Today I have a guest post from Jenni talking about her simple living. Thanks so much for sharing today Jenni!
It’s not popular to question the status quo…it’s weird even. It’s rare to consider a slower pace of life or hop off the hamster wheel of busyness. However, in an attempt to not lose our minds or relationships with one another, our family has begun opting for slowness and simplicity.
Last year my journal was totally depressing. It was filled with pages lamenting about the busyness of life, complaining that I was constantly running on empty. Our lives were way too full and the daily schedule was suffocating. On the outside, most days I was holding it together–but the inner turmoil was crushing. I felt defeated…like a bad mom, a bad trainer, a bad wife, a bad friend, a bad daughter/sister…you name it…I felt BAD.
On paper we had a great life! Unfortunately we had filled our lives with so many things we loved–we were losing a bit of ourselves in the process. It was all good stuff…just too much good stuff!
Where was there time to rest? To play? To look my children in the eyes and truly listen? To go for a walk after dinner or hold hands with my husband? The answer: there was none and I was coming undone.
I began to wonder how in the world I could ever find relief because I KNEW this was not life I wanted. I saw others that lived simply and I began to long for their lives. They ate meals at the dinner table with their family, they had gardens, their houses were clean, and they did thoughtful intentional things for others because they had time to do so. They also appeared to have more patience with their kids and were not rushing through bedtime routines because they had 20 other things to check off the list before they themselves went to bed. Their lives were not boring. They were sane.
So I did something that made absolutely no sense–but all the sense in the world: I decided to cut my workload in ½. The decision was not easy as it affected my relationship with clients and our financial bottom line. But that one decision created an immediate sense of relief, peace, and slowness in our home that we had not felt in years. My relationship with my kids and my hubby improved exponentially.
This “simple” choice was the catalyst for a whole new mentality in our home. One that focused on simplicity. The next year the tempo in our home changed as did our mentality. We looked for other ways to simplify: we pulled the plug on cable, took a hard look at our finances, and reduced our children’s activities.
Chasing slowness and simplicity is addictive. Once you get a taste you want more. I began reading books on slowness and eliminating excess. Enter Lorilee Lippincott. I read 321 Stop and immediately began purging our home of “stuff” that was creating clutter and was stealing our time. When given the chance to be a part of her launch team for Simple Living I was thrilled as I knew this would be another awesome opportunity to learn about less being much more!
Slowness and simplicity have created margin in our lives. I’m learning that simplicity = availability, and availability leads to full life. Lives that we were ultimately meant to give away. Living simply allows us to do just that!
Our family is on the journey—we have not arrived but I am passionate about this subject and excited to see where God is going to take us as we simply surrender. It is humbling to write about all of the ways that I have missed it. But I believe that growth happens when we own our actions as well as share them with others so that they might avoid some of the potholes we hit along the way!
May You Be A Blessing and May You Be Blessed, Jenni
Bio: Jenni is the mom of 3 amazing kiddos (8,6, and 4) and married to her best friend. She is a personal trainer with a passion for helping women learn to eliminate excuses and fuel their bodies with healthy foods. Most importantly, she is a child of God who is a life long learner and is thankful that grace abounds…because she is in desperate need of daily doses! In an attempt to stay connected to a ministry with former high school girls, as well as current clients and friends she shares a cup of coffee when nudged or inspired at 100 Cups of Coffee .
Thanks so much for sharing Jenni! Do you have a story you want to share? Contact me