Today's post is written by Alysa of Kitchen Fellowship. I'm introducing you to some of my online favorites while I take a bit of a maternity leave. I love Alysa's passion for fellowship, her knowledge of the kitchen, and her abundant ideas to bring those two together in a beautiful life-giving combo. Enjoy!
A Year of Simple Living
Trina’s blog is all about living simply with purpose where you are. So what does that look like? When you’re finally living a simplified life? A life of freedom?
A year ago I quit my “day job” to focus on my own business and work from home. I very deliberately extricated myself from extracurriculars: the volunteer jobs that people expected me to do but left me joyless, the obligations I normally say “yes” to, the invitations too contrived, inauthentic gatherings.
I pressed into all things focused and simple. And boy did it feel incredible! Euphoric even. As the frenzied pace of my life slowed there was room for all that was important and meaningful.
But after a year -- strange questions started to surface. I felt funny. A bit unmoored. I wondered if my purpose was significant even if I wasn’t doing much. Because I had let activities and things (partially) define who I was for far too long, my identity began to feel shaky.
The other day my neighbor appeared to be readying his property for a poured cement driveway. The wood forms were in place. At a snail’s pace, he dug the grass out. And I sat sipping my coffee thinking, ‘I should go help him dig.’ Mostly because I couldn’t stand the painfully unhurried progress he made. That has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.
Where does this come from?
It’s Time to Unlearn ‘Doing’ & Relearn ‘Being’
Maybe we’ve existed far too long in our overfilled schedules and overpacked lives. Maybe we’ve trained up our kids this way. Have we embraced this system for validation and worth and judged others by it too? Has it made an impression on us and sapped our ability to quickly grasp how beautiful and purpose-filled simple can be?
A friend of mine recently retired. Her biggest qualm arises when folks pointedly ask her, “So now that you’re retired, what do you DO?” As if a life devoid of doing is incomprehensible.
And when people ask me how things are going I’ll respond with, “Great. A little slow.” Their remarks usually take some form of, “We need to find you something to DO.” As if slow is atrocious. If “busy” is the only acceptable remark when someone asks how you are. Comments like that momentarily made me feel that simple and slow weren’t acceptable ways to live.
Psychologist David G. Benner says, “You are a human 'being'. Not a human 'doing'. Your worth lies in who you are, not what you do or how you are seen by others.” Talk about a freeing statement.
Can we consciously agree to ease back on the pressure we put on ourselves and others to DO? Especially when we’re leaning into a simplified life?
Your Purpose will Morph
When you put on the breaks and halt the flurry of trivial (or even good) activity in your life, you might feel pangs of strangeness. Twinges of oddity after the bliss of your new found freedom.
This is a perfect time to be grateful for your purpose and giftings. Although they may be used in different capacities as you slow down, know that the core of your being will still make a difference in this world. Your peace and your presence will impact those around you and by doing less, you’ll be more.
Christ Your Foundation
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11-12
This has been my prayer to God in this time of simplicity, “Let me delight in slow. Let me embrace simple and sparse. Let me enjoy the steady quiet pace and know you more each day.”
Slow is okay. Slow is meaningful. Slow is purpose filled. Not because of anything we do but because in Christ -- we live our purpose.
for more from alysa:
website | Kitchen Fellowship
twitter | @kitchfellowship