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In April of 2010 my husband, Dan, traveled to the East African country of Uganda. Dan and his friend, Michael, were traveling on the first o...
Once upon a time there was a sweet little family of four. There was a Daddy and a stay-at-home-Mommy and a little girl and a baby boy. Life ...
In order to give some context to our “Big Announcement,” let me first share a story... Years ago, Dan and I served a refugee community min...
Dan and I have intentionally not shared many of the specifics related to our adoption. Most people generally know what we did, why we did it...
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Sunday, August 21, 2011
8/21/2011 08:00:00 PM | Posted by ShellyO | Edit Post
Thanks to everyone for the comments and emails on the LivingSimply: Time Management post. To those of you who think I took the easy road and copped out on that one, I’m sorry to have let you down. But at the moment, I need some help around here. I’m woman enough to admit it.
I have five small children. I homeschool. I help my husband run an international ministry. And so I have someone who helps me clean every other week. We share a lawn mowing service with our next door neighbors. And I have a babysitter who comes for several hours, once or twice per week, so I can grocery shop or go to the dentist without five small people in tow.
But I’ll be the first to concede – I know all of those things are luxuries. I'm not saying we're right or wrong. That's just how we're doing things right now.
Dan and I pray over this and daily, we beg the Lord for guidance. Because we know that our hearts are wicked and deceitful. We can’t simply “follow our hearts” on these matters or just do whatever feels right.
There's a name for that kind of stuff with low cost and little sacrifice. It's called cheap grace.
Besides, Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a man. But in the end it leads to death.” And when I read those words, I know I'd rather not do it my way.
I'm not an authority on this subject and I'm not suggesting that I have this all figured out. I'm just a sinner, saved by grace, and I struggle with this stuff like everyone else. I can't tell you how to live simply.
But Jesus can.
The answers that we're all seeking are readily available. They're in the Word -- in black, white and sometimes in red. I could quote a myriad of verses to make my point here. And I started to. But you really shouldn't take my word for it.
The one thing Dan and I can offer is this: some unique perspective. We've been privileged to spend a good bit of time on the other side of the world. We’ve seen it and smelled it and shared meals in people's homes. Through our ministry, we interact with our friends in Africa everyday. We know how the third world lives and the struggles they face each day.
|Dan in Uganda, May 2011|
And I can attest to this – for most of the western world, even our simplicity is pretty indulgent. We're far wealthier than most of us realize. Or even want to realize.
Based on what I've seen, heard and experienced from our brothers and sisters across the ocean, I know this is true -- we'd all do well to simply be content with what we have. Or better yet, be content with less and give away more.
In 1648, Jeremiah Burroughs wrote this "The art of contentment is not to add to our circumstances but to subtract from our desires." And 363 years later, human nature hasn't changed a bit.
True contentment is not getting what you what. It's wanting what you have. Stuff will never fulfill you or make you happy. But Jesus will.
Live simply by chasing after Him instead.