Monday, August 1, 2011

Simplicity - The Final Chapter

freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts: anorganism of great simplicity.
absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.;plainness: a life of simplicity.

For the past several days, I have taken you with me on a journey to simplicity.  I have now finished the eleventh and final chapter of the book, Becoming a Woman of Simplicity, by Cynthia Heald.  I have so enjoyed reading this book and sharing my insights with you.  I really truly hope that you found it interesting as well.  I am definitely going to be keeping this book accessible so that I can refer back to it often.  In fact, I may want to read through it and spend more time reflecting on certain parts in prayer.

The final chapter really put a cap on this whole journey.  It recalled all the ways in which we, as women, can be led to a much stronger, more intimate relationship with God through the process of abiding in Him and by living more simply so that we are better able to hear Him and focus on His will for us.  By abiding in Him, we become more reflective, more peaceful, more open and we become well-positioned in life to do the will of God.  It's a life journey, not just something we get up and decide to do.  Abiding is a transformational process.

Envision yourselves giving yourselves up to God - abandoning yourself to Him to do His will.  By abandoning ourselves, we are freeing ourselves from the distractions and hindrances of our daily lives which only serve to keep us distanced from the God who loves us and wants us to do our best for Him.

As individuals who abide in and abandon ourselves to Christ, we take on attributes which are pleasing to Him.  We naturally will become more patient, more caring, more kind, more willing, more loving, and more directed women of great faith.

We need to discern the will of God by listening to Him.  We need to surround ourselves with the truths of God which become our foundation for living.  We need to give ourselves a certain time and space where we can actually focus solely on Him during a certain part of our day.  What time of day is best for you?  I know it has to be at about 5:00 am for me because of the things which need to be done with my children - usually beginning around 7:00 am.  I allow myself a couple hours to wake up, say a quick prayer, immerse myself in the Word, gain some insight, do my daily online Bible study, and then read something devotional like this book.  I feel like I've accomplished much once I've spent my time in the Lord's presence.  We need silence and calm in our lives so we can focus on God and His will for our lives.  We need to position ourselves before Him and tell Him we are abandoning ourselves to Him to be used for His glory.  

I will tell you right now that I am closer to the beginning of this journey than I am to the end - the process of learning to abide in Christ.  I have so much to learn.  This book, for me, was a stepping stone along the path towards abiding in Him.  After reading this, I feel much better equipped to continue on this life-changing journey.  I'm all in.  I want to learn more.  I want to know more.  I want to know God as well as He knows me.  

This book is probably the basis for one of my biggest 1% Changes yet.  I do consider this a 1% Change because it is an area of my life which needs much attention.  It's something I desire to change for my own benefit.  It's something which I believe will have the added benefit of bringing many positive changes into my family life.  It's a process.  A journey.  It's not something I think anyone can really just flip a switch and "do" in one day.  By going back to each chapter on a daily or weekly basis going forward, I can grow in each of the areas necessary to truly abide in Christ.

I highly recommend this book to any woman who is wanting the same benefits for their lives.  Please feel free to share your comments or stories on your process here!  I'd love to hear how others are doing.

1 Peter 3:3-4 


3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

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