Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet Simplicity

During our trip to visit the Amish Farm and Home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in May, I realized that I have made my life quite complicated. Virtually everything I do is complex, from travelling, to working, to laundry. In touring the Amish Farm,and observing this wonderfully simple way of life, I realized that I have twisted my life-style in a way that may not be pleasing to my God.

Here are some photos of our ride in an Amish Buggy, a Horse and covered cart ride, really. My sister, Natalie, and her physician husband, Joe accompanied Blaine and me on this Learning Adventure (a Home School Field Trip, in which "the Teacher" discovered the greatest lesson).

So here is what the Lord taught me from this experience:
  • Keeping things simple really helps us enjoy our lives more...
  • I desperately need an understanding of simplicity.
  • God really doesn't want our lives to be super complicated.
  • The simple approach is also Jesus' approach to dealing with life.
Upon further reflection, I have made several discoveries. Did you know that the difference between being "simple", and being "complicated" is very obvious? To "complicate" means 'to make or become complex, to twist or become twisted together.' Complicated things are usually things that are hard to understand, or bewildering. Simple things, on the other hand are "composed of only one thing or part, not complex, but easy".
I believe that, in my life, at least, complication may be a work of the devil. I say this because Satan is the author of confusion (see Isaiah 51:7). The Devil hates simplicity in my life, because he knows the power, joy, and peace that it would bring to me.
Reader, if you have time, read Matthew 11:29. I have often laughed at this verse, and questioned my sweet husband as to what it really meant. Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly (humble) in heart, and you will find rest (relief, ease, refreshment, blessed quiet) for your souls. Wow, that sounds great, but how do I find this rest? It was in reflecting on God's word on the 45 minute drive home from Lancaster to my parents' home, and later discussing my observations with my sister, Natalie, and Joe, that I began to remember Jesus' words, and how I pondered them so many times in the past.
I am slowly coming to some understanding of all of this... Jesus, in Matthew chapter 11, was (is) saying that if I want to remain restful and peaceful in my thinking, my feelings, and my decisions, I need to identify and remember how He handled situations, dealt with people, and responded in situations. I have been asking God to give me the strength to follow Jesus' example in this.
So now, I am developing a new habit, and one which was learned from my own Lord and Savior... I ask the Lord, "What is the simplest approach to dealing effectively with this situation, as your own Son would have done?" Since the Holy Spirit God lives within me, I am quietly listening and searching the scriptures for His answer, as I know that He will guide me in all things.
God loves us SO much. He has a unique plan just for each one of us. He really doesn't want us to be completely miserable, but to enjoy the abundant Life He has provided. So for now, let us all relax, Seek His face regularly, and watch His plan unfold. He has definitely NOT told my everything I want to know at once, by in each situation I have faced since these things have been learned, and as I ask Him what to do, He has shown me! Brilliant! God is doing amazing things in our home and lives, as I pray He will do in other's lives. keep striving for simplicity, joy, and peace. And never give up!

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