Thursday, November 16, 2006

simplify

I was going through my journals from earlier this year and found this entry written at the beginning of January. With the holidays fast approaching and a new year upon us, I thought I would share these thoughts.


I love to know the meaning of words. To go behind the word and find out what it is really saying. "simplify" is a new word in my life for this new year. It became the theme of our packing and preparing for our cross-country move from California to Iowa during the last part of 2005. I hope I can hang on to it. I was given one of those metal signs with the word "simplify". I currently have it displayed in my home as a sweet reminder of this season. According to Webster the word means - to reduce to basic essentials. It comes from the root word "simple" which again according to Webster means - free from guile, free from vanity, free from ostentation. And ok if you are thinking what I was...what does guile and ostentation mean. Well, according to Webster guile means - deceitful, cunning or duplicity. Ostentation means - excessive display. and of course vanity means something that is empty or valueless. So to sum it all up....Simplify (in my own words)

1. reduce to basic essentials....if you don't need it...don't keep it....give it away.

2. free from guile....be honest in EVERYTHING!

3. free from vanity....if there is no eternal value in something....don't place value on it.

4. free from ostentation....don't be pretentious.

I can break it down even further....

1. Don't let the clutter of life rob you of the joy we have with those around us.

2. Integrity starts in the home. If we are not honest our kids won't be honest.

3. Take care of what will last forever first...and than find the right balance in taking care of things.

4. Don't exaggerate the truth...or try to impress with stuff. Worry only about the One who matters most.

Wow, we have so many opportunities in our life to "simplify". Shortly after we moved into our home, I was putting away some of my things in a little curio cabinet. I had just finished and shut the door when my almost one year old at the time, Coleman toddled over to the cabinet door and began banging on the glass. Before I could turn around and remove him I heard a crash of glass. Coleman was fine. One of the shelves wasn't secure enough and everything on that shelf had come crashing down. The only thing that broke was our wedding glasses. I had an instant opportunity to be mad, sad, or a wild combination of both. But instantly I thanked the Lord that Coleman was not hurt and realized that although very sentimental..(they had our wedding date and names on them) they had sat in that cabinet for nearly 20 years and no one had ever looked at them or even used them. What would my children want most when we are gone.... the wedding glasses...or the understanding and knowledge and experience that their parents loved each other very much? You guessed it the latter.

6 comments:

Kim said...

This post really spoke to me....simplify is a good word. I desire to make things that matter be the things that matter...does this make sense?....You did that with the glasses....thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

Yes, Kim this makes total sense to me. I have spent too many years concerned about things that don't matter. Especially when my older kids were little

Heth said...

I love how you reacted to Coleman. Great reminder Chris!

Wendy said...

Great post! I want the same, to focus on the things that really matter in life.

Kelly said...

Loved your post. Simplicity has become a huge "creed" for me. With all the chaos and clutter of our culture, we have to make conscious decisions to make this happen. Thanks for sharing!

cnemom said...

I enjoyed reading your blog today. Glad I found you from Kina! I especially liked this post about "Simplify". It really spoke to my heart. I now have a pretty little note on my fridge that says "Take care of what will last forever first..."
Thank you for such a meaningful post!