we live in a world that has so many choices. we have endless options of how to spend our money, and even how much money we have to spend. we have countless activities we could be a part of and entertainment constantly at our fingertips. the time we live in is so much different than any time in history, and yet i am not sure if we live as fully as generations before us.
we have been reading the little house on the prairie books as a family during our school time. over and over again i am blown away by how simple they lived. by simple, i don't mean life was easy by any stretch of the imagination - they worked incredibly hard at everything they did and for everything they had. what i mean by the simple life they lived is their girls had two dresses each and one set of shoes. they were delighted when there was one bag of candy in their christmas stockings. fabric to make a new dress was a significant event that laura remembered years later when she wrote the books. the girls entertained themselves for hours outdoors, and learned many crafts and skills that i am just learning how to do in my adult years. their pa playing the violin at night was delightful because of the absence of so many distractions and other means of entertainment.
we have chosen to purposefully limit our family in certain ways in attempts to simplify our very full life. we are still by no means close to what i read about in these books. a couple ways we have simplified are the elimination of the option of credit cards and the absence of a television in our home. i have been so thankful for how these two little things have forced us to choose to live a simpler life in the midst of a world of so many choices and different options.
small self-imposed limitations have had enormous effect on my heart. i am more thankful after waiting on a purchase because of the absence of the instant gratification of spending on credit. we are more purposeful in how we use our time than if we had the option of tv to fill the time and silence (silence, in a house of 6 kids? who am i kidding. what is that?!).
are these things innately wrong? no. however, i find so many people think our family is amazing because we chose to survive without them. many have a hard time imagining how they could do so as well. we are not amazing. really, whenever we limit our options in any area of life it may seem intimidating at first, but it opens us up to enjoy what we have and do in such a fuller, deeper way.
it is like the ingalls girls opening their bag of candy once a year and savoring each taste. they experienced the sweet delight of sugar on their tongues in a way i don't know if i have ever experienced. in our day and age, we eat so much sugar we have almost lost the taste of its sweetness. in our culture we have so many options it sometimes dulls us to enjoy life the way we could.
the journey towards simplicity is one that i give thanks for. it isn't easy to try to live counter-culture, but i love the fruit it produces in my heart. simplicity causes my heart to give thanks for sweet moments in life that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
want to read more of my 31 days of thanks? just click on the box below - it is that simple.