Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Simple As 123

How Simplified Are You?

I’ve compiled a list of ten ways to discern how simplified you are. After listening to a sermon last weekend, reading on the topic and being a strong proponent of simple living, I decided it might be challenging/interesting to come up with ways to gauge just how much I adhere to this kind of living.

Rhetorical questions. Not expecting answers unless you’d like to expound on one or more of the following.

How Simplified are you?

  1. How long does it take you to get ready before going out in public?

  2. Would praying about whether or not to purchase something seem like an absurd thing to do?

  3. Are you able to spend chunks of time alone or in solitude without an overwhelming desire to be around people, in conversation, or around noise and/or distraction?

  4. Can you readily find joy in the small things in life like a loved one’s smile, a falling leaf or a special song?

  5. Are you entertained by, amused by or in awe of nature?

  6. Is it difficult for you to find pleasure in things that are free?

  7. How much of a struggle is it for you to give things away?

  8. How enticed are you by advertising?

  9. Do you get easily annoyed by interruptions in your day?

  10. Do you find you’re often misunderstood because you overstate your point, you talk around things, you “pretty up” certain topics or you hide behind flowery language?

After evaluating my answers I’m convinced it might do me some good to let God do a little long division on my complicated fractioned life. You know, break it on down. (I think God’s been waiting for someone to set Him up for a dance routine for a very long time!)

*photos by flickr


  1. I think maybe I have this simple thing down better now in my life than before--it comes from changed circumstances and looking at life through a different set of needs and eyes. Thank you for your thought provoking questions as always:)

  2. I was doing good on the list until 9 and 10. Good thoughts! :O)

  3. I'm actually still spring cleaning lol. I'm cleaning out my younger sons room today at some point and I really need to de-clutter and give away yet it is hard to do either because it's simply not trash or I feel like I'm throwing money away. I wish I wasn't so attached, or had a bigger house, either one. ;)

  4. Great list. I get irritated by interruptions. I know it's a result of having too much going on! Thanks for the great reminder to slow down and let God take over.

  5. I prefer simplified. There's an ease to it, I think, that lets us immerse ourselves in the moment. That lets us absorb those songs, smiles, nature, fully in our lives.

  6. I've been on a quest to simplify my life for the past few years, so thankfully, I can check off many of these! Woohhoo!!! Unfortunately, twitter does not factor into this category (for me) and I'm considering using mine... do good intentions count? :0)

  7. Hey, I do pretty well on the simple quiz! My challenges are in other departments. (Groan.) :-)

  8. There has been a sincere desire to evaluate all the necessities in my life. The economy has left a strain on most people. The Lord spoke to me one day and reminded me that in Him I will not lack anything. He still reigns as the supplier of my needs. Even my time. He has given me such peace in trusting Him to delegate my time.

    I love this list. It can be something to evaluate everyday.

  9. I'm with Terri. A change in your life that forces you to simplify can be a "cleansing" experience. Down to one income, we need to eliminate our 10 x 24 storage unit - full of "stuff" that came along with combining two households when we got married. Rather than selling it, I gave it away (almost everything - not Grandpa's chair). The more I gave, the easier it got - and the more I realized that God will provide for those in need. It felt like a weight was lifted!

  10. What a wonderful list! I'm emailing it to myself, and thinking on those to whom I'd like to forward it.

    (PS - my blog is fixed.)

  11. I'm with Diane, I was doing good up until 9 and 10! And nature? I'm a FREAK about nature!!! :)

  12. Wendy, that's an interesting list. A few of those really made me think and ask myself which of these could further help simplify my life, particularly unnecessary stress. Thanks!

  13. Yeah, number nine is a tough one. It's good to remember to just be still.

  14. I was good for the first half...and then struggled thru some of the ones in the last half. *sigh*

    Be Still And Know

    ...working on that part still.
    :) Bina

  15. I am very glad this was a rhetorical question! haha I think I am good at simple in some ways ... and not so good in others. You've given me much to think about!

  16. Good questions for me to think about. :-) Thanks!

  17. Like Diane and Jill, #9 got me. Just dealt with about 1 hour of interrupts. I minister in a small church so I maintain open door, easy access availability. It's the only way really, in my situation. But sometimes it gets stressful, particularly the phones.

    You write with good imagery. I liked this statement: "I’m convinced it might do me some good to let God do a little long division on my complicated fractioned life. You know, break it on down." Good post.

  18. Note: I have a new post up on communication I'd like to invite you to look at.

  19. I have come far on simplifying and it hasn't been easy and it has been completely worth it. But I had (and have) so far to go since I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist. This is a good post as we head into the holiday season which tends to make even the simplist of persons a bit crazy.

    God does a great job of simplifying. I know He has more planned for me.

  20. I think I must be a pretty simple person, but I too get hung up on 9 and 10.

  21. Wendy, this is a great list of questions. Food for thought! I see I am quite simple with most of these, but there's always room for improvement.

  22. Oh, I agree! It's much to easy to let life get over booked. I'm a fan of simple!

  23. Terri, Our pastor actually spoke a lot about your exact circumstances. I feel for you.

    Diane, I'm good one day on some and a mess the next on all of them.

    T.Anne, I was doing a little spring cleaning last week, too. Fun. Fun. I think your post inspired it some time ago.

    Jill, They annoy me too, but my life is filled with them. Most of my life is interruption. So I'm learning to embrace them. It gets hard when the writing juices are flowing and here they come a'knockin.

    Joanne, I think most of America has lost sight of immersion in a moment. But that is purely beautiful, doing just that.

    Kristen, Congratulations to scaling down. It's not uplifted enough. Twitter and me might have to rumble a little. Can't convince myself to do it, yet.

    Susan, I love how us writers turn rhetorical into spilling it. Love that!

    Rosslyn, I find it interesting a lot of my challenges are found in the confines of my thoughts...what this entire blog is based on.

    Tamika, He does provide peace, doesn't he. I loved how our pastor mentioned Paul's verses about being content in all circumstances.

    Sandi, In light of times like that, doesn't stuff lose its importance?

    Anne, Thank you. I got a lot of it from the weekend message. It's the worst (or the best depending on how you look at it) when I'm plagued with ideas at church.

    Beth, That is why we are twins.

    Cindy, They make me think, too. I just bring you all along so I'm not stuck thinking by myself.

    Tara, You might have nailed my greatest struggle.

    Bina, Me too.

    Lauren, I noticed that too! Ha Ha. Writers are funny folk.

    Jessica, Word. Think away.

    Warren, Checked out your post. You have such a way of uplifting others. I imagine you are a wonderful pastor.

    Christina, As one who can't ever claim to have been a perfectionist I want to write that I am deeply proud of you. You are letting go of strongholds.

    Natalie, Maybe I just made up 9&10 so I wouldn't be alone. Maybe they have nothing to do with simplicity. :D

    Janna, I picture you as a pretty simple chick.

    Katie, Me right now = overbooked. Me = simple fan. Me = a fan of =.

    Okay, you know when I'm getting tired by now. My goofy becomes ten times more goofy. Sleep well b/c I've got a pivotal writing question coming your way tomorrow.

    I'm going to sleep on my stomach.
    ~ Wendy

  24. Wendy...loved this post...not so many years ago I would have answered these questions in a "not so good" way...but God has done an incredible work in my life and I am able to see that through the refining process He took me through I can answer the questions with joy...knowing that I'm headed in the right direction! Thank you sister!

  25. Wendy, you definitely got me thinking. I think I might be a little simple. I appreciate free stuff, get ready in half an hour tops, and try not to sweat the small stuff. Yeah 10 was a little more complicated! :)


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