Guest blogger Hartlee Kirk is returning this month for a series on Simplicity. I’m always encouraged by her fresh words, simply served and lived. Join me as we seek refreshment in our lifestyles and outlook.
Returning from an afternoon of shopping, you hear the sound of sirens growing louder. Turning the corner, you can not see your house because of the firetrucks lining the road. Bolting out the car door, you stumble on to what was once your landscaped front yard, hands and knees collapsing onto the ash and rubble you called home just that morning. Everything except for a couple of miraculous finds in the rubble vanished in a matter of hours.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 9:19-21
C.S. Lewis advises you “don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” But when the fire devastated our friends and not just another stranger on the news, this wisdom left a lump in my throat hard to swallow.
Around the time of this fire, I was reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and wanted to put Kondo’s magic to the test. During one of my husband’s off-shore work shifts, I passed the time alone by getting rid of anything that did not meet the guidelines of 1) bringing joy and 2) serving a purpose. Could tidying up really be life-changing? Closets and drawers were emptied, and what went back in were things I used and liked. That third spatula I’ve never used because it’s more flimsy than the others? The dress I wore pre-kids that isn’t practical to kneel down to change a diaper while wearing? Donated. As I trimmed down and organized my possessions, I experienced less decision fatigue, more clarity of mind, more time, and more joy.
With the amount of time spent on the presentation of our table settings and Pinterest farmhouse hack, it’s easy to forget that this world is not our home. Our eternal home is filled with the valuable treasures; the wonderful eternity that cost Jesus His life. How simpler our lives would be if we held loosely to the things that will eventually vanish, and kept focused on our calling to love God and love others. I believe that living intentionally with less could create space for what’s fireproof: time, relationships, and joy.
“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD.” Malachi 3:3
The area of simplicity is an area where God has been refining me over the past two years, and I am praying for discernment in the areas of our homes, daily rhythms, and relationships through this series of posts. If you feel overwhelmed, defeated, or embarrassed because of the grip your earthly treasures have on you, please take a moment and accept the gift of grace. We’re on the same team, with the same Coach. God wants you to experience freedom, abundance, and joy! The process of refinement might redirect your comforts and alter your mindset, but His purpose is always loving, and His plan is trustworthy.