live simply. love extravagantly.

If you let it, a week in the mountains can do a lot. If you're open to it, it can make a lot of room for God to move and reshape and heal and breakdown. I walk away from my week in the Smokies desperate for one thing.


I want to live simply. I want to live without unhealthy ties to this world. I want to live with the outlook that I only get to do this life once, why spend it stressed out & bogged down? I want simplicity to spider out and touch every aspect of my life. I want it to root itself in my relationships so that all they're about is loving extravagantly and serving one other. I want it to eradicate all comparison and jealousy and bitterness, completely simplifying my bonds to people down to the way Jesus wanted them to look. I want to take stock of the people who have weathered every storm with me, and make sure they know how deeply I love them. I want to be real about the people who have been fair-weather, and not feel any bitterness because of it. But I also want to stop expending unnecessary energy on people who only instill doubt and uncertainty in my life. And I want to make sure J knows how thankful I am for him everyday, and allow simple to be a way we live our lives together.

A simple life is one in which the bad decisions of another person isn't something that ruins my day. It's a life in which I'm not bothered by what you think of me or my decisions. Being able to fully be myself with no apologies. Finally embracing the goofy, funny, free-spirited girl that's embedded in my DNA.  Not trying to impress anyone. Not doing things because I "feel like I'm supposed to". Unthreatened by other members of the female race to the point that I'm genuinely excited by their successes. Ideally, it'd start to get easier. Little by little, casting off the entanglements this world throws at us would begin to become more and more second nature. Comparing myself to every person I know would be a broken bad habit. Simplicity would take over. One of the most desperate cries of my heart right now is for a simple, unwritten life. I want to go out and do and be the person I was created to be, without believing the lies the world is whispering in my ear at every turn.

I wish this was going to be easy as pie. I wish there was a flippable switch that when turned made your life simple and basic.  I don't think it really works that way, unfortunately. And because I work well with lists and goals, Ive made a short [yet slightly daunting] list of things that I'm striving to do and not do, that thus far have begun simplifying my life. I know lists translate to "legalism" for some people, but I tend to swing about as far from legalistic as you can get and still get into heaven [joke]. I figured I'd share, maybe someone will adopt it and benefit as well.

Use Facebook & twitter less. I don't feel a need to quit completely, but being all up in everyone else's business doesn't exactly scream simple. Backing off my involvement in other peoples' opinions and drama gives me way more time to actually be present in the life that's flashing by.

Get to know yourself. We're so caught up in the hustle & bustle, a lot of us never get to really know our own hearts. And it's hard to love someone you don't know. Spend some downtime searching your heart with God.

Stop. Comparing. This is a huge one for me. I'm terrible about wishing I was someone other than myself, whether it be a celebrity or a friend or whatever. I'm the only person who's ever going to be me. Might as well be all in.

Really dig in with the people who love you well. You may be one of those people with like 10 best friends. Which is awesome. Dig into them, love them, let them love you. I, on the other hand, have about 4 that I sometimes accidentally suck with because I take them for granted. The people who expend the energy to really do life with you deserve the same in return. And spending time with people who truly love and cherish you will only push you to do the same for yourself. Deepen your relationship with the ones who love you exactly where you are right now.

You may read all of this and it leaves you empty. No harm, no foul, maybe next time. But I hope at least to a degree it makes you look at your life and see places that need simplifying. That it helps you see the ways that chilling out a little bit could be of great benefit. One by one, maybe we can make this a more simple place. 


kelly summers said...

Amen! I feel like I've seen this theme all over the place lately, and I love it. I like your list/steps, and I think they are really good ways to start.
I'm finding myself starting with our apartment. I know I'll be a lot happier and more at peace when I start to clear out the clutter and cut back on what we "need" in our home. I'm excited to hear about your journey!

Anonymous said...

Empty is the exact opposite of how this entry left me. More like exactly what my heart has been aching for and you just verbalized it. Right now I'm like "you're in public. Don't cry in public."
Jeez B, what an encouragement and a big ole-billboard from God this was for me!

Carmen Myer said...

Incredible post Blake!! Thanks thanks thanks for sharing your insight.

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