Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

On 2013: Finding Simplicity

For several months now, I’ve had a growing desire to simplify my life. I have felt overwhelmed by deadlines, overrun by housework, and overcome with tasks and meaningless activity that keeps me from doing what I need and want to do:

  • Be with my husband and daughter
  • Build meaningful relationships
  • Pursue the real Jesus
  • Complete my work on time and grow my business

balanceAnd for several months now, I’ve contemplated doing something – anything – drastic. I’m feeling the need to make major change. I’m feeling the need to overhaul my lifestyle in order to make room for my destiny and desires. I thought of doing something for a year, like a grand experiment, but I didn’t know how or what.

Then I read a book by Rachel Held Evans called “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.” It challenged me as a woman in the Kingdom of God, but it also delivered the inspiration I needed for how to structure my experiment.  In her book, Rachel explores what it means to be a “biblical woman” by taking the bible literally in her life. Each month, she chooses a different womanly biblical virtue and lives it to its literal extreme. I highly recommend it. I loved every word of it and can’t recommend it highly enough, but that’s worthy of another post.

My grand experiment began to take shape in my mind as I read Rachel’s book. A year, broken up into 12 different mini-experiments, is perfect for what I’m trying to learn and accomplish. Stephen and I started talking about it in October and have been brainstorming ideas since.

I’m excited to announce that: 2013 will be 12 Months of Simplicity for the Heath family. I will be blogging regularly about it here, and I’m guessing Stephen will write a few on his blog about the financial side of things.

We’ll be taking a close look at how we spend our time and energy and money, examining our consumer habits, thinking about how to reduce our waste, and figuring out how to organize our daily lives. We’re cutting back in some areas. We’re pouring into others. Mostly, we’re thinking about what we could change in order to make more room in our home and our lives for the most important things.

Our goal here isn’t to make you feel judged or impose some set of values that I believe to empirically better than yours. Our goal is to motivate you to an examination of your own lifestyle. I invite you to join me in asking: “Do my choices reflect my values?”

I’ve got plans for several months outlined (I’m not giving anything away yet!), but I’m still developing my ideas and am open to your suggestions. I posted a question on Facebook the other day asking what distracts or unnecessarily complicates your life. I received a lot of insightful and honest answers that I’m considering, and would love to hear more!

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8 thoughts on “On 2013: Finding Simplicity

  1. Heather on said:

    This is EXCELLENT! I have been sensing this very thing is going to be pertinent to 2013….

  2. In this year of difficulty, I’ve found my life purged of what has stolen time and energy from those things(relationships, really) that I value the most. I’m excited for this experiment for you, and to see and experience how it carries over into your life.

  3. I don’t know how much time television has in your life, but when we didn’t have one, we enjoyed each other more. We played games together more. Now we only have the television for movies we want to watch (no cable), but I think I prefer a good round of spades!
    We recently had a guest pastor in to do a workshop on prayer. It was excellent! First and foremost he told us to learn how to “Be Still” and recognize the presence of God. Daily. Focusing on His attributes as we worship Him. He encouraged us to let ourselves “waste time” on God. I guess I see that as the beginning of simplicity in our walk with Him.
    Thanks for sharing! I look forward to hearing how things go.

  4. Pingback: On Fences, Walls, and the Kindness of Jesus « Rachel Heath

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  6. What a wonderful goal for the new year…and one I hope to join you on, if only in a few small ways. One of the things I’ve found most distracting in 2012 is my smart phone. It’s so easy to get sucked in to a warp zone of games or photos…and miss the life that is taking place directly in front of you. This is a bad habit I want to do less of in 2013.

    • I hear ya. I find myself on Pinterest and Twitter and Instagram and Facebook instead of sitting on the floor and playing with Isabella. One of the rules we’ll be keeping throughout the year is limiting how many times we can get on social media- once in the morning, once in the evening. I think we’ll probably spend a month off social media entirely and see how it goes!

  7. Pingback: On Living in Relationship Without Facebook | Rachel Heath

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