Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simple Living

What does it mean to live simply?

I'm sure it means different things for different people, but I'd like to take some time to think about and write about what it means to me.

My first thought is that the word simple does not necessarily mean easy.

According to the dictionary, simple has several definitions.
  • easy to understand, deal with, use
  • not elaborate, plain
  • not ornate or luxurious; unadorned
  • unaffected; unassuming; modest
  • not complicated
I think all these definitions can be used to describe a minimalist lifestyle.

Easy to understand, deal with, use....
If you were to walk through our home, I think you would find that each room or space has a purpose ~ it's easy to understand.
  • We eat our meals together around our dining room table. We do not have a formal dining room reserved for special occasions. We have one table and we gather there three times a day for share our meals together.
  • All of our clothes share space in our family closet. We do not have to spend time delivering clean laundry to different rooms in the house, they all go in one space.

Not elaborate, plain....
  • Our windows are plain, without curtains
  • Even at Christmas our decorations are simple

Not ornate or luxurious; unadorned....
  • The only thing that is decorated or accessorized in our house is not a thing - it's my youngest daughter! Even I keep my accessories and adornments to a minimum. When my mom sees a plain white t-shirt she says, "Look's just your style."
  • In addition to minimalist window treatments, we have very few decorations in our house

Unaffected; unassuming; modest.....
  • We don't have a lot of furniture - no coffee tables, no end tables, no dressers, no nightstands

Not complicated.....
  • My kitchen is stocked with very basic appliances, nothing fancy. Plug it in, turn it on.
  • There are not many electronic gadgets to mess around with or try to figure out.
  • We celebrate birthdays as an immediate family -no big, complicated parties (yet).
  • We try to keep our extra-curricular activities to a minimum, keeping our schedule simple.

These are just a few examples, and I'm looking forward to reflecting on this definition more as I sort out what it means to live simply.

Which definition of simple resonates most with you?

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