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What is living simply?

  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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Dawn W

I'd say your comments were spot on - very similar to how I'd have answered her. Especially the part about taking the disappointment and sorrow (about the "no" answers) back to God. It's taken me a long time to understand that it's okay to be in that state - to tell God that I'm angry or disappointed. I've also learned, though, that it's not healthy (physically, emotionally AND spiritually) to stay "stuck" in that stage.

Blessings today!

Stephanie

I prayed several years for God to move us from our little town. I was not happy hear. My husband got a job as a partner in a firm and so I knew we were here for good. A year later my dh's mom died leaving us to care for 2 80ish year old grandmothers and his stepdad. I now can look back on things and see why God didn't answer my prayer the way I wanted him to. It has been a blessing to be in this little town and I have learned a lot from caring for his family.

Robynn's Ravings

Wonderful counsel, and wise.

I once threw a huge temper fit when I was younger because I didn't get a job I had prayed "hard" for. So, God reversed his decision and gave it to me. HORRIBLE experience and I never forgot the lesson. He really DOES know what he's doing. :)

Wendy

I agree with everything you said Joanne. I would add the suggestion of keeping a journal of prayer requests and then how God over time has answered them. By having the ability to see how God has answered prays over time, gives me the patience to wait on those prayers that are not being answered (at least to my mortal eyes) today.

Hope@Pinkadoodledoo

When I was 16 weeks pregnant with my first child, we were given a diagnosis that the baby probably had a fatal defect, but they couldn't tell us for certain. I prayed without ceasing for the next 5 months for healing and a healthy baby.

I spoke boldly to everyone that God answers prayer and He would answer our prayers. I was DEVASTATED when she died a few short hours after birth. It honestly did not occur to me that He would not answer the prayer the way that we had been praying! I spent the next 3 years angry at God for not giving me what I wanted. I thought that Him performing a miracle would reach so many family members and I didn't understand why He allowed her to die.

I knew the only way to work through it was to work through it WITH GOD. So, I poured myself into scripture. One of the studies I did was Beth Moore's The Patriarchs. It was a study of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God spoke to me through this verse..."All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth."-Hebrews 11:13

Beth talked about how Abraham never personally saw his descendants as numerous as the stars. He finished his life on earth without ever seeing the promises of God fulfilled, but his descendants DID see those promises fulfilled. Just because I don't see God's promises fulfilled in my lifetime or prayers answered in my lifetime, does not mean that God doesn't answer them!

I came to a point where I realized that I did not NEED to know why anymore, I just knew that I NEEDED God. Once my heart changed to needing God more than needing Him to answer my prayers, I could see that His answer was EXACTLY what I NEEDED! It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, but by far, the most beneficial thing that has ever happened in my life!

Now, I pray for God's will in everything and my prayers are ALWAYS answered because it is not dependent on what I want, but on what God wants. It is a VERY difficult journey of surrender, but what a blessing to be on the other end.

That's not to say that I don't still get frustrated and wonder why God does things the way that He does. It just means that He is Sovereign and I'm glad that He is! The world is much better off in His hands than in mine! :)

I'm not really sure if that answered the question as much as just giving another example? Nonetheless, I hope that it helps.

Rachel

His plan for us is not always our plan for us. Ever since becoming a parent, I have really related so much more to our Heavenly Father. Sometimes my answer is no to my son for reasons that he cannot understand at 2 years old. I feel the same way about our loving, kind Heavenly Father.

Joy Gross

WOW.. thank you for the wonderful incite from all of you.. I know this is true with all my heart.. but it is so hard to keep on track when you are in the middle of the pain.. I lost my mom 7 months ago and it feels like yesterday and I get upset with myself if I cry unexpectedly..

I truly have been trying to show everyone that I do believe in GOD but they must look at me like I don't really because I am in such despair. It is just that I miss her physical presence so much.

Leslie

Sometimes I've been told that I'm wise beyond my years... I like to think that it's God teaching me lessons. In my life I'm struggled with my relationship with my father. Two years ago I lost my great grandmother. I got to see her before she passed away, but the loss tore me apart. In the last two years the relationship with my dad has grown by miles!! I don't regret the journey, but thank God for the opportunities.

I think what you said was right on. God ALWAYS answers prayer, it's just not always the answer we want.

CathyC

Thank you Joanne for taking the time to answer my question. I truly appreciate it and did not expect it to become it's own post, but I am so glad that it did. Because not only did you give me sound advice that I can clearly see came straight from your heart, but I also received sound advice from 8 other (obviously wonderful and much more wise than I am) women whom I have never heard of or met. Ladies, I thank all of you. I know that I cannot possibly see the whole picture that God is looking at, and accepting that is hard. Joanne, I do take all the sorrow right back to God, but what I realize is that I haven't totally trusted that He knows what is best and that He has no intention of hurting me. Instead I kept thinking that I have the right answers. How stupid of me. Thank you for opening up my eyes. Good stuff. I can see why you are studying theology. And I can see why He led you to a public blog :) Thank you, thank you. Peace.

Heidi

Joanne...you have certainly done a great job nailing this issue on the head! I've also been struck afresh by how much Jesus was N-O-T the answer the Jewish leaders were wanting/hoping/praying for as their reigning, conquering messiah. And yet, he was the PERFECT answer...not just for them, but for the world. I've taken that more 'pulled back' perspective of late...letting go of 'expectations' or answers I believe are correct to occur...taking my eyes off the pain or anguish of the moment in my own little world and letting God be God in his eternal realm...trusting that if Jesus was the perfection of God's answer for us (which he absolutely was!!!!), then the answers for my prayers, no matter how they are answered, are for not only my eternal best, but also for all around me--far reaching beyond my present moment....TO HIS GLORY! Amen! Letting go of me and my little perspective is tough...so Cathy...you are not alone! :)

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