Sunday, November 16, 2008

Welcome to the Simple Life

Simple is good. In living a simple life, our needs are met, and we are content. Our life is full, and we are able to focus on two very essential foundations of building a family - love and respect.
Simply put - Homeschooling builds families! Homeschooling is not essential to building a simple family life - love and respect is! Homeschooling, though, is a great advantage to having the time necessary to love your children and to respect them individually.

Don't casually read over those two essential foundations of your center life:

1) Love God, yourself, your spouse and your children

2) Respect God, yourself, your spouse and your children individually.

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and light. So many people have come up with complicated programs, techniques, steps to follow for building families. God's plan is easy and light.... it flows out of His grace and provided strength you receive in your personal walk with Him. At the core of every family is the need to love and respect.

A long list of rules, techniques, consequences, curriculums, programs, etc. are not at all needed. Moreover, these tend to complicate and confuse, to condemn and conform, to be cold and uncaring. We do not need behavior modification techniques in our marriage or parenting. We are raising human children created in the image of God, not Pavlov's dog. The attitudes of the soul precede all behavior.

We so try to complicate the littlest of things, instead of living a simple life. Am I loving and respectful? What a simple life question to live by in all circumstances! Not is it fair, is it enough, is it equal, is it acceptable, is it the current trend, is it popular! Am I acting and speaking and thinking with love and respect toward God, myself, my spouse, my children? This should be the first question of every Simple Life Family.

A simple life is a life that brings glory to God, period. Not a small period, that assumes since your life is simple, so it will not be able to in Christ have purpose or impact.

Just the opposite is true. Most often the simplest things in life have the most impact...a first kiss, "yes, Lord", a spring crocus in a snow, "I'm sorry", an apple, banana or blueberries, a cup of morning coffee, reading the Bible...just a verse at a time, a prayer for protection/guidance, listening for God to speak (be still), a bear hug of love, sharing laughter, witnessing a child's first steps or words, holding the hand of one your love, a clean shower or bath, "thank you", a walk in the woods, the first melting cookie from the oven (with glass of milk - of course), a smile of acceptance.... I think you understand.

It is all the beautiful simple things in life that add up over time to living a fulfilling, satisfying, joyful, meaningful life.

Simple isn't always the easiest, but it is the purest. A fresh loaf of bread - just milled, kneaded and baked - is the basic core of any diet, simplest of ingredients, full of vital nourishment for our body, and comforting to our soul. But baking home milled bread takes a few extra steps then opening a bag brought home from the store. Home baked bread is simple in ingredients, in meeting many dietary needs, in being a daily basis for any meal.... but it takes discipline and order in the home to have time and energy to make it.

It is not easy at all the say, "I forgive you" but it is a simple few words that releases two souls to move forward out of past hurt. This key part of a simple life is so important to showing love and respect. It is not easy in our effort to come to a point of forgiveness, but in Christ, He can say it so freely through us, helping us to see the positive ripple effect on so many lives.

My ability to live a simple life depends on my ability to rejoice in my weakness and receive God's sufficient grace, moment by moment. In my weakness, He is strong. This is easy but it is also so good, so God!
I have so many weaknesses, I need to rejoice, I have so many places for God to live out strongly through me. Where I am short, He fills in the need. When I have no more to give, nothing left, GLORY, God can come in and fill me up.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times
that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient
for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will
rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in
persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I
am strong."
God uses our very weaknesses to be our strengths, because weakness makes us rely on God for our strength. My greatest areas of weakness given over to God can be His strengths in me. It is a simple thing to say "When I am weak, He is strong." It takes no mustering up of strength, great effort on my part, figuring out how to perform, making it work.... simple life depends on my ability to surrender my weaknesses to be filled with His Strength!
Welcome to the Simple Life! Welcome to a life filled with love and respect. Take a deep cleansing breath and move forward.... the simple life, your simple life is waiting for you.

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