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Mar 3, 2015

Leading the Simple Life


this post is part of the peony project's monthly link-up.

i tend to overcomplicate things.

decisions, my closet, life in general.

i'm one of those pro/con list kind of girls...i weigh every option and the longer i take to decide things, the more indecisive i become.  that can be manifested in the smallest of choices:  where to eat lunch or if i should donate that sweater that i haven't worn all winter (the answer is yes, but i overthink, and overcomplicate, and no matter how many times it lands on my "donate" pile, i will inevitably put it back in my closet).

this year, i've been trying to keep the word "simple" in the forefront of my mind.  heading towards marriage, and ultimately joining my life with someone else's, i know that i need to simplify my possessions, my commitments, and where my attention is focused.  and i genuinely want to let go of some things.  even if i weren't getting married in six months, i'm realizing that i feel overwhelmed far too often, and it needs to change.

so why is it so hard to give something up?  if you're anything like me, you struggle with the "i can do it all!" mentality.  i can be a superhero.  i can fit it all in.  i can have it all (figuratively and literally).

but the reality is that i don't have to.  and living a life filled with hustle and bustle and too much means i'm not living my best life.  i'm not living the life that god has for me, which is filled with so much more than running from task to task and then falling into bed at night, my mind racing with the things still on my to-do list.

and so i'm learning.  i'm learning to say no to things that will drain me emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  i'm learning to release the tight grip i have on certain possessions, like that vera bradley purse i got in middle school and will probably never use again (which really, means releasing sentimentality to some degree).  i'm learning to simplify my schedule by choosing the things i really want to give my time to.

matthew 6:21 says "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," and the thing i love about that verse is that it reminds us that not only is our ultimate treasure not on earth, but the things we do value here on earth capture our heart.  and leading a life of simplicity means choosing well the places and things that you value.



it's not easy, making those choices.  sometimes it's about choosing to thin out your closet, and sometimes it's about choosing to thin our your commitments.  simplicity gets a bad wrap...the word "simple" so often is used to describe things that are lacking.  but i think when you flip your perspective, living a simple life is lacking in the right ways.  the girl who leads the simple life can lack feeling run down and weary from her to-do list.  she lacks being buried in clutter and commitments.  sure, stress will come and there will be times when life isn't straightforward and simple, but making an effort to simplify your life can help you to focus and can bring clarity to what matters most to you.

and so, i'm making an effort to simplify this spring.  i'm ready to say no to the clutter and yes to simplicity.

what areas of your life could use some simplifying?

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if you're a blogger reading this, and you've been searching for a community to call home; searching for people who will understand this part of your life, who will get the blogging world and who will be real friends for you in it, then i hope you'll consider joining us in the peony project.  that's our heart, after all...to be friends for the journey.

and if you just stopped by today to do a little reading, then i'm so happy you're here.  and i hope you'll either consider what this new year and renewing means to you and join in on our link-up, or that you'll stop by a few of the other posts below and check out what it means to some other awesome ladies. 


26 comments:

  1. I love to do lists too, haha :)
    I think simplifying our lives makes them so much more enjoyable. That's why, with the world how fast paced and chaotic these days, I think we'd be better suited to live a little more simply, like the old days. It's hard to simplify!
    www.sheisjoyful.com

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  2. Yes to all of this! I totally overthink and overanalyze and have such a hard time letting go of things!

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  3. I love that this month's word is simplify! I have had that on my mind lately and I am excited to write my own post about simplifying life!


    Kristin // The Peculiar Treasure
    athisfeetdaily.blogspot.com

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  4. This reminds me to go clean out my own closet and keep simplifying! Thanks!

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  5. Bonnie StoltzfoosMarch 3, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    That was a great read, Betsy. Your comment about "lacking in the right ways" was really good - I have been thinking about how silly it is that I hold onto stuff in my home (like extra kitchen stuff, clothes, etc) thinking it's good for me to keep it all, when really it decreases my quality of life since it just stresses me out to have so much. I love looking at "lack" differently... I'll be keeping that in mind. :)

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  6. I think this is great. I've started to simplify my life, I decided to quit anything I didn't want to do or felt like it stressed me out and I'm not working on just being happy and learning to love every minute.

    http://zoeshappylife.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/a-step-in-right-direction.html

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  7. sorry correction *now.

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  8. I crave simplicity. Too much stuff and too much going on overwhelms me. But this was good for me to read. I tend to be hard on myself when I get to busy or feel like I have too much. Just always remember to give yourself GRACE!! :)

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  9. So excited to see where this journey leads you.. simplicity is a high value in my life and has become so for our marriage as well. We're currently reading Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster. It's an oldie but goodie ;) A little more depth to process, typical of Foster I think, but I've really enjoyed looking at simplicity as beyond my material goods.

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  10. I think you seriously pick topics and write about them for the Peony Project at that exact moment where I most need them in my life. ;) Love this so much! Thank you for sharing your heart!

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  11. Well that's all Jesus! We picked this topic a few months ago...He knew then that I needed this one more than anyone! Glad you connect with it!

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  12. Me too! That book sounds good! I just need to start putting all of these thoughts into practice :)

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  13. Girl...amen! I almost wrote it in this post, but I took an Influence Net class with Rachael Kincaid last week and she was talking about feeling like a failure and Jess Connolly said to her "I don't know why you're surprised...you're never going to outgrow your need for the gospel" and those words have just been repeating over and over in my head for the past week! SO good!

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  14. Thanks Bonnie! I know...it's so hard for me to get rid of all of the "stuff" too...and when I look at it all, it just causes stress!

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  15. haha...I need to clean mine out again too!

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  16. Yay! Can't wait to read your post!!

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  17. It's so true Anna! I think simplifying can make such a difference and it is so great to take the time to examine your life and look for ways to embrace simplicity!

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  18. More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger and Radical by David Platt are also great, more contemporary reads on simplicity. They cover different perspectives but both helped shape how Tyler and I talked about and looked at simplicity in the first year of marriage.

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  19. I struggle with the "I can do it all" mentality all the time and it usually ends with me exhausted, in tears. Making the decision to begin simplifying my life was one of the best decisions I've made. This was an awesome prompt! :)

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  20. I struggle with thinking I can do it all! I took a break from everything so I could re-evaluate things. I think we place so much that we have to do everything when we really don't.

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  21. I linked up my post on simplicity, but what you wrote made me think about something I wrote awhile back about being intentional and making our "yes" count. :) So often the things that complicate and clutter our lives are not even things at all, rather an overabundance of commitments! I love your perspective!

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  22. The link up is closed. :( I thought it was open through the end of March. Anyway, I wrote a post today. http://mrsmaugeri.blogspot.com/2015/03/simplify-peony-project.html I wrote mostly about simplifying time and energy. Something I really need to work on.

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  23. Heading over to read your post now! The link-up stays open for 3 weeks, so you just missed it (it closed on Tuesday!) Hope you'll join in with us again next month!

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  24. So I missed it by one day? Lol oh goodness! Idk how I missed that it's only 3 weeks but I'll remember that in the future.

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