|Image courtesy of Kabils on Flickr|
On my Facebook page, I wrote that "'Plain & Simple As That' exists to inspire readers to find freedom from stuff and to seek joy in others." But are the two really related, or are these mutually exclusive goals? I feel like I've pretty much found my freedom from stuff, but as far as finding joy in others, it's still a struggle. Just this morning, as I sat down to a moment of quiet time with my Bible, my journal, and my tea before Tiny & The Tot woke up, and I focused on my frustration with relationships.
I think my frustration stems from having a breadth of relationships rather than depth in my relationships. The question then, is how do you find joy in others and how do you nurture friendships so they grow deeper rather than just adding more friendships? I'm no expert here, but I think the key has to be communication. Real conversations. For me, that means becoming a better listener, learning to "see" people beyond the words they share, finding compassion for the situations they face even if they are a result of poor decisions. God knows I've made my share of poor decisions. I'd elaborate that point, but my mother reads these posts and I don't want to completely break her heart.
As I think about seeking joy in relationships, I realize I need to decide which ones are worth nurturing and then prioritize my time better to work on those few. Rather than spend my time reading and commenting on an acquaintance's Facebook status, I need to:
- call my grandma who is in the hospital even though I don't know what to say.
- call my grandpa even if he doesn't remember who I am.
- make time to visit my best friends even though I have jealousy issues.
- apologize for that thing I did when I was 14, even though the offendee might not think about it as often as I do.
- engage in things that interest Tiny & the Tot even if it bores me to tears.
- spend more time with my husband and approach tough conversations even if it means we pay a babysitter.
- pray more and seek God's direction,
even whenespecially when I know I won't like the answer.
Living a life of simplicity should in theory free up time to do all these things, but it doesn't just happen. It requires time, patience, and effort. I guess in reality, it's not a really matter of simplicity after all; it's still a matter of priority. ~ Plain & Simple As That
I'd love to hear how you nurture your relationships and find joy in those around you rather than the stuff that may seem to surround you.