My Thoughts on Simplicity

Simplifying your life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (I know that’s a cliché but I don’t care). Earlier today I thought maybe I’d write a blog about 7 Ways to Simplify Your Life. I’ve been studying how to write blog headlines that attract more traffic. I could do that, but quite frankly, the thought of it makes me gag.

For one thing, I’m realizing that I don’t care about marketing, or platforms, or attracting followers, as much as I care that my life is making some kind of difference in this crazy, beat up world we reside in. I hunger for the same things most of you long for: peace, a loving family, enough food for the week, and that my life reflects all the things I’ve said I believe for fifty years or more. I don’t want to be considered a Christian atheist or a fan and not a follower any more than you do.

The truth is…I don’t want that much anymore. It’s not that I’m too tired, or old, or uninterested. It’s that life for me has become much more simple. Some of that is because I’ve pursued simplicity intentionally, and some of it is just where I am in life now. But whatever the reason, I have picked up a few good thoughts along the way that I’d like to share today. So here goes…

It’s okay if things are a bit disorderly, as long as my heart is calm. My yard, for instance. I came from pristinely manicured Naples – the haven of landscape businesses. About 1500 last time I asked. And I now live in a tiny hamlet of a town where I have to admit the medians are better looking than larger Sebring, but no comparison to what my yard used to look like. What I see out the window now is a bit on the wild side, but it’s free-flowing and happy. There’s little grass in the back yard – probably three different kinds – and it’s mixed with some dollar weed and a bit of that ground cover with the little yellow flower. But when it’s mowed and the candles are lit on the deck and friends are talking and laughing, it looks just beautiful to me. Simplicity can mean you aren’t so persnickety about stuff anymore.

The same goes for friendships and valuing family moments. What my grandchildren think of me carries a lot more weight than other people’s opinions. I’ve spent years trying to be who people thought I should be or wanted me to be. I was probably a tad hooked on pleasing people. But when I turned 60 something snapped. I didn’t turn into Cruella, but neither did I care so much what anyone thought. I’d finally come to a much better understanding of what God thought and that was enough.

I posted a C.S. Lewis quote to that effect on FaceBook earlier this week with a question attached. Not one person responded. I don’t think they got it. He said, “The fundamental thing is not what we think about God, but what God thinks about us.” I’m sure most people who read that quote think it’s saying something about measuring up, fitting God’s standard. It isn’t saying that at all.

What it’s saying is that God loves me and thinks I’m wonderful. He chose me, shaped me, ordered my DNA package and is very pleased with the results. And that’s what’s really important. Simplicity often requires me to release toxic friends and cultivate in-depth relationships. Simplicity is being content with what God thinks of me.

Simplicity isn’t always about re-organizing the closets as much as it is de-cluttering the mind. Though it still seems like brazen effrontery I actually sit out on my deck in the middle of the day and read. I know there’s laundry, and I forgot to take the fish out of the freezer for dinner, but I’m learning to ignore those urgent but not important voices screaming in the background. They never shut up, you know, so you just learn to ignore them like you did when your three year old threw a tantrum because you didn’t give her that second Popsicle.

Simplicity, it seems, has a lot to do with choices – what I read or eat, who I spend time with, and how I choose to cash in these last cherished years. Can I still advance God’s Kingdom when I’m 75? Will I still practice the presence of Christ when I’m eighty and don’t walk too steadily? Will loving Him be foremost in my thoughts when my mind starts to wander?

These are things I think about when I take time to reflect on the meaning of my life. A simple life is a good life – lived out from the heart, saturated with grace and good friends, investing in mission, and always, always, giving thanks to Him for all of it. 



  1. i read and reread your facebook post. to be honest i didn’t really understand what you asked but. this blog isvery interesting. i can relate to a lot of it but how do i know if God is pleased with me and how i got to where i am. i sit on the deck to read, try to find peace in my mind and heart but do not think i succeed. my mind is cluttered with all kinds of things, and i can’t seem to clear them out. i feel like i am rambling but that is how i feel. notdealing that well with bill’s death but i am trying. ican’t be doing things right or enough.

    • Doris
      I love the honest of your note. I’d like to talk to you on the phone as I think the Lord might give me some practical ways to help you through your loss and resulting confusion. I’ll send you my phone number and we can chat. You are on the right path and seeking His peace. He’s ready to give it to you.

  2. I’m touching on this “pure life” once in a while, rarely really. All I know is I want more. More peace, less clutter. Much much less toxicity. Fewer demands from man and more responses to the call of God. I love that gratitude stone in your pic because simplicity blossoms in gardens of gratitude. Keep writing. Keep posting. Keep reminding me. (ps Jayda is adorable!)

    Remember Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones stepping into the cavern before the stepping stones were visible? That is what living the simple life reminds me of. I find so much (false) security in my busyness that it’s actually a strange kinda scary thing to cut loose and take steps without it. Can you relate?


    • I love that stone because you gave it to me. You are moving ever closer to the life you dream of. Press on. You will find what you seek.

      • Sue – I do remember that scene in Indiana Jones. It’s a perfect word picture for the saying “Leap and the net will appear.” It is scary when we cut free from the box we’ve resigned ourselves to for so long. But it will feel like home eventually.

  3. This email from Gail Tomei:
    I always love your writing.
    I rarely look at anyone’s facebook page so I must admit I did not see your inquiry.
    In fact, when someone sends me a good video I pop it on my own facebook page and that’s that.
    I guess I get into my blogs … 3 now … and that is enough for me.

    So, in answer to the God question: What does God think of me … love it.
    I have been teaching this in my seminars.
    God loves us sooooo much, He can only think of us as perfect, most wonderfully made … each with our own DNA … as you said … and as I talked about in my and blogs.
    He never sees our sin … because He can’t!
    That’s what is so awesome!
    I think God misses so much of His creation because they ARE sin … not washed by the blood of Jesus … not ‘covered’ by God’s Son.
    So, where does that leave half of his creation… or more?
    Don’t know.
    God does.
    I wonder what He thinks.
    I’m off to teach my favorite Bible Study … then sermon prep for Sunday.
    Hugs and thanks for your SIMPLE WORDS at SIMPLICITY COTTAGE.

    • Gail – you are always overflowing with wisdom yourself and I love your replies to my posts. May God extend your ministry to all those who so need it.

  4. “A simple life is a good life”…yessss! My son has taught me lessons on simplicity that continue to baffle my mind. I feel the more simple we are the more complete we become. I’m honored to be his student. Cathee, I couldn’t wait to get some quiet time to log onto your page and read another post. I truly enjoy your inspiring writings!

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