Friday, April 22, 2011

Finding Simplicity

How hard is it to find simplicity? I don't know about you but in the fast paced, living large Orange County life style, I find it hard. Extremely hard. Days are packed full. More is better definitely seems to be the trend. Cell phones, computers, tv, and Ipads are always present.  And on top of it all, we seem to run ourselves ragged. 

I recently joined a bible study with a group of fabulous women of the Lord and we are working through a study called  Becoming a Woman of Simplicity. I didn't realize how much I desperately wanted a life of simplicity until I began reading. The first week they met was right after we returned from our trip and being the space cadet I can sometimes be I totally forgot about it. That sounds bad. I'm sure you are thinking, " How do you forget bible study!?" But I did. Than this past week I hopped on the 57 an hour before it started to head to Irvine. An hour later I hadn't even made it Angel's Stadium. Traffic was absurd. In fact, I began talking out loud in my car because I was convinced the devil was keeping me from making it there. I almost gave up and turned around. He almost won. But out of no where traffic let up and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. I did a somewhat victory/evil laugh and said, " Ha! See! You can't keep me away" ( Do you think he can hear us? Or maybe he just tunes our obnoxious, victorious comments out.)

This past week we talked about grace. Whew. That's a subject that could be talked about for a whole year and I think I would still not totally understand why I am given such an incredible gift...for free. The author talks about how grace simplifies our lives. I can't get enough of the verses on grace. Ephesians 1:3-8 talks about how we are chosen, about how He adopted us. So stinking cool.  All because He loved us. That blows my mind. I'm so completely far from perfect, I fail so much, and I often think I don't measure up to those around me yet my God chose me as His child. He adopted me into His family so I could be an heir. To carry on His legacy.  I am perfectly imperfect in Him. If you ever have a day where you feel like you don't measure up or that you don't deserve much, remind yourself that you were chosen and that you are given this free gift of grace!

We went on to talk about doing God's work. For some, it is their profession. A friend talked about how working in a non-Christian school is her ministry. What an incredible ministry because she can't read a bible story or say a prayer, it's her actions that have to show Christ's love to others. In Titus 3:8 the words "excellent and profitable for everyone" are used in regards to doing what is good. That's the ripple effect. Those random acts of kindness. Like when someone in the drive through who you have never met pays for your order before you get to the window. Than a few weeks later you find a way to do a random act of kindness. Or maybe it's by volunteering somewhere and by doing so it encourages someone else to do good from good intent. God smiles on those acts of love and when we accept His grace, those acts come from a good intent for we know we aren't saved by them but instead are doing His work here on earth. " They are not the price of salvation, but the proof." - Cynthia Heald, Becoming a Woman of Simplicity.

There was a certain point that hit me hard. For me, ministry has been many things but my heart has been in Africa since I was in high school. But things may change in the next 10 years. My ministry may change. For this trip to Kenya in a few weeks may be my last for awhile. 

 Cynthia Heald said, 
" This was a turning point for me. I came to realize that ministry from God's perspective could be to my family or wherever he happens to place me at that time. Because He knows that my heart is to serve Him- to work out the results of my salvation- He continues to confirm in my heart that I am valuable to Him and that He is capable of guiding me and placing me where He wants me to serve."

That might be hard for me to grasp at first. When we start a family ( not any time soon!), what I think my ministry is now will change. Being a mom is a ministry in itself and I hope I can graciously accept that for a brief time in my life I have to let go of my desire to be in Africa. I don't know when that will be but I'm going to soak up Kenya this trip. The girls made good points that while I may not be going back over the next few years, how awesome will it be to take my children there someday. To show them how to serve in a whole new way. I look at my sister Leanna who has never been but yearns to go. Because of her passion to serve, my niece Maddie frequently raises money from lemonade stands for Uganda, makes headbands to send over, and dreams of one day collaborating with her super cool aunt to open a home for orphans over there. Pretty awesome!

One final quote from a study I am quickly falling in love with. 

" ...I can always fall back into choosing to serve in order to meet a need in my own life or because I want to please people. If any service begins to replace my spending time with God or if I become overly burdened and burned out, than I need to reevaluate my ministry....This is your line of service - to see there is nothing between Jesus and yourself."

As I can sense that more life changes are just around the corner, I pray my heart remains that of being His servant. I pray that I always am reminded that my service requires full concentration with Christ. I pray that I continue to seek simplicity.To truly become a woman filled with it. I pray that I am always open to allowing God to place me where he wants me to serve.  

And that I remain still. For in those quiet moments, He whispers and I don't want to miss out.


  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post Emma. So honest, heartfelt and encouraging. Thank you for making my day that much brighter with your words :) I look forward to seeing you next week!

  2. Emma,
    Thanks for that wonderful post. Sometimes I forget to remain still, and listen to what God has planned for me. He has never let me down, and I know that he won't this time. I've been a bit discouraged lately, and your post help bring me back into proper perspective.

  3. Wow Emma- God certainly used this post to speak to me. Thank you so much. I'll pray for you ministries as they grow, change, and develop in many aspects of your life! :)