A Life Less Complicated

Sometimes, I want a life that’s a lot less complicated. Don’t you?

“I want a life less complicated.”

I said this to Clayford yesterday as we dined at our country club restaurant, a place I feel quite sure my piddly teacher check helps pay for. Well, that place and the million other “necessities” we have in this family.

Since I’m one of those gals who really never cared to work outside the home–I love making a home, raising kids and taking care of my husband–I’m thankful and blessed beyond measure that I’ve really never had to work if I didn’t want to.

I choose to work because I like to have something to do, and I like to help financially. But I often wonder, how much would either Clayford or me need to work if we didn’t have so many complications?

Would my husband and I be so stressed if we didn’t lead a simpler life? Would my kids be happier, would we all complain less?

I’ve tried to have a simpler life, really, I have. It’s just that life has never panned out the way I wanted it to, in terms of simplicity.

There’s always something, somewhere going on.

My idea of simplicity is moving out to a farm somewhere, homeschooling the kids and living off the land, Clayford’s idea of simplicity is not having to walk farther than his back door to hit a tee box.

Obviously, this is why we struggle.

Even so, the key to simplicity, to being content, surely must lie somewhere between nothing and everything.

It seems to me the everything that we were promise would make life better, easier and safer has become a relentless pursuit that ironically leads to nothing.

Bigger rarely ends up being better. Only more work.

Yesterday, I heard there was yet another school shooting.

As Jimmy Kimmel once said, we have “opened the gates of hell.”

The same serpent that offered the world to Eve in the form of an apple offers us the world in the form of more, more, more.

More technology, more social connection, more sex, more alcohol, more fun, more “being who we really are.”

More clothing, more house, more stuff for our children, more activities, more education.

More freedom.

None, of these things is inherently bad. Not at all.

The proverbial apple on the tree wasn’t either.

It’s whether or not we’re being true to the Creator of the Universe in our desire for more that’s always been the problem.

Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.

Marilu Henner

My testimony is that in my desire to be free- to have more, know more, and be more- I became a slave to pride. God told me to go left, and I went right. Asked me to go up; I went down. Begged me to go this way; I went that way. I knew better than my God-given intuition, I thought.

Every time I refused to listen to the singing in my soul, I paid the price.

My foolish pride left me empty-handed.

I needed to release my grasp on pursuits, habits and actions that weren’t getting me anywhere closer to peace.

Pursuing notoriety, even for good things, hasn’t done any of us any favors at all.

I had dreams of being seen and heard. A famous author, maybe, or an actress. A politician, or, at the very least, well-known in my community.

But it wasn’t what I wanted that was the problem. It was the why behind it, a deep-seated notion that I was unvaluable, unlovable…unworthy.

I gave up those desires and that false belief about myself and was set free.

And this led me to no longer pushing my children, either. Our relationship has changed for the better because of it.

I no longer care if they are the best readers, have the highest average, or get the MVPs in sports or music. To be good citizens, to love others, to pursue the Creator and allow their hearts to be pursued. That’s what matters to me.

It seems to me that all of this pursuit has led to nothing but hate, ugliness and even violence.

We really have opened this gate of hell, via lives that are never fully satisfied.

I’ll take my chances of living out this idea of being true to who I am by laying down my life for those I love.

And while I’ll continue to pursue my goals and dreams, and I’ll continue to like your posts and post my own pictures and glimpses of life, this whole Complicated Life thing won’t consume me.

Our latest endeavor…a snow cone stand!

I will keep working, but I will work for me.

I will all my kids to pursue their own hopes and dreams.

I will participate in social media, but social media will not control me.

I will continue to love God, but I will let Him love me first.

Random story insert here, but when I was fourteen years old, my dad took me to see Forrest Gump.

There’s a profound scene in that movie, where Jenny goes to her childhood home.

She’d had a complicated life. Incredibly complicated.

And she picks up rocks and angrily begins to throw them, and when the rocks run out, she takes off her own shoes.

She falls to the ground, exhausted.

Forrest sits beside her. “Sometimes, there just aren’t enough rocks,” he says.

Best Movie Ever

We don’t have enough “rocks” to throw at all the issues we are facing in the world right now.

Like, Jenny, I am exhausted. It’s time to let God be God, and me be little old me.

Because of my pride, letting God take the driver’s wheel is incredibly difficult.

But, you know what?

Letting go might just be my only path to a life less complicated.

See you soon,

Toni

Leave a Reply