the gift to be simple

our plans this morning were cancelled because of this mini snowstorm we're having. jane was playing and we were listening to jewel's lullaby. after the song "simple gifts" finished i put jane down for her nap, but the lyrics came back to me as i poured a cup of coffee and sat down with my bible study.

"'tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free." i remember reading about the shakers in elementary school. there was a picture in our music book showing shaker chairs that could be hung on the wall after use. they were attractive, but functional and practical. they were simple.

i cannot even put into words what God has been teaching me through the study of genesis in bsf this year.

(this is the part where i start shaking my hands in the air as i talk because i am so excited.)

truly. i am learning trust. obedience. waiting! and like the shaker song, i am learning that there is great freedom in living a simple life free from stuff!

Mason Jar Full of Change

ben and i are really watching our finances. i told myself that this season is so good for us. and then i realized that it is so silly to consider it a season. don't i want to watch my finances my whole life? don't i want to be a faithful steward of the talents (both literal money and intangible giftings) that God has given me? this is not easy. we live in a time when even a seemingly innocuous trip to target for groceries can become a battle against the temptation to bring home this cute little kitchen item or that great pillow that happens to be on clearance but wasn't a necessity until i saw it.

true story: at home goods last week, i bought some baker's twine that i had been wanting for a long time. it was only ten dollars after all! the cashier rung up my purchase, and i looked down at it.

i knew i didn't need it.

i asked her right then and there to refund my purchase and i walked away without it. i don't miss it. dare i say i feel free?

proverbs 24 says: "by wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

ben does not decorate. i do. i want to have wisdom to fill our home with precious and pleasant riches and i want ben to trust that i am spending our money wisely. that doesn't mean i get to buy everything i want when i want it, even if i consider it a need. yes, we could use some more seating in our living room. i especially notice this when we have our small group over. but i can learn to wait and experience the sweetness of saving up for something. our bsf lesson this week emphasized the goodness of waiting. oh how it hit home with me!

i know this is a random sampling of thoughts. they are connected in my head, but my head is a muddled place. i am thankful for our home. i am thankful for my family. i am so thankful for a patient God who has a tender heart toward His child who must be taught again and again to trust Him even in the simplest things (and that child would be me). thank you for being here with me this morning while i pour out my scrambled thoughts. i appreciate you and all your kind comments and support!