Living Simply Means . . .

Jake, Randy, Patrick, Chelsea, Andrew & Alina

Slowing Down and Enjoying More

devozine snowy mountains Ftr TSP 134249764When my family goes to the lake, we cook a simple meal each day, hang out by the lake, and play board games. I am closer to my family there. The sunrise and the night sky over the lake invite me to slow down and to stop for a moment with God as well. Going to the lake reminds me how much I enjoy the chance to live more simply.

—Jake McDonald, 18

Releasing the Stress

Living simply can mean living without lots of material things. It can also mean living free of stress and worry. When we have fewer worries, we are happier and more positive. Everywhere I travel, people seem to live more simply; but maybe the difference is that I’m somewhere new, away from the routine with less to worry about. What if we could always live as simply as we do on vacation? We would enjoy our lives a lot more.

—Randy Kooistra, 18

Shutting Out the Distractions

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One of the easiest ways to live simply is to have as few distractions as possible, which allows us to accomplish more in less time. I could easily go a few days without watching hours of movies or television shows, focusing instead on what interests me: writing scripts or short stories and keeping my grades up. Have I ever done this? No, but I could if I tried. How about you?

—Patrick Coheley, 19

Giving Up the Clutter

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Our society is all about stuff—wanting stuff, buying stuff, collecting stuff, saving up for stuff. We never seem to have enough stuff, and we want the latest and greatest versions. Christians are called to live differently. We don’t have to go sell our iPods, but we need to be aware of our attitude toward our possessions. Stuff is stuff—it’s just not that important. We can spend our whole lives accumulating stuff; but in the end, we may miss what truly matters.

—Chelsea Wengerd, 17

Focusing on God

Micah 6:6–8 says the Israelites had forgotten that God does not require flash and ritual. They were frantic to find ways to please God; but God only wanted the Israelites to stay focused, to have faith, to love God. Everything else would follow. Likewise, we don’t need to search for ways to please God. We need only “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8b NRSV). Let’s not complicate our relationship with God. If we keep it simple, trusting and following, God will grant us grace and mercy.

—Andrew Rogers, 18



Return to the Simple Things

Bee on Flower - Alina DSC01864_2The simple things in life, for me, are watching a bee on a flower or clouds in the sky, enjoying a cup of tea, reading a good book, spending a few quiet moments with God, laughing with friends, playing board games with my family. With my busy schedule, finding time to do the simple things can be anything but simple. Of course, God doesn’t call us to do nothing but drink tea or contemplate a flower; yet God does want us to find joy and peace in our lives. For me, that means taking a bit of time each day or each week to enjoy the simple things.

Be spontaneous. Enjoy laughter with a friend, a beautiful sunset, a few quiet minutes alone. Every day, take some time with family, friends, and God to enjoy the simple things.

—Alina Kanaski, 22

—from devozine (November/December 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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