The Power of Simplicity

I just finished listening to Pastor Sheryl Brady teach on having a “Healthy Heart.” One of the points she made was to keep things simple. I can admit that this has always been an issue for me, but the last few months have taught me to not only acknowledge it, but to practice it. Not an easy task for someone who tends to be a perfectionist, which often times leads to repetitive actions just to get a certain result. It is a process as it requires one to break old habits, which requires some self-awareness of how and why you gained those habits in the first place. So I want to briefly share my own process of simplicity and point out a few things that we should all be mindful of, as too much of something can sometimes be a hindrance to us reaching our greatest potential in life.

From 2004-2009, I managed to obtain 3 degrees, nonstop. In late 2010, I began work as an instructor at a career college. In 2011, I decided to enroll into a doctoral program in education. Fast forward two years later- A sista’ was tired. Stressed out to the max with health issues and just mentally and physically drained. It was a feeling that I’d never experienced before, as I’ve always had the mentality to keep going no matter what. But at some point, I had to break down and just confess to God that it was all too much. Solving the too much in my mind, however, was to find another job not as demanding. But ohhhhh….our plans are not always what God has planned. I did in fact get a break not too long after when I was let go from my job and nothing else in line to replace it….So fast forward again to around February or so of this year….Still no job (since November)…. ‘Lord…What am I to be gaining from all of this? I know what I asked for, but now I feel helpless. I don’t know what my next move should be. I don’t know how to find balance. I either overdo or underdo…blah, blah, blah…’

When you find yourself at this point, this is where, I believe, one realizes the need to set simplicity as one of the cornerstones of life’s foundation. When you are in a moment of brokenness and at a point of assessing where you failed. What went wrong? How did you get to this point in life? When all that you thought you were and should be is not who God wants you to be. How do you go from constant moving to just sitting? Even more so, as it is not just a physical task, but a mental task, how does one learn to be still?

A few things that causes us to forget simplicity:

  • When our life becomes crowded with to-do lists, activities, functions, and work-related tasks, we become complacent to the dangers of life. We lose our guard or sense of security. A crowded space is hard to see through. Things are fuzzy, not always clear and directions become lost. Sometimes we feel we have a handle on our schedule, and probably at some point that is true, but over time it gets away from us.
  • When we become complacent to the dangers in life, we open the gateways for the enemy to come into our life and it slowly maneuvers throughout certain parts of our being and gains control. It begins with our thoughts, our actions and eventually affects our relationships with others.
  • When the enemy enters because we forgot to maintain guard, because we felt the need to keep up with a world on the fast track, or because we forgot that we are not invincible to being victimized, he takes over in a way that leads to a path of destruction.
  • Have you noticed a change in your life that is not for your good? Have you noticed any change in communication patterns between your spouse and children?  Does it seem like there is just not enough time in the day to get things done which often leads to working late nights, which, if you have a family, now leaves them without. It doesn’t matter that a babysitter is available, your husband or wife, or your significant other. They are not you and could never give what only you were equipped to give to your family and even friends.

We often wonder where we lost time or how things got so bad. If you can stand a little hard truth about your own insecurities, then that is where you will find your answers. Many times we find ourselves in certain positions because we want to please others (even when we don’t wish to admit it), we feel the need to meet certain expectations, and we feel obligated to take on certain responsibilities. There are a number of reasons to attribute to our moment of breakdown, but there is only one way to overcome it.

Understanding simplicity, practicing simplicity, and maintaining it takes time, but saves so many people from so much unnecessary hurt. I believe it could save so many marriages and keep more homes together. I shared the things that causes us to lose focus of simplicity, but now I want to share what simplicity brings to your life:

  • A greater understanding of who you are (flaws and all). Changing what you can and accepting the things that just are. Understanding who and what to let go of and what to keep.
  • A sense of peace like you’ve never felt before. Peace in your mind. Peace in your home and peace in your relationships.
  • A closer relationship with God, your Father. Simplicity calls for one to be still, which allows you to better hear what God is speaking into your life. A closer relationship with God changes former thought processes and the need to please others for fear of rejection. A closer relationship with God will change your life in ways you never thought were possible. Things that never made sense before make perfect sense now.

During one of the WNBS, the pastors were discussing taking back control of your home (something of that nature) and one of the guests questioned how. So now I want to leave you with just a few ideas to bring simplicity back into your life. Admittedly, it can be a challenge, but if restoring joy and happiness is your ultimate goal for you and your family, I’m certain that you will find a way.

  • Create a list of all of your responsibilities and determine which ones you could delegate to someone else, even if you have to teach them.
  • What activities are you involved in that you could really do without?
  • Clarify the things you need in life versus the things you want in life.
  • Create a realistic schedule that all members of your family can adhere to so that there is more family time.
  • Decide on your limits and boundaries. I/We will do this. I/We will not do this.
  • Commit to your decisions to change with some method of accountability.
  • Something that I’ve been implementing in my own life that is often mentioned or talked about but hardly ever carried out and that is choosing a day to observe the Sabbath (a rest day). This is not a catch-up day (another reason for setting boundaries, so that everything is done within 6 days). It is to be a day when you allow time to be still. To converse with and hear from God. To thank him for all that you have. To get a clear understanding of what your next steps should be. Something may have happened during the week that you need more clarification about. This is that time. To just enjoy your family, but in a way that it does not become a distraction to you being at one with God. Set aside individual time and then family time.
  • Lastly, probably the hardest part….Communicate your changes to others. Be prepared for good and bad responses.

Now for a quick recap of Pastor Brady’s “Healthy Heart” lesson:

  1. Possess authority
  2. Understand self-reservation
  3. Understand the importance of eliminating strife
  4. Practice being satisfied/content
  5. Understand the power of simplicity
  6. Understand the need to be separated
  7. Contain stubborn peace

Blessings to all that take the time to read this, as I am one who truly understands how hectic life can be, how important we seem to feel with so many responsibilities, and yet how damaging it can be to one’s health and relationships. Lord, God, you know of those in need of reading this, whose heart this needs to touch. So I pray that something shared will have a profound impact upon their life that they will do more than think of what to change, but act upon it. Lord, I pray your will be done as it is forever greater than we could ever will for ourselves. Whatever direction you need them to go, whatever their purpose to fulfill, I pray your strength over them every minute of every hour of every day. The road will not be easy, but Lord, your love, your faithfulness, and your grace are abundant in many ways to see them through whatever the situation may be. In the name of your sweet son, Jesus, I pray, Amen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s