Is simplicity simple?

As we prepare to move country again we have to work through our belongings. Are we keeping, selling, or giving them away? I find the opportunity to purge my stuff refreshing. Although no matter how little the quantity we return with, we still have a bunch of possessions to work through that my in-laws are storing for us.

We try to hold to a value of simplicity. This helps us to hold our belongings with open hands and not to become too attached (hopefully). However it’s not just possessions that we choose to be intentional about but also relationships and time.

Our life here in South Africa has been simple. Our day off is generally spent as a family and we don’t go out in the evenings. Our days can be flexible as we negotiate child-care and working.  We’ve had to enforce healthy boundaries so that we can ‘switch off’ from being community focussed. We’ve developed a good balance to help us live a sustainable life although this changes depending on the season.

Moving back to Scotland means that we have started to consider what a life of simplicity will look like there. Our family, friends and neighbourhood will have different expectations of us. Our routines, work and community life will look different. And, of course, we’ll again be in the midst of western consumerism.

Simplicity allows us to prioritise what is important to us. Living a healthy lifestyle, having quality family time, valuing our friends, stewarding our money well, living out our vocations, and being part of our local community. We don’t always get it right and it will look different for each of us – it’s part of an ongoing intentionality.

I had a discussion with a spiritual director this year and he encouraged me to periodically think through my rhythms and lifestyle to ensure that they remain healthy. This transition is an obvious time for reflection and I hope that we will be deliberate in continuing to think through how to keep life simple.

Do you value simplicity? How are you intentional about it? How do you live it out?

Further Reading about Simplicity:

An article about the Benefits of Minimalism and one about What would you tell a young twenty-something about simple living.


3 thoughts on “Is simplicity simple?

  1. Gordie and I have spent a lot of time talking about simplicity in all areas of our lives. With the boys being that wee bit older, and with feet in different communities we are finding it’s not just about being intentional. It’s a real battle. We’re heading in the right direction though and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and experiences as we progress on our own wee journey xx

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Nicola. I agree simplicity takes more than intentionality. Sacrifice is a big part and possibly the hardest part of simplicity. Asking the question of what is necessary can take us places that we don’t want to go. Added to this is the challenge of negotiating the thoughts and feelings of the whole family. As we progress on the journey of simplicity we realise the need for grace. Grace with ourselves and with each other.

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