I am really enjoying the simple lately. Having been forced to slow down and take on little, I have to say I am enjoying the simple so much more than I ever have, which is a gift, because I have always been so driven that I had lost the joy of simply living.
Could we possibly have joy in just living? Absolutely!
There’s joy in preparing meals and eating together as a family.
There’s joy in watching our children play and discover.
There is joy in the quiet after a busy day.
There is joy in a simple walk, or calling a friend.
I know it’s cliche’ but it’s truth. We busy our lives beyond repair and wonder why so many of us are falling apart.
For me, it’s as if I have discovered an allergy, I have an allergic response to stress and striving! So I am so much more aware of what robs my peace on a daily basis. I read stress labels now!
Life comes with stresses, that’s living too, we cannot hide away. However, there are some unnecessary choices we make that steal our joy, our peace and our quality of simple living.
Our iPhone robs our peace – this is one habit I have had to face. That anxiety that if I leave home without it I will miss something, or what if someone is in crisis or there is an emergency. Having my phone always within reach is my way of controlling my peace. But it actually is causing the opposite. Having it constantly in view is a reminder that stress is imminent and I am ready. So for me, leaving it behind when I go for a walk, or in the afternoon, or while I’m at my son’s football game, allows me to have peace in God that he has all my bases covered and that whatever happens it’s going to be okay. Trust creates peace, control creates anxiety.
Our unforgiveness robs our joy – I bet many of you think you are oh soooo fine in this department, we forgave the big hurts in our life in counselling. But do you know that we are tested in this department daily. We are irritated that our husband forgot to go to pick up milk, again! He’s so unreliable we think, shaking our head – unforgiveness. Every time we go to have quiet time, our child interrupts, we feel resentful that they are robbing our peace – we are annoyed with them the rest of the day – unforgiveness. We have tea with a friend, unable to fully have compassion with their hurt because we are angry with them for forgetting our birthday. We always equate forgiveness to major events like being raped or abandoned, but forgiveness is a daily chore in the little things. So walking in a constant state of unforgivness because people around you don’t meet your expectations, robs joy. And who do we think we are anyway!? Humility check please!
Putting value on success robs our peace – I have a few groups I belong to on facebook and friends who constantly post success quotes, ” strive!”” never give up!” “Go for the win!” “Failure is NOT an option!!!!!!” “Succeed, succeed, succeed!!!”
I had to delete a few because the constant reminders every day to do more, be more and accomplish more was killing me. What I have learnt, is that there is more success in surrender and rest than there is in doing. Yes there is a time to persevere and push through, but I have a hard time believing that the drive and ambition that God has put in the heart of man is meant so we can drive an Escalade and make our neighbors jealous with our rock hard abs and speed boat in our driveway.
There are so many other things that rob our joy and I could go on and on, but take a look, do an inventory of what is stealing your joy in your daily life.
The push for our kids success and to have it “better than we did” (ask why?)
Our insecurity over our appearance. (ask why?)
Our fear of rejection or what people think. (ask why?)
Our addictions. (ask why?)
Our co-dependant relationships. (ask why?)
Not being able to say no. (ask why?)
Fear (ask why?)
Being over scheduled (ask why?)
Workaholism – putting people and life second to your career and money. (ask why?)
If you don’t have time to evaluate your joy/peace meter, ask yourself – why?