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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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  • On Jan. 11, Joanne suffered a major stroke. She is now at home and continues on the journey to recovery.

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Kimberly

Wish I was closer to come. Contentment is so key. When I find myself content in a difficult situation I realize it is not me in my flesh but the work of the Holy Spirit in me. Hope to see pictures of your school room too...sound like you will be homeschooling next year too.

Megan

Joanne,
I haven't commented in so long but I still come over and catch up on what you're doing every so often. I just thought I should tell you what an encouragment you continue to be to me. I just love the way you live life--I don't know how to explain it exactly,but I think the post you wrote about why you let Audrey dye her hair pink pretty much sums it up--you live for Christ and don't make up boundaries that don't need to be there. I just find reading what you write so.....refreshing.
Just thought you should know.

Gretchen

I so agree with Kimberly above - when I find myself content in a hard time it isn't me but the Holy Spirit working in me. One thing that does help is not always asking "why?" or searching for the "why?" in a difficult situation because in some things we just won't ever know why. I sometimes think that if I had that answer that it would be easier to be content. I know that in reality it would not make contentment easier. I think trust is also key to being content in whatever situation God allows in your life - trusting GOD. Of course, in hard times it is harder to trust. Sometimes all God wants if for me to WANT/DESIRE contentment instead of fighting the situation and just wanting it to change. When I rest in Him, and ask HIM to help me to be content or even to give me the desire to accept HIS will then He brings about contentment. I hope this all made sense.

Brynn in CO

Reading Gretchen's comment reminded me of the 1st (I think) chapter in "Living Simply." I found so much more contentment in my role as SAHwife&mom when I conciously thought "Why do I do this chore?" If the answer was valid I found so much more contentment in doing the task, instead of just hating the work.

wendy

I am reading a great novel called Quaker Summer, which talks a lot about discontentment of women in the burbs. It is a great read and really making me think - what is wrong with me! Why I am so discontent when I have been blessed so richly! Oh how I wish I could hop on a plane and be at your class! Can you plan a retreat this summer for me to come too! :) Miss you!

Monica

Read this quote recently and it was like a punch in the stomach.

Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little, or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all there is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like its flavor, or because some one else has silver to one's own glass, is to lose the contents; and that is the penalty, if not the meaning of discontent. No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like, if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment,--to have the most and best in life, by making the most and best of what we have.
- Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Beth

Some time back, one of our church leaders counseled us to keep a journal of the ways that we see the hand of the Lord in our lives each day. We were counseled to ask for help seeing His blessings during our day, and then to sit quietly before our evening prayer and review the day, searching for places where the Lord's hand was made evident. Our leader told us that if we would give thanks daily for the things we saw, and then to write them down, that we would be blessed to see more. I have done that now for about a year and it has made a huge difference in my life. I highly recommend it! My level of contentment is up significantly, and when I am discontented, I find myself reading my gratitude journal and feeling very humbled at the great blessings that I enjoy. It cures my grumbles almost immediately!

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