Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Personal Mumblings on Creative Simplicity


I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to let my life get rather complicated. I over-think, over-plan and end up feeling over-whelmed! The important things are forgotten and the unimportant given way more time than is their due!

I usually find that this creeps up on me if I do not pay a little attention to purposefully seeking simplicity. It seems so silly - isn't striving to live a simple and uncomplicated life supposed to be - well, simple? It appears not.

For me, simplicity is linked with frugality and creativity. Simplicity does not mean less work and more time but most often more work and time better spent. It means making the most of my resources, creating a beautiful home utilising my talents and by learning new crafts. It means being purposeful, thinking carefully about where and on what I spend my time. It's about knowing where I am going and mapping out a way to get there.

Knowing where you are going really is about knowing yourself. What things are important to you, what things stir your heart. I have found that my Pinterest boards have really helped me to see what inspires me in my homemaking. Little things that help me to create the home atmosphere that tells my family, 'I love you', 'this is where you are safe, loved, and treasured'. Little touches that would convey to friends and family how much I care. This could be simply the way I gift wrap a gift - it lets the receiver know that, 'you're special and I want you to know that.' Lots of teeny tiny simple ways to love others. Ways that need not cost a fortune. Simple, uncluttered, and thoughtful ways to reach out to all who cross my path.
The Apprentice House at Quarry Bank Mill
I mentioned in yesterdays post that we had visited a National trust property over the week-end. There were two areas that appealed to me the most and stirred my heart. The first was the 'Apprentice House' gardens. These gardens were a necessity for most people in the 18th century. It provided not only their fruit and veg, but also herbs for treating medical issues as well as plants to make natural dyes. It gave me great peace, inspiration and pleasure strolling through the neatly laid out garden. Stepping out of the kitchen garden we entered into the orchard. The trees branches were laden with fruit, promising a great harvest later on in the year. Rambling over the wooden fences, the blackberries and raspberries were ripe for the picking. Foxgloves grew intermittently,  added to the happy hodgepodge. An overwhelming sense of peace engulfed me. This is what makes me happy. Simple pleasures. Gathering from the hedgerows, preserving, cooking in my kitchen, making use of natures bounty throughout the seasons.

The other thing that appealed was the traditional art of spinning. This was a way of life for most people before the Industrial Revolution.  Gathering the lost arts of home-keeping makes me happy. Learning HOW to preserve, make cheese, soap, homemade cleaners and dyes, spinning, sewing - some of these arts I have gathered, many my heart still yearns to learn.

Life seems to go through seasons. In the fast-paced world in which we live, it is easy to stop doing the things that make us happy. It is easy to get swept up in empty busyness, neglecting those simple things that bring peace and fulfilment to our lives. Not only do the things I've mentioned bring peace and fulfilment to my life, but they bring along skills that are valuable and are worthy of being passed on to the next generation. Skills are for the most part forgotten in today's modern world. In times of power outages, I have realised how reliant the world and it's inhabitants are on modern conveniences. I for one do not want to be so reliant on the services and products that the modern world offers. I want to be equipped for the unforeseen possibilities that life could throw at me. I want to be productive, creative, and resourceful.

I have such admiration for woman of the past. Their lives could not be described as easy, as lives of leisure. They were lives of hard work, they were lives that were very productive -they had to be. Today's world seems to tell us that hard work is NOT something to strive for - that it is bad. That we should all be seeking a life of idleness, lives that pander to our wants, lives of endless frivolous days. This ridiculous notion is totally contrary to what the Word has to say regarding the conduct of our lives. Idleness is NOT something to aspire to. The woman of Proverbs 31 is portrayed as a hard working woman. She is up early, she is an excellent steward of her resources. She is intelligent, works hard and makes good investments. She clothes her family with her own hands, she is admired by her husband and called blessed by her children. What a beautiful picture!

Today...

Another area in my life as a wife, home-maker and homeschool mom that I feel inspired to apply a bit of simple creative frugality to is our homeschooling. It is so easy to buy copious amounts of curriculum for our children, but I am discovering that there is a wealth of free or reasonably prices resources out there. This is the time of year where allot of us home educating moms are planning out a new school year. I am determined that this year I am going to source resources that support our homeschool philosophy and are 'environmentally friendly' to my budget - but I think a separate post on this is in order :o) 

5 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your post. You are right -- simplicity doesn't just happen, it seems we have to work hard towards it! Am pleased that I just threw out 3 large trash bags from my boys' room and closet this morning. Why does this repeat itself every few months? I'm trying to get the house simplified before we begin school.

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  2. Good thoughts today, Shirley.

    I feel all inspired many times to do more and be more simplistic but it can't happen unless I take action. That's both hard work and heart work... amen? I'm preaching at myself.

    Thanks for sharing this today.

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  3. Hear hear, my sentiments exactly ... beautifully worded and inspiring.

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  4. Hi Shirley,

    We love Quarry Bank Mill. I've also been pondering proverbs 31! I will check out your links at the bottom of this post.

    God Bless

    San x

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  5. Beautiful beautiful - I strive to live a simple, inspired life! Leah x

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