Simple serves us well.
Simple reduces the number of decisions.
Simple takes us back to the basics.
Simple doesn’t mean a removal of effort but a removal of excess.
Here are 3 ways simplicity serves us well, spiritually and physically:
The simplicity of time in God’s Word. If you listened to Instagram’s requirements for an effective “quiet time,” you’d be exhausted before you ever spoke to Jesus. A blanket, a comfy chair, coffee in your favorite mug, just the right amount of lamp light, beautiful hi-lighters, a nice bookmark, a lovely journal, a well-marked Bible, a stack of books and devotionals, a hint of lavender in the air. While there is nothing, nothing at all, wrong about any of these things (I admittedly enjoy several), this list is predominantly unnecessary. All that’s really needed for a meaningful time with the Lord is primarily his Word and secondarily paper and pencil to jot down takeaways, prayers, verses, nudges, or anything else you don’t want to forget. First, we need his word. Before all other words – digital or devotional – we need God’s Word. God’s Word is the ONLY sure-fire way to be convinced of who God is and what he values. Helpful words from others can come later in the day, but God’s Word should come first. Second, we need paper and pencil because God values remembrance. The written word reminds us of God’s faithfulness as tracked through prayers and answers, of significant verses shaping our decisions, and of particular stories and people in Scripture.
The simplicity of sweat. If exercise seems like a daunting task day after day, try simplifying. Decide on a plan by asking yourself these questions:
What kind of movement do I enjoy? Cardio, strength training, yoga, barre, martial arts.
How much time do I have? Include any prep time, travel time, and transition time to the next task.
What makes me feel energized and accomplished? Outside or inside. Alone time or time in a group.
While the introvert in me shies away from group exercise, I enjoy the challenge of running outside and the predictability of at-home workouts. Decide which one fits you, make a plan, and follow it for three weeks before giving up or switching. Trying to decide every day what you’ll try will leave you frustrated and paralyzed (I totally experienced this earlier this week on our mountain trip!). Print a monthly calendar and fill in the specific exercise you will do for the coming month. Trust me, there’s power in checking those off as complete day after day! (I just started a brand new program at home – a good mix of cardio and strength – and the predetermined three week calendar is the bomb!) By making the effort of deciding up front on a plan, your exercise will be simplified – no decisions, just sweat!
The simplicity of nutrition. There are SO many rules, programs, and diets screaming at us what we should and should not eat in order to lose weight and feel better. But, may I encourage you to take a simple approach….eat protein, eat produce, eat whole grains. Eat more vegetables than fruits. Eat more protein than whole grains. It helped me tremendously to learn what size servings truly represented a healthy portion of certain food groups and then to aim for the right number of portions per day. Carbs are not the enemy, but they also are not the king. Change your thinking, friend. Don’t make it hard – cut out all that chatter. Think about which foods makes you feel healthy and fit and then stock your kitchen and your menu with those foods. Seriously… ask yourself this question and write down your answers. Aim for nutritional value, eye-catching colors and the garden of goods God graciously made for us to enjoy!
Sometimes the key to simple means the decisions are made on the front end. Take some time now to decide today how you can simplify tomorrow.
For some resources to jog your thinking, check out the faith, fitness, and foodie faves sections on my blog!