I've been trying to discern what it means to live a simple life;
or more specifically,
how to to live a simple life.
I am compelled by it.
But, I just can't seem to figure it out.
What exactly does it mean to live a simple life?
What exactly do I need to do, to live a simple life?
I feel like if someone could just tell me the rules for living a simple life,
I could do it.
The problem is,
while I have read so many articles,
and am in the process of reading "The Freedom Of Simplicity" by Richard Foster,
it seems there are no rules.
Living a simple life is more than just something that you do.
Living a simple life is something that you espouse.
And, there-in lies the problem.
I don't know how to do that.
It seems living a simple life is anything but simple.
This evening though,
I think I may have had a bit of an epiphany.
our dishwasher has been on the fritz for a month and and a half.
Let me just get this off my chest.
Why is there not a dishwasher repairman living in this town???
am I the only person in this town who has a dishwasher that might need be fixed?
Can it be, that I am the only one who doesn't know how to fix a dishwasher?
Is it even feasible to think that one Thursday a week is sufficient to fix all of the broken dishwashers?
No people, it is not!
I know this,
because, I was put on a waiting list for TWO WEEKS,
then, on the day he was supposed to be here,
he was so busy that he had to cancel my appointment
and I had to wait until the following Thursday for him to come.
He FINALLY got here last week,
looked at the dishwasher and said,
"You need a new pump. I'll order one and call you when it comes in."
So, I'm still waiting.
you all know what that means,
I've been washing dishes by hand.
Folks, I'm actually doing dishes the old-fashioned way.
Here's the thing though.
I don't hate it.
I thought I would,
but, I don't.
In a weird way, it's sort of been therapeutic;
standing there with my hands in warm, soapy water;
watching the pile of dirty dishes slowly diminish
while the sink filled with clean dishes slowly grows larger.
It's very rewarding.
And it's funny;
as I've been washing dishes,
I've been thinking about my Gram.
She loved washing dishes.
as a young teen, it seemed that way to me.
When she would visit us,
she never wanted to use the dishwasher.
She always felt that she could do them better.
(She was right!)
She knew that she could definitely do them faster.
And she never complained about doing them.
She would pass me a dish towel and instruct me to dry as she washed,
or vice-versa sometimes.
But, there we would stand,
until the dishes were done.
At the time, I never really enjoyed it.
as I look back,
what I wouldn't give to be able to stand at the sink with my grandmother, washing dishes.
Last night, washing dishes was the last thing I wanted to do.
I had a host of other things that needed doing;
that I was behind on.
But, the dishes needed doing first.
(My daughter had a ton of homework, otherwise she would have been doing them!)
So, after some initial inner grumbling,
I settled into the task.
I stood there at the sink and washed the dishes.
In that moment, it was all I could accomplish.
I decided not to worry about all the other things that needed doing.
I pushed all the other stuff,
all the chaos,
out of my mind,
and washed the dishes.
And, I thought of my Gram.
And there came my epiphany.
This is simplicity.
Singleness of mind.
Singleness of purpose.
It is being where you are.
Not just physically,
and emotionally as well.
This is how I want to live my life.
I want to be, really be, where I am.
What if we decided to practice being where we are?
If we are buying groceries,
why don't we be at the grocery store?
Rather than hating the process,
Why don't we embrace it?
We are there physically,
so why shouldn't we be there mentally and emotionally as well?
Why don't we enjoy the process?
Why don't we look at people?
I mean, really look at them?
We have no idea what a simple smile could mean to someone.
We have no idea what a simple word of acknowledgement could do for someone.
And you never know the interesting people you could meet!
(Like the sweet lady I talked about this post, A Limey Solution!)
we have no idea whose day we could make,
simply by being in the moment.
Isn't that what life consists of?
Little moments, here and there,
all wrapped up in a little package called life?
wouldn't it be better if we enjoyed the moments we are in,
whatever they may be,
rather than wasting them by wishing we were someplace else?
Once those moments are gone,
we can never get them back.
And each moment is precious.
Every single one.
Whether you are holding and nursing your baby,
or attending your son's graduation......
Whether you are practicing guitar for the up-coming worship service,
or stocking shelves at the grocery store,
or putting gas in your car,
or lingering over a cup of coffee with your best friend,
or hand washing dishes at your kitchen sink,
Be there fully,
in body, (obviously!)
and in mind.
Don't throw away the moment just because you wish you wish you were somewhere else.
whatever it may be,
and it's a part of your life.
Live it it the fullest.
This is simplicity.
Singleness of mind.
Singleness of body.
Singleness of heart,
Because one day,
your Gram will be gone,
and you'll wish for one more moment to be with her,
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