When we first began our journey to a "simpler" more minimal life, one of the first things we noticed was that many aspects of what we were walking into did not in fact seem simpler. We also quickly realized that we were more dependent on the conveniences of the fragile modern system than we would have cared to admit.
It became rapidly apparent that we had amassed too many material items over the years of our individual lives and together, and that we had far fewer skills than we had imagined. I mean, YouTube makes it look so easy, right? I thought often about how the pioneers and people of the past learned so many various life skills by the time they were only 12 years old, and yet here we are, grown adults, struggling with the basics. I am sure that the people of years gone by would have much appreciated many of our modern conveniences, but I so envied the thought of them being so capable and so sufficient, and connected to creation.
There is so much involved in this journey that has challenged us at the core of our humanity and squeezed out the fruit juice deep down inside us. This, this my friends has been a journey all on its own. As I was being squeezed and challenged, I had to take a hard look at what type of fruit was coming forth. Do I trust the Almighty like I thought I did? Am I as patient as I would like to think? Am I someone who perseveres under trial? Oh yes, all of these things come to the forefront when we start to pull back the veil of the modern illusionary system and take a hard look at our humanity and at our soul. The Father in His great mercy and love has indeed been so tender and patient with me in these last few years, and I give Him the highest praise for always persevering and bearing with me as I stumble along the way. Sometimes it is in His gentle correction, his discipline, or His tender nudges to say, get back up again my child. The world and its desires are indeed passing away, but the Word and the will and the grace of Elohim lives forever.
The "glamour" of my past years on runways and at fancy parties has much faded away to the smell of fresh bread baking, elderberry stains on my apron, and dirt under my fingernails. Those days seem like a distant memory of a different life of mornings running to catch the train, bright lights, bad decisions, and empty conversations just to try and climb some mountain to nowhere. I was striving and striving to feel some sense of peace, and purpose, and security... and I never found it. The world offered temporary moments of peace, joy, and pleasure, but nothing filled the longings deep down in my heart. It wasn't until the Almighty found me in my rushing and my striving and my brokenness and He scooped me up and changed me one little bit at a time by the power of His love, His Word, and His Spirit, that I truly knew what it was to rest. Piece by piece, He has allowed my life to slowly begin to reflect what He has already accomplished in my heart and soul. He has brought into my being waters of still rest, and the peace and purpose I had been searching for all along. I am so thankful for this journey and I would never go back.
My top tips for starting out on this journey no matter where you may be in your life are this:
Aim to spend less time on your phone and more time examining and sitting with creation. This can be as simple as 15 minutes a day. Stand in awe of the "simple" things that are indeed not so simple at all.
Get rid of stuff that you really don't need. Go through your things and have those hard conversations with yourself about what you can let go of.
Trade cookie cutter items for handmade or antique. It's amazing how many gorgeous and solid antique items that you can find on used sell sites that are far cheaper than the cheaply made modern items in the stores. Find handcrafted items with a story, buy vintage clothing that's stood the test of time, and invest in things that were made to last. Be intentional about what you bring into your life.
Learn to appreciate dirt under your nails. Even If all you have is a simple window planter in your apartment, spend the time to learn how to grow something from a seed, tend to it, and let the miracle grow.
Accept silence. Our modern world is noisy and we often don't even know what total silence is like anymore. Even If this means ear plugs ... give yourself 5 mins of silence every single day.
Learn to be grateful for simple joys.
Grow to appreciate hard work. Learn from others whenever you can. Sing through the tough moments. Praise in the storms. Love and persevere even when you don't "feel like it."