather than worship. However, I have since learned HE really delights when we do one thing and do it well for HIM!

Amy said...

Thanks Laura! I'm really enjoying these post and look forward the next ones. It great to be able to glean from others:)

Faith Family said...

Oh, what a valuable lesson. We did the same thing several years ago and the blessings have been amazing! The closeness, the simplicity, the easier it is to actually hear God speak to our hearts. The world is still lurking at the door, but we trust Him and lean on Him to tell us what is important and what has no significance on eternity. Decluttering again now, I love doing that! Fixing to go for a walk on the farm! Isn't that just wonderful!
Always Experiencing Him,

Laura said...

Thanks so much for posting about this. We're beginning to think about a new and improved schedule/routine for our family after we move, and this has been very helpful. I wish I hadn't missed entering the giveaway! Hope you all are doing well. :)