Milk and Honey magazine ideas to have a simpler, calmer, less anxious life!

A Simpler Life

Becca/Onederfully Created

I want to live a simpler life.

One where I’m not constantly diverting my eyes to the screen of a device that fits in the palm of my hand. One where I’m not pressuring myself to find words of greatness before I can pen them onto a page. One where I’m not left searching for connectivity in a blur of online perfectionism. One where I can be content in the everyday moments, instead of in searching for greater and bigger and better.

I don’t want to look back on my life in ten or twenty or thirty years and see that my existence was defined by all nouns. By people, places, and things. Don’t get me wrong, I love the people in my life. I love them dearly. I love adventures and culture and seeing new places. And quite honestly, I’m thankful for a soft pillow to rest my head on at night, for a food processor that takes the pain out of chopping vegetables, for this laptop that allows me to pound out words as they come to my mind, and for a bathtub where I can soak on those days that I know I need some recovery.

But I don’t want my life to be defined by any of those things. Intead, I want to look back on my life and know that I loved well. Love is more than a noun, it’s more than a verb. It’s a word that holds incredible power, because love can change lives. God is love, and it’s this love I want to share with anyone and everyone around me. I want to love God, and because I love God, I want to love people.

Yet more and more I’m finding that I struggle to love well when I’m surrounded by a sea of distractions.

I’m in the middle of a conversation with my sweet husband, and the buzzing of my phone in my pocket steals my attention. I look down at the screen. “Just a second,” I say. “I have to take this.”

I’m at dinner with friends, yet I can’t seem to ignore the flashing light of the television in the background. It’s just an advertisement but it’s the next best thing and my interest is piqued. Just when I already thought I had everything I needed, the greatest marketers come along and tell me how wrong I was.

I’m teaching my kindergarteners at school and I hear the subtle tick-tocking of the clock on the back wall. Do I have time to get through today’s lesson? Or are the constant interruptions going to push us over the edge? How many more minutes until the end of the day? And what am I doing after school? Am I going straight home, or did I need to stop at the grocery store for something? The questions go on and on, and I find myself not to be present at all.

My family is here for the weekend and I want to talk about life with them, now that we can actually do it in person. But I have music playing from YouTube on the TV, and some of those music videos are real cinematic experiences now. So our life talks get pushed back, because I need to know how things end for these fictional characters in this three-minute video clip.

Phones. TV. The passing of time. Music. Technology and media and advertisements and all of them just keep growing. We consume more and more. We need bigger and better. We get phones and computers younger and younger. I mean, good grief, so many of my five and six-year-old students have phones! I was a junior in high school when I got my first cell phone, and it was about the size of my thumb and still heavy as a brick. Times are changing, and they’re changing quickly.

I’m not trying to say that technology is evil. I do believe there are major concerns, but there are also beautiful benefits.

All I’m saying is that I want to live a simpler life.

Life is chaotic, but it doesn't have to be. Jesus offers peace. He offers a simpler way of living. Here are my thoughts on the simplicity Jesus invites us to.

I want to love more and be distracted less.

I want to notice the people in my life (and those I’ve never met before) who are hurting. I want my eyes to be open to great pain as well as great joy. I want to cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh. I want to be interruptible.

There’s beauty in being interrupted, when you’re being interrupted by the right things.

Jesus was interrupted a lot during his ministry on earth. In fact, I’d say most of his miracles came from times of interruption. His mother interrupting him at a wedding party to say the wine had run out. The royal official who begged Jesus to come and heal his sick son. A man with leprosy who fell to his knees before Jesus to ask for healing. The disciples waking him in the boat because they thought they would drown in the storm. Men lowering their paralyzed friend through the roof of a home so he might be healed by Jesus. The woman who touched the edge of Jesus’s cloak so that her bleeding could finally stop.

And the list goes on.

Jesus didn’t set out with a list of miracles to accomplish for that day. He let the opportunities come to him.

And he didn’t turn any of these people down. He didn’t tell his mother that the party would just have to come to an end. He didn’t ignore the royal official or the man with leprosy. He didn’t ignore his disciples’ cries of fear. He didn’t scold the men for interrupting him by coming in through the roof. And he didn’t withhold healing from the woman who touched his cloak.

Jesus was interruptible. He lived in the small moments, and in doing so, he loved largely. Jesus was in tune to his Father’s will, and he simply let his Father lead him from one place to the next, fully human and fully God.

He simply let his Father lead.

If we simply let our Father lead us, I sincerely believe life starts to look a lot different. We stop constantly feeling that pull to look back down at a screen. We stop pressuring ourselves to be enough. We stop looking for connection in false places. We stop striving for what is bigger and better and more exciting.

Instead, we are driven to a new purpose. We find that we have nothing to prove, for we have already been proven in Christ. Christ is enough, because we are not. We see our connectivity in the community where God has placed us. We live our most beautiful lives in the smallest moments.

The truth is, our world is a chaotic place. It’s painted with the beauty of God’s creation, but we humans have brought in a whole lot of ugliness. And so the world is filled with brokenness, selfish desires, war, hatred, and a myriad of other junk that was never meant to be here amidst God’s perfect creation.

Our world is messy, loud, overwhelming, and it’s no surprise we’re feeling anxious and afraid. But none of those words that define the world have to describe us when we’re loving Jesus. Our lives don’t need to be messy, loud, and overwhelming. We don’t have to be anxious and afraid.

Because Jesus.

Grammatically, I know that’s not a complete sentence, but at the same time it’s one of the most complete sentences I know. Because Jesus and but Jesus.

I used to be dead in my brokenness, but Jesus. I used to be trapped in my fear and anxiety, but Jesus. I used to see nothing but the limitations of my own mind, but Jesus.

Now I can live my life fully alive, free, and open to the most beautiful possibilities because Jesus. Because Jesus has redeemed me. Because Jesus has freed me from my sins. Because Jesus’s plans for my life are much better than my own.

Because Jesus.

And since Jesus is my because, I want to live my life modelled on how he lived his life. Jesus lived an interruptible life, but not interruptible in a bad way. He wasn’t distracted by things that don’t matter. He let people and love take his attention, no matter where he was headed or what mission that day held. Jesus lived in the moment. He didn’t dwell on the past, and though he was aware of the future, he didn’t dwell on that either.

Jesus lived what I would call a simpler life, and so I want to do the same.

Becca loves Jesus, my husband Seth, our family, and Georgia – not the state, our havoc-wreaking Beagle mix. She's a big fan of traveling, hiking, eating peach pie, nything that involves adventure, and managing her blog – Onederfully Created. She's always up for a quick tennis match on rollerblades or a lap around the park on a unicycle. Also, she have one arm. For most of her life, she wouldn’t have mentioned that last part, but read here to learn how she turned her story into a way to spread the good new of Christ.

*Leigh G Photography