I had to give up naps. Don’t get me wrong, I love naps. I had been taking naps since high school. Afternoon naps were what got me through college and all of the late nights. Naps were my lifeline while I was a new mom with an infant. Naps were my saving grace when I had my second newborn and a toddler.
My life has revolved around nap time for seven years now. It still does, but I no longer make the choice to sleep during nap time. Are naps good for moms? YES! Are naps what is best for moms? Sometimes, NO. Naps are not what is best for me right now.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days I do chose to sleep. Actually, just this past week I decided to sleep during those “Sacred Two Hours” of my day. I was feeling under the weather with a cold or allergies or both. Either way, for that day a nap for mom was what was best.
But most days during nap time, I fix me a cup of coffee or pour a diet pepsi and plop in the earphones. Chosing what is best sometimes means saying no to good things.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB) – “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
Don’t let Satan trick you. A busy schedule and a restless heart is NOT how God designed the Christian life. Paul clearly says our devotion to Christ is marked with simplicity.
“Abiding is not an activity; it is a lifestyle…..Abiding allows the Lord to bring interesting people, worthy activities and valuable things into my life in the right way, at the right time, and for His purpose.” (Cynthia Heald)
Our life does not have to be complicated. Simple is truly best. In our hearts we can feel the truth in those words. Will you join me in discovering how to find a life of simplicity?*
Six Steps to Simple Living
1. Accept His Grace – God is calling you, dear friend to find a life full of simplicity. You do not have to wonder if it is God’s will for you to be at rest and find peace in your life. (Psalm 127:1-2; Isaiah 30:15; Matthew 11:28-30) Rest that you don’t have to do anything to earn His love.
“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” ~ St. Augustine of Hippo
2. Consistency with Devotions – Putting Christ first in your life is the key to a life of simplicity. Through your time of devotions you will discover His leading, His grace, His forgiveness, and His fellowship. It is not the amount of time you spend, it is the consistency that matters. He will meet
“That is, whether we like or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.” ~ C.S. Lewis
3. Grounded in Truth – With our devotional time a priority, we will find our hearts begin to be grounded in truth. Cynthia Heald describes it as “living in the basement.” If you are overhwmlemd with Scripture, go back to the basics. The Gospel. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Keeping our doctrine simple will help to simplify our lives.
“If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvery’s love.” ~ Amy Carmchael
4. Die to Self – A life of simplicity can be found when we surrender our plans. We die (daily, sometimes several times during the day) to our own ideas. Be willing to give up things, even good things, in order to surrender to what God has for you.
“There are three marks of one who is crucified. One, he is facing in only one direction. Two, he can never turn back. And three, he no longer has any plans of his own.” ~ A. W. Tozer
5. The Sacred Present – Live in today. That’s it. Stop living in yesterday’s pain, heartache, or mistakes. Stop living in tomorrow. “I can rest when…..” The present is where God is calling you to rest. You will find a life of simplicity when you stop obsessing about the planning.
“There is, of course, a place for wise management of our days and weeks and years. But management can quickly turn into rigidity. We hold time so tight we crush it, like a flower closed in the fist. We thought we were protecting it, but all we did was destroy it.” ~ Mark Buchanan
6. Do One Job Well – Seek the best for you life. Simplicity is saying no, not to bad things, but good things. Lots of good things. Your life is to be lived in the best. Does it fit your season? Does it fit your family’s schedule? Does it fit your passion and short-term goals? (Remember, The Best Yes is a great resource if you struggle with making decisions). I loved a comment one of my readers had a couple of weeks ago. She said, “Just because there is a need,doesn’t mean there is a calling.” Just because something needs our attention or help, doesn’t mean that we have to do it. You have permission to do one thing well.
“In seeking the Best we soon find that our enemy is our good things, not our bad. The things that keep us back from God’s best are not sin and imperfection, but the things that are right and good and noble from the natural standpoint.” ~ Oswald Chambers