How Minimalism Brings Me Closer To God
Two years ago I resigned myself to this hustle of motherhood; that was going to be my life for the next eighteen years. I was overwhelmed with the have-to-do’s, so the want-to-do’s were rarely an option – who has time to finish a cup of coffee while still hot? A hot shower alone, is that possible? Oh, and a quiet space with time to read my Bible and fill my soul with God’s presence – well, that would be really, really nice. If I wasn’t just so tired!
As we simplify and focus on creating an intentional and minimalist life for our family, I see how easy it is get stuck in survival mode as a parent.
So, I started paying attention to my life. My marriage was suffering, my husband and kids weren’t getting my best self, and my friendships were just barely surviving through random text messages. Once I recognized what my life had become I heard the Spirit speak and invite me to journey with God.
But how? And, most importantly, when?
It’s hard to fit in daily quiet time as busy mom. Waking up to the kids climbing into my bed ready for tickles and cereal, as soon as my eyes reluctantly peel open I hit the floor running – feeding, cleaning, taxiing and entertaining the kids leaves me with little margin for anything else. Many of the same tasks and errands still need to get done – minimalist or not!
The difference now is I’m learning how to be intentional with how I engage in each activity, how I interact with my family, and how I create margin to sit with God. And with God all things are possible, right? Even a little bit of time, space, and peace of mind for a busy mom.
The space, the quiet, the slow – these are the places I find God. And the more I write and talk with others about the soul of minimalism I see how desperately all of us moms need to slow down, create space, and connect with our souls.
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Daily time alone in a distraction-free, quiet space is essential to healing our weary and wounded souls.
I think sometimes we forget what God does in those quite moments of surrender. We believe we can handle life on our own. If that’s where you are right now you should know that it’s okay – His grace is sufficient. Turn your eyes on him and he will meet you right where you are.
He makes it pretty simple if we are willing to be still:
- In the silence
God speaks in a still and small voice. Before I simplified and created quiet moments for meditation, prayer, and reflection I spent a lot of time wondering where God was and why I couldn’t find a connection with Him. My inconsistent personal spiritual practice left me hungry and insecure. The slower the life, the more abundantly we live in the everyday moments.
- In the stillness
My old life was validated by busyness. Busy was a badge of productivity and importance. Minimalism revealed that to be productive in what matters most I need to slow down. I’m most productive when I have time to be still and slow at home with my family and my purpose. God is waiting outside the hustle.
- In nature
I’ve always loved the beach. It has always represented hope to me. Even now, 13 years in San Diego every time we head west to our favorite beach, I feel the swelling of hope. Hope for our future, a family, my dreams and passions, for the world – God is always in the waves.
- In my identity
Minimalism is a tool that God uses to remind me I am enough.
It consistently confirms that I have nothing to prove and no one to impress. It’s freed me to be exactly who I am on the inside and not be ashamed for others to see.
- In others
Prior to minimalism I was very self focused. Not in a selfish way, necessarily, but so concerned about what people thought of me that I wasn’t able to see God in them. I assumed everyone was judging me, which is not only unfair, it’s untrue. Confidence in my identity in Christ opened my eyes to see love and light in others.
- In my abundance
The shortest path to simple is gratitude. Decluttering is a practice that humbles me. Every time I fill a box for donation I realize the abundance I live in. I let go and I say thank you. And in the letting go I am filled up with God’s abundant presence and peace.
- In my surrender
The point where minimalism shifts from my stuff to my soul is where I surrender my desires in exchange for God’s. I surrender my search for contentment, acceptance, joy, perfectionism, or success in things and money. And in response God fills me with the very things I was searching for. What I long for isn’t wrong, I was just looking in the wrong places.
- In his will
After reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts I started praying the words Thy Will be Done. It’s a common prayer and Jesus taught it was how we are to pray, I’d just never prayed it the way Ann does in her book. She prays thy will be done as a prayer of thanksgiving. “Your will is enough for me, Lord”. Prayer became less about me and more about him.
After a lifetime of being a Christian it was by slowing down, creating space, and listening in the quiet moments to find God has much more to do in me than I could ever imagine. As I pursue the simple life I become more aware and sensitive to the whispers of my soul.
God is waiting for you in the quiet, open space of surrender. To help you discover God in your minimalism I’ve created a guide to help you prioritize your time, declutter your space, and create a quiet practice of soul care with God.