The flip side of a simple life

Life was anything but simple this week. In fact, it was gloriously chaotic and busy. In some ways, while it was anything but simple, it felt fairly painless.

My husband started his semester. While it didn’t change a lot in terms of busyness (his winter term was extremely busy), it was a change of schedule for us. And since he teaches adjunct, he added classes and students in as well this week.

My friend moved out of the country on Wednesday on fairly short notice. I wanted to get to spend at least a little bit of time with her and let our boys play together one last time.

Another friend had a premature baby. And her 3 other children needed cared for and many other needs as well.

I talk a lot on this blog about simplifying. It’s because I really do think it is important and makes for a much more fulfilled life. But it isn’t so I can step back into my home and build myself a perfect little domain that blesses no one.

This week was an example of one of the biggest blessings of keeping a simple life.

When life happens, I can still be at peace and relaxed. Yes, it’s busy. Yes, much of my week was unexpected. Yes, I had to change a couple of other plans. But overall, it was simple to do because we’ve consciously kept our lives “un-busy.”

I mentioned awhile back that one of the reasons I have guidelines to avoid over-commitment is to create margin for unexpected things. This was one such week where that came in extremely handy.

We keep our barometer for a too busy life fairly religiously. But the flip side of that is that when we have weeks like this week we can serve and we can help meet needs and we can still function. We haven’t let ourselves run on over-drive for such a long time that there is nothing left when there are truly circumstances that require our attention.

While my home certainly wouldn’t have earned a cleanliness award this week, my home routines kept things good enough. And that was perfectly fine and I didn’t even cringe when people were over here seeing my less-than-perfect home. (That is a huge improvement for me…)

I sometimes say that I like to keep my home good enough so that the messes don’t stress me out. This was one such week where there were a lot of messes. Crayons, markers and paper scattered everywhere. Toys well played with and scattered. But, really, it was always just one quick cleaning spree from being good enough again.

There is a huge case for simplifying our schedules, commitments, and life. And then there is a time to extend ourselves. To be busy. To have a very “un-simple” life. But the reality is that it was pretty easy to do.

So the flip side of a simple life is that when it comes time to be busy it’s still okay. I may be a little more tired than normal, but that’s pretty much it.

If living simply is just about me and my own comfort and ease, I’ve missed the point altogether. But if it is about living in such a way that it makes it easier to serve others than that’s a really good thing.

Keeping a simple home isn’t just a bout simplifying. It’s about serving. Serving my family and serving others.

Have you found living a simple life make it easier to serve your family and friends?


  1. Absolutely. Saying no to craziness allows us to help out when truly needed. Such a great reminder that a simple life isn’t all about us.

  2. For sure. The simpler the better. (And the clearer my head and soul!)
    Love your new look : )

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