Sunday, January 30, 2011

Living a Simple, and Fruitful, Life

Dad, Jeff and I on Christmas, 2010!

Whoa...we are quickly realizing our February and March are jam packed with weekend visitors. Such an answer to my prayer (as noted here Tumultuous New Year) Beginning February 19, we have visitors through the second weekend in March! I feel really blessed because my Dad and Peter will be coming out for my dad's 60th birthday! Not only has the Lord blessed us with out-of-town visitors, I have felt really blessed by the lovely ladies in my small group.

Jeff and I have been really trying to lead a simple, organized life. It was initially put on my heart when reading Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His Highest" on January 26. Ozzie was discussing how Christians have such a hard time maintaining the simplicity in their lives. I know I become SO wrapped up in my job, my goals, moving home, shoveling the snow, writing emails, reading books, church events, small group, making friends, cleaning my toilet.. I just CANNOT live a simple life. Ozzie uses Matthew 6:30, "If God so clothes the grass of the field.. how much more will he clothe you?" to highlight this idea of simplicity. If God clothes the grass of the field, how MUCH MORE will he clothe/provide for me?
As we were pondering this point, a few things came to mind:
  1. we have way too much stuff. not just jeff and i, in particular, but EVERYONE. we have too much furniture, too many boxes of old clothes, too many books, too many blankets, way too many dishes, too much house...
  2. in order to be simple, i need to lead an organized life. thus, i have put together a new schedule for myself so i can enjoy quality time with my husband and friends - and, more importantly - prioritize time with the Lord.
So, Jeff and I have committed to waking up about 10 minutes earlier than normal to have a short quiet time with the Lord. For me, personally, I also need at least 45 minutes 5x/week to exercise. I feel better, more rejuvenated, and energetic when I prioritize exercising. So, my daily schedule looks like this:
  • 640am: wake up, 10-15 minutes in prayer, journaling, reading the Word
  • 655-740am: breakfast, getting reading for the day, organizing dinner
  • 740am: leave for work (i also get to drive jeff to his subway stop)
  • 820-420: work! my schedule changes and is flexible, but generally, these are my hours
  • 445-530ish: work out
  • 53-630: make/eat dinner
  • 630-930: quality time with jeff (i go to bed early!)
  • 930/10pm: bedtime!
Of course, my schedule is flexible and changes on a weekly basis. For example, if a girlfriend wants to go out for dinner/coffee one evening, i try to schedule it on Monday or Tuesday so it doesn't interfere with my laundry/cleaning evenings...if it doesn't work, no big deal! I can clean/do laundry on a different night!

Also, I have been committed to doing laundry and cleaning our house mid-week, so I have more time for jeff and social things on the weekends. I do laundry on Wednesday nights and clean on Thursday nights.

Saturdays and Sundays are officially cleared for relaxing, sight seeing, date-nights and social time. Today, I got to spend the majority of my time doing this:
Time with the Lord, personal reading and a hot cup of tea (sweetened with Silk Soy Chocolate Milk!) (PS: Thanks to Neil Tambe for the Spirit of Detroit photo!)

In addition to scheduling my time, Jeff and I have also been committed to a budget (although we have never kept our "ideal" budget, we are close! we have been tweaking it since december to better fit our needs and financial goals.)
I really want this "simple" living to begin to transform the food we eat. Jeff and I love junk, fatty foods.. So I am slowly trying to learn how to make, and buy, more healthy choices. I haven't transitioned to organic yet, but i'm considering it! I know it's something I will want to do when we have children - it doesn't hurt to start now!

On a totally separate note, have you heard about how the East Coast has been DRENCHED with snow? It's true. It's funny that the winter I live in New York City we receive more snow than MICHIGAN (and have set some records!) Snow makes it harder for me to do my job -- traveling from house to house when I can't dig my car out, or when the bus and subway services are suspended, make it VERY difficult. Oh well, I have learned to graciously accept a snow day as a gift from the Lord :)

Jeff faithfully digging our car out of the snow. Happy snow day to us!

Happy first week of february, everyone!

Much Love.


  1. Laura, I love your blog :) Even though we don't live close to each other, we feel blessed to have you guys as friends because so much of the stuff that you and Jeff are trying to focus on right now is exactly what we're dealing with--trying to stick to our budget, eat more healthfully (it's hard in the South sometimes!), stick to our daily priorities to make sure that everything gets done, and just SIMPLIFY! (easier said that done!) We're so excited to come to NYC next month, and we definitely want you guys to come visit us too! xoxo

  2. Laur, I think you're right on with organizing to increase simplicity. One of my favorite blogs talks about that idea a lot, too.

    I am going to try your idea of scheduling things into some idle times of the day, to make sure they's a great idea!


    PS - Glad you liked the photo! :)