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ISimplicity have to admit.  This one was a little tough.  It isn’t that I’m an astonishingly complicated person it is just that what is simple is important to me.  It is one of the ways that I leave room in my life for God.  Chosing what to photograph wasn’t so much a matter of “I don’t have any ideas” as it was “I have too many ideas.”

I finally chose to photograph one of the shadow boxes I finally finished for our family room.  I have friends who move in and have all their art up and the house decorated in four weeks.  In comparison, I’m on geological time.

This shadow box contains an ammonite (lower) and a trilobite (upper).  They are two of the fossils that my now sixteen-year-old found when he went on a fossil hike as a grade schooler.  He slipped and sat down in a muddy creek and when I came to pick him up the teacher’s aide was worried that I’d be mad.  I still remember this young man trying to calm me down and Jared turned around to show off his mud — hips to ankles.

Our family room is full of simple treasures like this.  A sheet of mica from a geology class.  A mason jar of crystals from a hike.  Another full of shells from the beach.  All are simple treasures that remind us of the many blessings and experiences we have experienced in God’s world.  Gentle reminders about why we need to be good stewards.


A-Manifesto-for-A-Simple-LifeLate Saturday night, I saw a post on Facebook.  “A Manifesto for a Simple Life.”

It isn’t a Bible verse or a religious saying but it is powerful stuff.  I’ve seen the evidence.

Over the last few weeks, even amid the unrest in our immediate area, we’ve repainted the dining room, refinished the floors and moved out some of the furniture. The clutter is gone and you can walk around the entire table.  That’s right.  All the way around.

What have I noticed about this leaner, meaner dining room?  It’s where we want to be.  I’ve taken to printing manuscripts out and rewriting in the dining room. My son does his homework in there.  My husband sits and reads in the adjoining living room.  That’s where I now knit.

This de-cluttered space pulls us in.

What does this have to do with simplicity and prayer?  Amid protests and riots and screaming headlines, I’ve found it very difficult, if not impossible, to pray.  I’m just to full-up with the misery of it all to pray.  I’m blocked with emotional clutter.

But as we’ve opened up this space in our home, I can move away from the television and the computers.  As I spend time away from the roar, I decompress.  I breathe.  And as I breathe, I pray.

Have you been having trouble praying lately?  Then think about what might be cluttering up your heart and mind.  Maybe you’re in conflict with a coworker or there are problems at your child’s school.  Maybe you are frustrated because you’ve jammed up your schedule to the point that you’re late to everything.

I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy, but find yourself a spot that is uncluttered.  It might be a bench outside your office building.  Or you might sit on the ladder leading up to your kid’s play fort.  Find someplace uncluttered that you can just be.

Take the time to breathe.  As you breathe out, give your heartache and frustration over to God.  As you breathe in, pull in His Grace and His Love.  Don’t wait until you have a free hour.  Start with a free minute or two.  Spend this time breathing.  Spend this time with God.

You’ll be glad that you found at least a few uncluttered, simple minutes.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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